Showtime has given the greenlight to a second season of the freshman drama “The Affair” as well as a fifth season of “Homeland,” Showtime President David Nevins announced today. “The Affair” gets a 10-episode order for Season 2, while “Homeland” will be shooting 12 new episodes. Both orders are in line with the previous season totals, and both dramas are currently airing on Sunday nights.
According to the release from Showtime, both shows are building their audience from week-to-week, with the lead-in veteran averaging 6 million weekly viewers across platforms while “The Affair” is attracting 3.9 million on its own. And it really is pulling in those viewers by itself. The freshman series starring Dominic West and Ruth Wilson is getting 87 percent of its audience from viewings after its original airing at 10pm post-“Homeland.”
Figures weren’t provided for how well “Homeland” is doing on its premiere night, but Nevins was still eager to credit the Emmy-winning drama for helping “The Affair” reach its solid ratings figure.
“In its fourth season, ‘Homeland’ has brilliantly reinvented itself. It continues to capture the attention of a devoted fan base, and has provided an enviable platform for the successful launch of ‘The Affair,’” Nevins said. “With thought-provoking, relevant and addictive storylines, both series have been embraced, dissected and much debated week after week. We’re excited to see more from these complex shows in 2015.”
While the above news serves as proof both shows are hitting their necessary marketing targets, at least one renewal may not be in the best interest of quality programming. Showtime, after all, has a habit of holding onto its shows for long after they’ve peaked creatively as long as the ratings remain strong. “Dexter” is the most telling example of all, riding high through four seasons before crashing hard well before it whimpered off the air in 2013, but don’t forget comedies like “Californication” and “Weeds.” Both were hailed in early seasons before being almost entirely forgotten by the end of their runs. Even fans would have to admit these shows lost more and more credibility as the series continued.
While it’s far too soon to say “The Affair” should be going off the air — Sarah Treem said she had three seasons planned in a pre-release interview — it may not be too early to call for an end to “Homeland.” Many thought it should have ended last year when (mild spoiler alert!) a key character left the show, and even if this season has experience a few highs, it’s still hit a number of lows as well.
Should it be back for Season 5? We’ll wait until Season 4 ends before we commit to an answer, even if Showtime didn’t.