Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
Following Showtime‘s executive session today at TCA, the network’s entertainment president David Nevins was asked about potential cast turnovers on Homeland. “Anything is possible in television, so I would not rule it out,” he said. Deadline later asked Nevins if there is potentially a scenario in which stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis leave Homeland early. “Absolutely,” he said. “Do I think it’s conceivable that the show outlives Carrie Mathison and Nicholas Brody? Absolutely… There you go.” Is such a departure imminent? “No, and I mean no spoiler by that. I would not conclude there is a blockbuster in Season 3. But if you’re going to commit yourself to being unpredictable and going where the story takes you, you’ve got to commit yourself to being unpredictable and going where the story takes you.” So nobody on Homeland is safe or sacred? “Exactly.”
Related: TCA: Where’s Damian Lewis? ‘Homeland’ Showrunners Explain
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
A little bit of a SPOILER ALERT is perhaps in order regarding the first two episodes of season three of the Showtime drama hit Homeland, which returns in originals on September 29. It isn’t about the plotline per se. It’s about star Damian Lewis, who won an Emmy in 2012 and is nominated again for his wrenching performance as Brody. It was revealed this afternoon during a TCA Homeland panel that Lewis won’t be seen in the first two episodes of the season, screeners of which were provided for critics. It baffled those in the room, and is probably unprecedented, that an actor who won the Emmy for lead actor in the drama should simply not appear in the first pair of episodes of the subsequent season. Co-showrunner Alex Gansa explained that the Brody disappearance is strictly a function of the story and shouldn’t be interpreted as indicative of the actor’s participation in the show beyond episode two. “It’s about where the story was taking us,” Gansa said. He was then asked by a critic if it would be a betrayal of those involved in the series were those in the room to report that Lewis is a no-show through at least those first two hours of the season. “No,” Gansa replied, “but it would be a betrayal to actually say when he’s back in the show.” Homeland won six Emmys in its first year of awards eligibility last year, including hitting the trifecta of outstanding drama series as well as for its two leads (Lewis and Claire Danes). How does Lewis feel about his early season absence? “Hey, these guys have been trying to kill me since the end of episode one,” he quipped, “when I had a stay of execution.” He said that he wasn’t surprised by the way the season opened for him, finding it to be “completely in line with the idea that you must be ruthless with story and character.” Read More »
Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage
Homeland executive producer Howard Gordon this morning called the nomination of Henry Bromell for the intense “Q&A” episode of Showtime’s political drama the “sweetest moment” of the Emmy nominations. “It was a terrible loss,” he said of executive producer Bromell’s death in March of a heart attack at 66.
In an earlier interview, executive producer Alex Gansa called the “Q&A” episode “the heart of Season 2. It’s the episode where Clare has to turn Brody, to deprogram him. They’re in a windowless room together, hashing out the truth. The interrogation was originally written as three separae sequences, but Henry, the actors and director Lesli Linka Glatter decided to shoot it in one continuous scene. The first take lasted 26 minutes. It became this chamber piece, a play.” He added: “Henry was the humanist heart of our writing room. I don’t think anyone else could have found so much vulnerability is what was basically a procedural scene between a CIA officer and a terrorist. Henry could really drill down to the heart of a show — this relationship between two very damaged people in a post 9/11 world.” Read More »
Bold And The Beautiful and All My Children alum William deVry will be heading to ABC’s General Hospital this month. The actor, who’s recently appeared on CW shows Nikita and Beauty And The Beast, will play Derek … Read More »
New additions to CBS’ crime drama Unforgettable, James Laio and Tawny Cypress, have been promoted to regulars. The two were originally cast in March for recurring roles on the upcoming second season of Unforgettable. That brings the number of regulars on the show back to 6, with Laio, Cypress and fellow new castmember Dallas Roberts joining returning stars Poppy Montgomery, Dylan Walsh and Jane Curtin. Michael Gaston, Kevin Rankin and Daya Vaidya departed as regulars after Season 1. Laio plays Jay, a detective with expertise in a wide range of technical subjects in the Major Cases Section of the NYPD; Cypress plays Murray, a former decorated FBI agent who begins work at the Major Cases Section of the NYPD. Unforgettable, from Sony TV and CBS Studios, returns July 28. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Tracy Letts is getting a quick promotion on Homeland. The Tony- and Pulitzer-winning actor-playwright, who was tapped for a recurring role on the upcoming third season of the Showtime drama a week ago, has now been upped to a series regular. He will play the role of Sen. Andrew Lockhart, the powerful, authoritative, and commanding Committee Chairman asking tough questions as the government’s investigation begins in the wake of the horrific terror attack that decimated the U.S. intelligence apparatus, and prompted a global manhunt for the world’s most wanted terrorist — Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis). Letts is the first new series regular to join the cast of Homeland for Season 3. The Emmy-winning series also recently promoted recurring players F. Murray Abraham and Sarita Choudhury to regular. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: With Brody headed out of the country in the second-season finale of Showtime’s Homeland, Carrie won’t have to rely as heavily on her off-the-books snoop extraordinaire Virgil. David Marciano has played the role since the pilot, recurring in Season 1 and promoted to regular in Season 2. Now I’ve learned the actor won’t return to the Emmy-winning series as a regular next season. though he may still appear on the show as a recurring guest star.
