Showtime is finalizing a deal with Fox 21 TV Studios to lock its flagship drama series Homeland for 3 more seasons, starting with the already picked up upcoming sixth season, whose premiere has been pushed to January 2017. Showtime Networks president and CEO David Nevins made the announcement during a press call Wednesday morning. The additional pickup would be for Seasons 7 and 8 of the terrorism drama. Star Claire Danes and showrunner Alex Gansa are both set for Seasons 6, 7 and 8, Nevins said.
In fall 2016, Homeland will be replaced by Shameless. The dramedy starring William Macy will air a second season in 2016, Season 7, which will launch on Oct. 2.
Homeland will return to the U.S. after spending the last two seasons shooting in South Africa and Berlin. The network revealed more details about the plot of the upcoming installment, which is set to begin production in New York starting in August. Like it did with its Europe-set fifth season, Homeland is poised to mirror reality, as Season 6 is set following the U.S. presidential election.
After she thwarted a terrorist attack in Berlin, season six picks up several months later and finds Carrie Mathison (Danes) back on American soil, living in Brooklyn, NY. She has begun working at a foundation whose efforts are to provide aid to Muslims living in the United States. Season six will tackle the after effects of the U.S. presidential election, with the entire season taking place between election day and the inauguration. It’s a strange, transitional time in the halls of government filled with anxiety and different competing interests, where a very fragile and complex transfer of power takes place between the outgoing president and the incoming president-elect.
Homeland already had been working on a modified production schedule, with a later start of filming to accommodate longer prep time for breaking stories and fine-tuning the plot of Season 6, which had been targeting a January launch.
“We are proud that Homeland has been so consistently recognized for its excellence with awards and critical acclaim, but we are in awe of how the series fearlessly mines the geopolitics of our complicated world and translates that into compelling human drama,” said Nevins. “Under Alex Gansa’s brilliant leadership, Homeland has shown an uncanny ability to reinvent itself which makes us supremely confident that this show will remain as distinctive, relevant and cutting edge as anything on television for as long as these producers want to continue.”
That could conceivably mean beyond Season 8.
“Just because I’m not thinking that far ahead doesn’t mean Alex Gansa and his team aren’t,” Nevins said when asked whether Homeland could run for more than 8 seasons. “It’s changing itself pretty dramatically each season; I think more than most, this show has an open-ended expiration date. That said, I’ve been focused on getting this deal done and not really asking what happens beyond this deal.”
Homeland was developed for American television by Gansa and Howard Gordon, and is based on the original Israeli series Prisoners of War by Gideon Raff. Along with Gansa and Gordon, the executive producers for season six will be Chip Johannessen, Lesli Linka Glatter, Patrick Harbinson, Michael Klick, Gideon Raff, Avi Nir and Ran Telem.