"Pilot," Written by Mark Frost & David Lynch
Aired: ABC, 1990-1992
"When Blue Velvet Meets Hill Street Blues," read the New York Times headline in 1990, describing Twin Peaks. It was a reference to the show's two creative forces, former Hill Street Blues writer Mark Frost, and director David Lynch. As in his moody and bizarre Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks took a picture postcard and flipped it over to expose a creepy underbelly. ''We developed the town before the people,'' Frost told the Times of Twin Peaks, their fictional town in the Northwest. ''We drew a map. We knew it had a lumber mill.'' In its first season, the style and serialized intrigue of who killed homecoming queen Laura Palmer had created a frenzied following, but after ABC moved the show in season two to Saturday nights, the ratings proved too low to continue. Though acclaimed filmmakers routinely direct television now, Lynch's involvement at the time was seen as a coup.