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Classic Ratings Review: TWIN PEAKS (Season One - Spring 1990)

TWIN PEAKS is coming back in May, 2017, so let's have a look at the first season ratings for the odd drama series by David Lynch and Mark Frost.

The series debuted as a two-hour Sunday night movie, on April 8, 1990. It was up against the FOX Comedies, from 9 to 10 PM, a repeat of JEASUS OF NAZARETH, PT 1, on NBC, and the CBS movie, CROSSING TO FREEDOM, on CBS. The ratings on the night were 34.6 million viewers, a 21.7 household rating (21.7% of all households) and a 33 HH share (33%) of all households watching TV). That ranked the fifth best ratings for the week. In comparison, the #1 program, Home Videos, also on ABC, drew over 40 million viewers.

The series' regular time slot was Thursdays at 9 PM. Its competition was CHEERS/GRAND, on NBC, and MAX MONROE, on CBS. At this time, FOX had not yet scheduled shows on Thursday nights. The ratings fell through week four, with week five being the first week the ratings improved over the previous week.


To capture the finale within the May sweeps period, ABC moved the season finale to Wednesday night, May 23, the last night of the sweeps period. The finale drew 18.7 million viewers and a 22 HH share and ranked 23rd on the week.

Over the summer, in the week's leading up to the 1990-91 season, ABC reran the eight episodes on Saturday nights at 10 PM, its new time slot for the second season. This was still at a time when people, lots of people, watch TV on that night. The encores averaged about nine million viewers a night, ranking in the somewhere in the lower half of the weekly chart.

Live+Same Day Ratings
 (Thursdays at 9 p.m., on ABC)

Date P2* HH Rating HH SHare Rank
04/08/1990 34.6 21.7 33 5
04/12/1990 23.2 16.2 27 13
04/19/1990 19.2 13.1 21 28
04/26/1990 16.7 11.3 18 45
05/03/1990 17.4 11.9 19 44
05/10/1990 17.3 11.5 18 38
05/17/1990 15.6 10.6 17 40
05/23/1990 18.7 12.6 22 23
* - viewers in millions

Look for a ratings review of season two, coming soon.

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