Marciano is the second Homeland cast member who won’t continue as regulars on Season 3, alongside Diego Klattenhoff. Three other regulars in Season – David Harewood, Jamie Sheridan and Navid Negahban — are leaving as their characters got killed off. The five shared in Homeland‘s best drama series ensemble SAG nomination this year. The rest of Homeland‘s regular cast, led by Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin and Morena Baccarin, will likely return in their previous capacity. As for where Brody (Lewis) is headed, while he was last seen crossing the border into Canada, rumor is he may surface in Venezuela in the opening episodes of Season 3. Read More »
Gideon Raff, creator of the original Israeli drama Prisoners Of War and the writer and exec producer of its Emmy-winning U.S. version Homeland, says he doesn’t know how the series’ story will end. But Bert Salke, the president of Fox 21, which produces Homeland, says he thinks the writers have a “sense of where they want Carrie to be in six years.” It needs to be remembered that the story really started with Claire Danes’ CIA agent, Salke said. At a panel for a small group of journalists here at Mip-TV today, Salke also noted that Danes and co-stars Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin have input and “influence the characters.” Homeland was renewed for a third season in October.
Talking of the genesis of the original Prisoners Of War (Hatufim in Israel), Jerusalem-born Raff explained the subject was “taboo” in his home country because there are 1,500 current prisoners of war and when any POW returns, there is a severe reticence to “know what happens to them.” Prisoners Of War was the first time such a subject had been broached on local television and “in the beginning we kind of got flack for exploiting the subject for ratings, I guess, which was a ridiculous argument. But once people saw the show, the arguments subsided,” Raff said. Now, there is controversy over Prisoners Of War, which recently concluded its second season, as did Homeland, “but it’s about the show, not the subject.”
Salke said that when Fox originally optioned Prisoners Of War for 24 alums Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, “it was thought of as a network show.” Salke says he “immediately thought it was cable. You can do so many different things on cable.” Homeland was a “tough call” for Fox chairman Kevin Reilly. “People were scared”, and because of the terrorism and counter-terrorism aspects of the show it was hard to tell where the show was going, so they approached pay channels. Showtime’s David Nevins and Matt Blank “got it right away,” per Salke. Ran Tellem, who is VP Programming at the series’ Israeli broadcaster Keshet, concurred that “half the people” at the Prisoners Of War broadcaster initially “thought we couldn’t do it. We had a POW at the time.” Read More »
Veteran TV writer-producer Henry Bromell, an executive producer on Showtime’s acclaimed series Homeland, has died of a heart attack. He was 66. Bromell went to the hospital yesterday afternoon after not feeling well, and suffered the heart attack there. He had been a member of Homeland‘s all-star writing-producing staff since the beginning of the Fox21-produced CIA drama, first as a consulting producer, and shared in its best series Emmy win last year. In his work on the suspense drama, Bromell drew on some personal experience — his father worked for the CIA. He wrote one of the most memorable episode from Season 2, the interrogation hour Q&A which showcased series stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis and drew record viewership in October. “Henry was a profoundly decent and generous man. A great writer and a great friend”, Homeland executive producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon said today in a statement. “No matter how crazy things got, when he was in the room, you knew everything was going to be OK. Everybody here at Homeland is grieving, and we will miss him beyond words.” Added 20th Century Fox TV/Fox 21 in a statement: “We were lucky to work with Henry on and off for the past 18 years. He was a supremely talented writer and as kind and warm a person as you could ever meet. He will be deeply missed at the studio and on Homeland. Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and children.” Read More »
Keshet International and Hulu have entered a deal for the second season of Prisoners Of War, the original format upon which Emmy-winning series Homeland is based. The streaming service will run the Israeli show … Read More »
The Golden Globes displayed a split personality on the TV side, going for repeat winners in the drama and longform categories and fresh honorees in comedy. But overall, the night was dominated completely by HBO and Showtime which won all but two TV awards, led by Showtime’s drama Homeland with three, including best drama series; HBO’s Girls with two, including best comedy series; and HBO’s Game Change also with three, including best TV movie/miniseries.
Related: Golden Globes: TV Scorecard
After being largely snubbed at the Emmys, HBO’s Girls had its awards coming-out party tonight, winning both categories it was nominated in: best comedy series and best comedy actress for creator/star Lena Dunham. There have been a lot of parallels drawn between Girls and HBO’s previous edgy comedy about a quartet of single women in New York, Sex And The City. With its double win tonight, Girls is following in the footsteps of Sex And The City, a Hollywood Foreign Press Association darling which won for best comedy series and best comedy actress (Sarah Jessica Parker) an unprecedented three consecutive years. Also getting a first Golden Globe after an Emmy nomination last year was Don Cheadle, star of Showtime’s comedy series House Of Lies. Both Girls and House Of Lies celebrated their wins just as their second seasons kicked off — with the season premieres airing against the Golden Globes. Read More »
With Dexter headed into Season 8 and Californication into Season 6, attention understandably is focused on Showtime’s plans for ending the two series. Both series have found a second wind, hitting some of their best ratings in their … Read More »
At TCA today, Showtime entertainment president David Nevins laid out the pay cable network’s scheduling plans for the rest of 2013. The biggest change is the decision to separate veteran Dexter and Homeland, which have been paired since Homeland‘s launch in fall 2011, helping both shows break ratings records. “Dexter has proved incredibly valuable as a launch pad for Homeland,” Nevins said. “Our plan is to harness (the success) and use the shows to launch the next generation of Showtime drama series.”
