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Showtime Opens the Curtain on Series, Movies, and Twin Peaks
August 11, 2015  | By Ed Bark

Beverly Hills, CA -- Showtime president David Nevins (top) came out swinging Tuesday. Not with a state of the TV industry proclamation but with a slew of programming announcements.

Principal among them was news -- and non-news -- about the reboot of Twin Peaks, which creator David Lynch pulled out of before being pulled back in. Lynch now will "direct the whole thing," Nevins said, with shooting scheduled to start in September.

"I never had any doubts we were going to get him back," Nevins said. "That was a huge priority for me."

It became clear that it would take more than the originally budgeted nine episodes to tell the story Lynch is plotting, Nevins added. "So we had to sort of work out the details. And we eventually got through it."

Lynch also is writing every episode and being his usually secretive self. Only Kyle MacLachlan has officially been announced as a cast member. He'll be reprising coffee/pie-loving FBI agent Dale Cooper (left), whom ABC introduced to the unsuspecting masses on April 8, 1990. The series ended on June 10, 1991 after a second season flamed out.

With production just around the corner, Nevins admittedly knows who's been cast in Twin Peaks beyond MacLachlan. "Sadly, no, I can't answer," he said.

"But why?" tvworthwatching.com asked while trying to make it not seem like a plaintive wail.

"Because (of) David Lynch, that's why," Nevins replied. "Because that's something." However, expect "the familiar faces fans are waiting for, as well as some big surprises," he said.

Showtime hopes to have Twin Peaks on the air sometime in 2016, but it may not be until 2017, Nevins said. It also will be up to Lynch how many episodes comprise Season 1.

"Ultimately he has creative control," Nevins said. "He deserves it, and I'm very happy to give it to him."

On a more definitive note, Showtime announced the renewals of both Masters of Sex and Ray Donovan for fourth seasons while their third seasons are ongoing. Plus, Homeland will return for Season 5 on Oct. 4 in tandem with Season 2 of The Affair.

"I think there's a lot of life left in Homeland," Nevins said.

Production on Season 5 is ongoing in Germany and will deal with Russian president Vladimir Putin's activities and a "tricky relationship" with ISIS while also working in storylines tied to classified information leaker Edward Snowden and the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

"It brings a lot of things together," Nevins said. "And as long as they keep it fresh . . . those are the kinds of shows that can keep running."

The network also has green-lighted a limited series adapted from rock legend Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids.

"This is a project that every producer, movie studio, and TV company in Hollywood wanted, and one we fought hard to get," Nevins

said. "It didn't hurt that Patti just happens to be a diehard Penny Dreadful fan," which recently completed Season 2 on Showtime and has been renewed for a third.

Showtime's pilot pickups include I'm Dying Up Here from executive producer Jim Carrey. Set in the 1970s, it "explores the inspired and damaged psyches of the people who are driven to make us laugh," Nevins said. It will become a full-blown series if Showtime likes it.

On the sports front, Showtime's A Season with Notre Dame Football will premiere on Sept. 8 and air weekly throughout the college football season. Hey, it's not too late to change the title to the catchier Under the Golden Dome.

The network's documentary portfolio is being ramped up, with Listen to Me Marlon, Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church and Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank among the attractions.

Showtime set up a mini-museum as a show-and-tell for the films on Marlon Brando and Hendrix. The artifacts included Hendrix's early handwritten lyrics for "Message of Love" and Brando's makeup case and Rolodex (left), which included "contact information" for pals Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, and Sean Penn among others.

But amid all this, a cryptic full-page, large-lettered message from Brando seemed to speak loudest on the 16th day of this long-and-winding Television Critics Association "press tour."

"I have no underwear to sleep in tonight?" he once felt compelled to write.

Somehow Brando is still speaking to us.

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