Showtime: Twin Peaks Premiere Date Revealed; Homeland, Billions To Reflect Trump Administration
During today's Showtime Executive Session at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, besides announcing airdates for new series Guerrillas and I'm Dying Up Here, and a renewal for drama series The Affair, President and Chief Executive Officer David Nevins and President of Programming Gary S. Levine gave a peek inside what to expect with the reboot of Twin Peaks and how the upcoming change of administration will be reflected in both Homeland and Billions.
The much-anticipated return of David Lynch's Twin Peaks will have a two-hour premiere on May 21 with the following third and fourth hours available immediately after on Showtime's streaming and on-demand platforms. "David Lynch is one of the great film masters of my lifetime," Nevins said, "I think the version of Twin Peaks you're going to see is the pure heroin version of David Lynch and I'm very excited putting that out."
Nevins also talked of the viewing experience fans can expect with this new incarnation. "The thing about Twin Peaks and the thing about this new version of Twin Peaks I will say is it rewards close watching. It was the original social media show, the original discussion show before social media discussion and fan engagement really existed," Nevins said. "This version is one of the reasons why David [Lynch] is so particular about secrecy. It will really reward close watching and making sure you're paying attention to details and putting things together over time." As for expectations to how the show will perform, Levine added, "It is already a success. We are just proud to be putting it out there for the fans."
Also, viewers may see parallels with real life with new seasons of both Homeland and Billions. "I would say we have a lot of shows that are very political," Nevins said. "Homeland obviously reflects the political world that we live in. Billions obviously reflects the political world we live in and our documentaries are increasingly political. Homeland went into production in August and was written in the months before [the election] but Homeland deals with an incoming administration [and] transition period between administrations and deals a lot with trust and distrust between the permanent state of the intelligence community and a new presidential leader, so it obviously reflects that. Billions is about power politics in New York City so the overlaps are obvious."
The documentary series The Circus, Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, which followed the presidential race, will continue to do so as the new administration comes in. "We're also trying to figure out what our future's going to be with this franchise of The Circus, that has been very meaningful to us." Trumped: Behind The Greatest Political Upset of All Time, which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival next week, will air on Showtime on February 3 at 9/8c.
The TCA session also announced the pick up of the one-hour drama, The Chi, which is created, executive produced and written by Lena Waithe (Master of None) and will star Straight Outta Compton star Jason Mitchell. The series will follow a half dozen interrelated characters in the South Side of Chicago. Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) will executive produce and direct the premiere episode. Grammy and Oscar winner Common will also serve as an executive producer.
White Famous, a half hour comedy starring actor/comedian Jay Pharaoh (Saturday Night Live), was also picked up to series. Created by Tom Kapinos (Californication), the series is based on Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx's experiences breaking into the entertainment business. Foxx will also set to guest star in a series in a recurring role.
Asked about the recent salary dispute of Shameless star Emmy Rossum, Nevins said, "I think it had a very good conclusion. It worked out, I think, great for her, great for us, Emmy has been a force on that show in a great way and, obviously what she does in front of the camera but also as a great leader on the set behind the camera. She directed this year and will continue to direct. I actually think it was a good process." The dispute was settled and the series was renewed for an eighth season.