Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: ABC did not kill Twin Peaks
From: webb@CS.CMU.EDU (Jon Webb)
Date: 1991-05-13, 08:28

I wish people would wise up and stop complaining about ABC "killing"
Twin Peaks.  Twin Peaks did very well in its very first show, which was
heavily advertised and promoted, but started slipping immediately after
it started its regular run, in the Thursday at 10PM time slot.  Now,
granted, putting it on Saturdays at 10 really hurt it, but it was not a
stellar performer even in a perfectly good time slot -- I know many
people who missed one show in the first season, and could just not catch
up again afterwards.  In the second season, ABC tried to capture a new
audience Saturday nights by putting some of their shows with the best
artistic potential on Saturday nights -- China Beach, Twin Peaks -- but
that idea failed.  They weren't trying to kill shows off, they just
tried something that didn't work.  And at that point, Twin Peaks did not
have a large enough segment of the viewership to justify putting it in
one of their best slots.  Missing shows around Christmas was again a
result of the serial nature of Twin Peaks, not because ABC didn't like
the show; you can't go back and fill in with some of the best shows if
each show depends on the previous.  Finally, moving the show to Thrusday
nights at 9 didn't help much, as anyone might expect.

I think what really killed Twin Peaks was its serial nature -- just
didn't fit television's schedule -- and the ambivalent artistic
committment of Lynch and Frost.  If they had stuck with the show, it
would have continuted to get the approval of the critics, instead of
losing even them in the first half of the second season.  Then the show
might have been continued, either because of ABC's wanting to keep a
show around that got such great reviews, or because of the audience that
continual good reviews would have generated.

-- J