The City of Absurdity   Mulholland Drive
The TV Pilot


About the Pilot | Articles

  About the Pilot

Written and Directed by  David Lynch

David Lynch directed a two-hour ABC pilot in February entitled "Mulholland Drive" for which his Picture Factory had joined with Imagine and Touchstone Television. He wrote and exec produced the project which explores dreams, desires and fears of two women beset by a mystery in L.A. with Joyce Eliason.

"Mulholland Drive" was supposed to premiere this fall on ABC. Unfortunately, ABC decided to gave it the axe due to the clean-the-screen from violence pressure after the Littleton shooting.

David Lynch said: "ABC doesn't want Mulholland Drive for fall, and they don't want it for midseason. They don't want it."

But this pilot is not quite dead yet. There is the possibility that this made-for-tv movie will be following in the footsteps of Hitchcock's "Psycho" and become a originally filmed for television but released theatrically project. There is some talk that the cast and crew will reunite in the fall so that additional footage can be shot to bring this wonderful piece to completion.

David Lynch:

"I was lured back [into television] because of a really strong desire to tell a continuing story in which you go deeper and deeper into a world and you get lost in that world. A pilot is open-ended, and, when it's over, you feel all these threads going out into the infinite which, to me, is a beautiful thing. It's like a body with no head."

"It was a beautiful shoot. There was no indication that it wasn't going to go great. Then two network executives watched a cut; I heard they didn't like the pace and they didn't like the show."

"There's a bunch of people who want something different on TV. I was hopeful that I could make something the network would want."

"All I know is, I loved making it, ABC hated it, and I don't like the cut I turned in. I agreed with ABC that the longer cut was too slow, but I was forced to butcher it because we had a deadline, and there wasn't time to finesse anything. It lost texture, big scenes, and storylines, and there are 300 tape copies of the bad version circulating around. Lots of people have seen it, which is embarrassing, because they're bad-quality tapes, too. I don't want to think about it."

"Not that any cut would change their minds ? they hate it. And so they will air it sometime, but it won't be a satisfactory experience because it was meant to go on and on and on. It's almost absurd to air it as a one-off thing. Disney will release a kind of a movie-of-the-week on foreign television that will have a closed ending. But the ending is not the traditional ending like in a film. I call this ending a wart instead of a head. It's not a finished body. It's a body with a wart on top of the neck."

Billy Ray Cyrus:

"I can't tell you much about it, but it's called 'Mulholland Drive' and is a pilot kind of like 'Twin Peaks' was."

Jamie Tarses (ABC Entertainment president)

"It is vintage David Lynch – very reminiscent of 'Twin Peaks'. It was a blast to read.
There are a couple of characters who do have involvement in show business, but it is not by any stretch a show-business series."

Stu Bloomberg (ABC Entertainment chairman)

"He has it really mapped out. I mean, 'Twin Peaks' was obviously very close to his heart, but he said, 'There are things that, if I had it to do over again, I would do them differently. I know what the strengths of that show were and the weaknesses as it continued. I want to do this show, and I want to sort of correct the mistakes that I've made."

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Creative Differences
by Tad Friend, New Yorker, August 30, 1999

The ABC of going from the big screen to the small
David Lynch interview with movieline

The Best New TV Series You Will Never See
by Edward Margulies, Mr. Showbiz

David Lynch plotting return to series TV
By Phil Kloer, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, January 12, 1999

David Lynch has a take on L.A.
By CLAIRE BICKLEY - Toronto Sun, January 12, 1999

David Lynch to Return to TV
TV Gen, Tuesday, January 12, 1999

Ann Miller Taps Into TV Series
By LIZ SMITH, LA Times, February 26, 1999

David Lynch tries for TV comeback
By Scott D. Pierce, Deseret News, March 10, 1999

Cyrus proves he has staying power
by Miriam Longino, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, February 20, 1999

Variety article from August 20th

Hollywood Reporter article from August 20th

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© Mike Hartmann