Credit: Stephan Rabold/Showtime
Episode 601

Huge Homeland news: The series is near a deal for a three-season renewal… but the show’s return is also being pushed to next January rather than coming back in the fall.

For season 6, however, the acclaimed series will return to the U.S. after spending the last two seasons shooting in South Africa and Berlin. The new season, which will air next year, is set to begin production in New York starting in August. The pickup order will include season 6, and will keep the show on the air through an eighth season.

The new season takes place several months after the events last year, and finds Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) back on American soil, and living in Brooklyn, New York. She has begun working at a foundation whose efforts are to provide aid to Muslims living in the United States. Season 6 will tackle the after-effects of the U.S. presidential election, with the entire season taking place between election day and the inauguration. According to Showtime’s release, “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.”

“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 David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. “Under [showrunner] 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.”

Last week, during an awards season event to promote Homeland, Gansa explained why the post-election scenario was chosen for the season 6 narrative. “There is this strange period in America where there are 72 days when it’s not exactly clear who’s in charge, and there is a new president that needs to be educated on what it means to be president,” Gansa said. “That is a very complex transfer of power filled with all kinds of anxiety and different competing interests — How do I get the ear of the new president? How does the new president elect deal with the president that’s going out? — and it’s a dangerous time in our democracy.”

The three-season pickup does raise the question, however: How long will Homeland continue? Nevins says the show’s format lends itself to continuing for many years to come. “It’s quite possible [Gansa] has an end game,” Nevins says. “[But] Homeland is a show that’s constantly reinventing itself, it’s not on a straight character trajectory path since it’s very much about this intelligence world and changes itself pretty dramatically, season to season, so I think this is a show that more than most has an open-ended expiration date.”

In addition to the Homeland news, Showtime also announced fall premiere dates for several returning series: Masters of Sex is back for season 4 on Sept. 11, Shameless is back for its season 7 on Oct. 2, and season 3 of acclaimed drama The Affair debuts Nov. 20.

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