To say that Showtime's Homeland is on a roll would be a major understatement. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis took home Emmys for acting last month, while the television show - created by former 24 co-showrunners Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, based on the Israeli series Hatufim (Prisoners of War) - snagged prizes for writing and best dramatic work.
The season 2 opener managed to pull in a series-high turnout, riding high on a wave of awards glory and residual excitement over the provocative conclusion to season 1. However, just two nights ago, the series bested its own ratings record with 'New Car Smell' (read our recap), an episode which featured the much-anticipated reunion (of sorts) between ex-CIA employee Carrie Mathison (Danes) and not-so-good soldier/ex-POW Nicholas Brody (Lewis).
Showtime has since (unsurprisingly) confirmed that Homeland will be receiving a 12-episode season 3, with production scheduled to get underway next spring. Additional filming for season 2 is currently taking place in North Carolina, but Showtime president of entertainment David Nevins is already looking forward. He released the following statement on the show's renewal yesterday:
"The Emmy wins for HOMELAND have certainly set the stage for a great second season. The writers, cast and crew of HOMELAND continue to create a remarkably entertaining and suspenseful roller coaster ride, growing audiences week after week. We can't wait for our viewers to experience what unfolds through the rest of season two. Our partners at Fox 21 have been tremendous, and we are thrilled to begin the planning for HOMELAND's third season."
'New Car Smell' introduced season 2 addition Rupert Friend as CIA agent Peter Quinn, with fellow series newcomer Zuleikha Robinson - as cunning journalist and Abu Nazir (Navid Negahban) surrogate Roya Hammad - continuing to play a pivotal role in the terse proceedings. Later this season, Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham will also be joining the party as brilliant intelligence operative, Dar Adul.
Longtime Homeland viewers have good reason to be intrigued about where the series will be going in the next few episodes - let alone another season from now. When Lewis spoke with Rolling Stone earlier this month, he told them:
"... You know, I couldn't blame you if you [think] Brody's gonna be done by episode six. The walls close in much quicker than you would expect, and from Brody's perspective, it's gonna create a season of high level anxiety. Really extreme high level anxiety where, any moment he tries to wrest control for himself and have some sort of control over his life, the rug will be taken from under his feet. That's kind of Brody's psychological state."
Indeed, Homeland has been progressing at quite an accelerated rate when it comes to dramatic developments concerning Brody - so much that, at this point, the show is starting to bear a closer resemblance to the 'real-time' pacing of 24. The show remains as exhilarating a viewing experience as ever, so here's to hoping it doesn't start sliding off the rails in the near future (as a result of the relentless momentum forward).
The fifth episode of season 2 for Homeland ('Q&A') airs next Sunday at 10 p.m. on Showtime.