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Twin Peaks is an American television serial drama created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. It follows an investigation headed by FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) into the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington. Its pilot episode was broadcast on April 8, 1990 on ABC. Seven more episodes were produced, and the series was renewed for a second season that aired until June 10, 1991.
Twin Peaks explores the gulf between the veneer of small-town respectability and the seedier life beneath. As the series progresses, the inner darkness of characters who initially appeared innocent is revealed, and they are seen to lead double lives. Its unsettling tone and supernatural features are consistent with horror films, but its campy, melodramatic portrayal of quirky characters engaged in dubious activities parodies American soap operas. Like much of Lynch’s work, the show represents an earnest moral inquiry distinguished by offbeat humor and surrealism.
Twin Peaks became one of the top-rated shows of 1990 and was an international critical success. It captured a cult following and has been referenced in television shows, commercials, comic books, video games, films and songs. Declining ratings led to ABC’s insistence that the identity of Laura’s murderer be revealed midway through the second season. The series was followed by a 1992 feature film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, which serves as both a prequel and an epilogue to the television series.
The pilot episode was ranked No. 25 on TV Guide‘s 1997 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time. The series was ranked No. 45 on TV Guide‘s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time in 2002, and it was included in its 2013 list of 60 shows that were “Cancelled Too Soon.” Twin Peaks was listed as one of Time‘s “Best TV Shows of All-TIME” in 2007, and it placed No. 49 on Entertainment Weekly‘s “New TV Classics” list and No. 12 in their list of the “25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years.”
In October 2014, it was announced that Twin Peaks will return for a limited series on Showtime in 2016, later delayed to 2017. The series is written by Lynch and Frost and directed by Lynch. Many original cast members, including MacLachlan, will return.