'Homeland' Season 4 Trailer Debuts; Alex Gansa Talks Emmy Snub, Israel, Moving On
The showrunner discusses the new direction for the series, cracks wise about Dana Brody and sounds off on negative press: "The criticism hurt. The lack of an Emmy nomination hurt."
There was a lot to come out of Homeland's return to the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Friday afternoon. After debuting the first trailer for the Brody-free season (below), showrunner Alex Gansa addressed Emmy snubs, moving on without his male lead and how the Showtime series dodged a bullet by filming in South Africa this season.
But first, Gansa greeted the room of critics, many of them harsh on the last two seasons of the show, with a healthy dose of self-deprecation.
"It was a painful and sad loss for Homeland," he said, implying that he was talking about Damian Lewis' departure. "This was a character people loved to hate and hated to love. It's someone who we miss on set every day. And I can say that Dana Brody will not be back for season four."
Dana (Morgan Saylor), of course, is the divisive daughter to Lewis' Nicholas Brody. She leaves the series with the rest of the surviving Brody clan, which Gansa assured everyone would "probably not" ever appear again.
Gansa, joined by writers and executive producers Alex Cary and Meredith Stiehm, spent most of the panel looking forward to the coming season — though there were the obligatory questions about criticism that the most recent episodes and the lack of a best drama nomination for the one-time winner.
"I don't know how you can look at the last six episodes last season and not say Homeland is one of the best shows on television," said Gansa, admitting his bias. "The criticism hurt. The lack of an Emmy nomination hurt."
Season four picks up in Pakistan, with Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) back in the field. The trailer quickly shows a picture of her with her child, but the baby won't be appearing in the series — at least not yet.
"I think she's got a lot of grieving to do," said Gansa. "That baby exists for her as a marker emotionally. The place she is now is where you cannot have dependents, so she was forced to leave the child at home. … I think emotionally she has stabilized and the mental illness we have dealt with, she has now dealt with."
Homeland's producers opted for the Cape Town shooting locale for several reasons: There are many Pakistani and Indian expats, it has a booming infrastructure for film and TV and it has what Cary called a "patina of foreignness."
Cape Town, in hindsight, also looks a lot better than the alternative.
"We spent two weeks talking about setting the show in Israel this year," said Gansa, noting the recent turmoil at the Gaza Strip that's halted and displaced TV production in the country. "I can tell you I'm very glad we didn't."
Homeland returns to Showtime on Oct. 5.