Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TV coverage.
At today’s TCA panel on Showtime‘s Homeland, co-creator and executive producer Howard Gordon was asked about another on-again, off-again project: Whether there is still a chance of a 24 movie. He says yes — possibly. “My understanding of that is, having gone quiet in a way that I didn’t think boded well for that, there’s been some stirrings recently, so I think it’s something everyone’s gunning for,” said Gordon, also an executive producer of 24. “As far as whether my work on [Homeland] will impede that — not at all. There’s a script that’s been written, and I think the issues now are more about the director’s schedule and Kiefer’s [Sutherland] schedule.”
After the panel, which also included executive producer Alex Gansa and series stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Morena Baccarin, Gordon also had a comment about the failure of the NBC series Awake, on which he was also an executive producer. “I knew it was a very steep challenge,” he said.
But back to Homeland, whose new season will open with two episodes shot in large part in Israel, standing in for Beirut. Aside from questions about the development of the lead characters, questions arose about whether Danes’ pregnancy would affect production. “We’re about midway (through Season 2), we’re shooting Episode 6; this hasn’t run into any interference,” Danes said. She added that the physicality of her role had her a “little concerned” at first, but “it’s proven to be a non-issue. All is well and Carrie remains fervently nonpregnant.”
Danes also said she was not concerned that possible future shooting in Israel would put her and her baby in a dangerous situation. “I think people think of Israel as being incredibly dangerous and volatile — that was not my experience,” she said. “He will have to come with me — he she, whoever he is,” she joked. “It’s been working out for my schnoodle.”
Lewis also cracked a joke playing off Danes’ pregnancy: When asked about the passionate weekend their two characters spent during Season 1, he raised an eyebrow: “And look what happened,” he said. Lewis was also asked to talk about being among a group of British actors invited to dinner at the White House. Homeland is one of President Obama’s favorite shows. Joked Lewis: “Obviously I’m called to consult on matters of homeland security, so then I drop everything and I go.” He said that his being included in the group was “serendipity. It was a British state visit to see the president who happened to have this as his favorite show on TV at the time; I kind of ticked a lot of boxes,” he said. “It was fantastic talking to him about it.”
The actor did get a chance to ask Obama when he has time to watch Homeland. “I did ask him and David Cameron, when do you guys have time to watch television, aren’t you supposed to be running the free world together? He said: ‘On Saturday afternoon, Michelle and the girls go to play tennis, I go into the Oval Office, I pretend I’m going to work, and I switch on Homeland.’ ”