Related: It’s Official: Showtime Lands Horror Drama From ‘Skyfall’s John Logan & Sam Mendes
Dexter will get on the air earlier than usual, on June 30 at 9 PM, serving as a lead-in for new crime drama Ray Donovan. The early return has not affected production on Dexter. “There is no less production time, just a little less vacation time between the seasons,” Nevins dais, adding that the drama’s producers and cast had gotten enough lead time to adjust to the scheduling change.
On Sept. 29, “we are employing our crown jewel Homeland to launch Masters Of Sex,” Showtime’s new drama about real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, Nevins said.
Here are month-by-month highlights of Showtime’s original programming slate for the rest of 2013: Read More »
“Everyone was writing our obituary” a few years ago when Showtime cut back on theatrical films and filled more air time with original shows, CEO Matt Blank tells Bloomberg Television today. But with shows such as Dexter and Homeland setting ratings records at the network, and movies becoming … Read More »
Once again, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was far more receptive to new series than the Screen Actors Guild, with a slew of freshmen, including HBO’s Girls, The Newsroom and Veep, NBC’s Smash, ABC’s Nashville, Showtime’s House Of Lies, USA’s Political Animals and Starz’s Magic City landing Golden Globe Award nominations this morning.
Related: 70th Golden Globe Awards Nominations
And once again, pay cable dominated, with HBO (17 nominations) and Showtime (7) finishing as No. 1-No. 2 in the network rankings for a second consecutive year. The two networks also landed the most series noms, 7 each. Showtime’s Homeland was the most nominated series with four noms: for best series, best actor (Damian Lewis), actress (Claire Danes) and a welcome surprise, a first major awards nomination for co-star Mandy Patinkin in the supporting category. (HBO movie Game Change was the most nominated program overall with 5 noms.)
Both top series categories were fluid, with only two returning nominees in both. On the drama side, those were the best drama series winners from the past two years — Showtime’s Homeland and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire — joined by Breaking Bad, landing its long-overdue first best series nomination; PBS’ Downton Abbey, which made a successful transition from the movie/miniseries category, which it won in January, to series; and HBO’s The Newsroom. For Aaron Sorkin’s cable news drama, which also got a nom for star Jeff Daniels, this is the biggest awards recognition so far after landing a nom for Daniels at the SAG Awards. The biggest surprise in the category was the omission of AMC’s Mad Men, which failed to make the best drama category for the first time (it won in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and sat out the last Golden Globes because of a large gap between seasons.) Also out was last year’s nominee Game Of Thrones. Read More »
More than any other awards race, the SAG Awards have proven to be a popularity contest. Alec Baldwin and Betty White have won the best actor/actress in a comedy series SAG Award every year their current shows have been on the air — a whopping six consecutive times for 30 Rock‘s Baldwin and two for Hot In Cleveland‘s Betty White. Both are nominated again, with Baldwin having a chance to complete his streak with a seventh statuette for the seventh and final season of the NBC comedy. With Baldwin and White having a stronghold on the comedy categories, awards darling Modern Family is yet to win an individual award. (It won for best comedy ensemble the past two years). The ABC comedy has three more chances this year as it once again leads the list of series nominees with four noms: best ensemble and best actor/actress mentions for Emmy winners Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet as well as Sofia Vergara. Two-time Emmy winner Julie Bowen, nominated last year, did not make the cut this time.
Related: SAG Awards Nominations Announced
There was very little fresh blood in the series SAG nominations — no Lena Dunham or the Girls cast, no Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Veep, no mention of any new broadcast series. The only first-year shows to land nominations were HBO’s The Newsroom for star Jeff Daniels and USA’s short-lived Political Animals for Sigourney Weaver in the movie/miniseries category.
But the SAG Awards did correct some anomalies from last year. The guild had many scratching their heads last December where it completely ignored Showtime’s drama Homeland, which would go on to dominate the Golden Globes and Emmy Awards. No snub this years as Homeland landed three noms — best ensemble and best actor/actress for Emmy winners Claire Danes and Damian Lewis. Despite four Emmy nominations and two wins, The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons had never received an individual SAG nomination until today. (His show nabbed its second consecutive ensemble nom.) Also, FX’s Louie finally got on the board with a first nomination for creator/star Louis C.K.
Related: SAG Awards Film: What’s Surprising About Who’s In And Who’s Out Read More »
Keshet International, the company behind the original Israeli version of Homeland, has put down stakes in the UK. The distribution arm of Keshet Media Group has hired former Sky and La Plante Productions exec Sara Johnson as … Read More »