Buoyed by Emmys, Homeland Series Three gets go-ahead
Damian Lewis ‘happy for team' as Showtime green-lights another series for popular spy show
TO THE DELIGHT of adoring fans of the most highly-strung CIA operative in television history – Carrie Mathison, as portrayed by Claire Danes – the Emmy award-winning series Homeland has been renewed for a third season.
The New York Times reports that "to the surprise of almost no one" the Showtime network has announced it will begin production of 12 new episodes in the spring, for airing later in 2013.
The announcement comes as Season Two is just getting underway in Britain and after Season One received six Emmy Awards – Danes and Damian Lewis (US Marine Sgt Brody) winning outstanding lead actress and actor.
"The Emmy wins for Homeland have certainly set the stage," said Showtime boss David Nevins. "The evidence seems to be that more and more people are coming to the show".
In the US, the Season Two premiere of Homeland on 30 September was watched by 1.7 million. Last Sunday saw its highest-rated episode so far, with 1.75 million tuning in.
Homeland's viewing figures are even more impressive in Britain: 2.3 million watched the recent first episode of the new season, reports the BBC.
Showtime is tight-lipped about which characters will be returning for the third series, Nevins teasing viewers with the warning: "Change is inevitable in television". But no one will expect Carrie or Brody to be killed off now.
Nevins attributes Homeland's success in part to the writers' "willingness to make big story moves from the very beginning... It's very hard to figure out Homeland's rhythm, and that makes it exciting to watch".
Not everyone's a fan: last week Lebanon threatened to sue Homeland over its "serious misrepresentation" of Beirut and earlier this month former British hostage John McCarthy told the Radio Times the plot was "unrealistic".
Damian Lewis, who plays the twitchy Sgt Brody, was apparently pleased with the Series Three news, tweeting: "So happy for the Homeland team".
But no one ever knows what Brody is really thinking.