12:58pm PT by Mikey O'Connell
'Homeland' Ups Trio to Series Regulars for Season 7 (Exclusive)
Homeland is filling the void left by one recently departed star, as the drama has upped actors Jake Weber, Linus Roache and Maury Sterling to series regulars.
All three appeared in the series' sixth season, but Sterling has had recurring status as CIA surveillance expert Max Piotrowski on the Showtime and Fox 21 Television Studios drama since its first season. The promotions come on the heels of one of the show's trio, Rupert Friend, seeing his character killed off at the conclusion of the sixth season.
Weber's promotion, however, might be the most interesting. The actor joined Homeland in its sixth season to play Brett O'Keefe, a volatile and scheming Alex Jones-type character who ended up playing a crucial role in the season's central conspiracy. Showrunner Alex Gansa said that the O'Keefe character was beefed up in the wake of Donald Trump's surprise victory in the 2016 presidential election, which occurred well into production.
For Roach, the promotion only comes after two quick appearances on the most recent finale. He plays David Wellington, the right-hand man to newly inaugurated President Keane (Elizabeth Marvel).
Homeland, renewed for a seventh and eighth (and likely final) season, recently announced that it would be shifting production on the upcoming season to Virginia. It will be the fourth base of operations in as many seasons for Showtime's flagship drama, which has moved from South Africa to Germany to, most recently, New York. Production is scheduled to resume in the fall, with the pay cabler eyeing an early 2018 premiere.
Last week's Emmy nominations left Homeland out of several key categories, but executive producer Lesli Linka Glatter was again nominated for her directorial work, as was supporting actor Mandy Patinkin.
Weber is repped by APA, while Roache is with ICM and Innovative Artists.