11:43am PT by Michael O'Connell
Showtime Renews 'Homeland' for a Third Season
Showtime is sticking with Homeland.
Although it should come as little surprise after winning big at this year's Emmys and returning to 1.73 million viewers in September, Showtime on Monday announced its third-season renewal of the Fox 21 drama.
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Hitting a series high Sunday night with 1.75 million viewers, Homeland's original outings are outperforming its freshman run. That season averaged 4.4 million weekly viewers across platforms -- DVR, on-demand, encores, streaming -- and had the strongest finale for a freshman season (5 million across platforms) in network history. The season two premiere thus far has netted 5.2 million viewers across platforms.
Homeland, from executive producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, is loosely based on the Israeli series Prisoners of War. It has won a devoted fan base that includes President Obama and Bill Clinton and is considered a contributing factor in the network's 1.1 million-subscriber gain this year, which gives it a total of 20.5 million.
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Homeland took home six Emmys last month, including outstanding drama series, writing and lead acting nods for stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes. It also won the top drama prize during at 2012 Golden Globe Awards in January.
“The Emmy wins for Homeland have certainly set the stage for a great second season,” said Showtime Networks president of entertainment David Nevins, who ordered the show within days of taking the job in 2010. “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."
The third season of Homeland will consist of 12 one-hour episodes, with production set to begin in the spring. Among the questions as the series moves ahead is whether the six-member writing staff -- which Fox 21 president Bert Salke has dubbed a "murderer's row" -- will remain intact. (Gordon has a cadre of broadcast efforts in development, and Meredith Stiehm has The Bridge in contention at FX.)
The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman recently called the current season "one of the best high-wire acts put on the small screen."