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‘Homeland’ Pushed to January: Executive Producer Explains Why That’s Necessary

Howard Gordon, who developed the drama with Alex Gansa, lauds Showtime for giving writers more time.

Claire Danes and Rupert Friend, “Homeland”

Showtime

Homeland” fans are going to have to wait a little longer for Season 6 — but that’s a good thing.

The decision to push the series to January came at the request of executive producer Alex Gansa and his writing team. Showtime usually runs the political thriller in the fall, but instead, that’s when production will commence in New York City.

Gansa is currently busy writing the first episode of the new season, so he was unavailable to discuss the change. Sure, you’re going to have to wait a little longer to learn the fate of Quinn. But executive producer Howard Gordon, who developed the show for U.S. television with Gansa, told IndieWire that the push to January will help the “Homeland” team fully shape next year’s story.

Rupert Friend, "Homeland"

Rupert Friend, “Homeland”

“Time does really help,” he said. “It’s getting the composure for whatever reinvention needs to be done. Bridging what happened and what’s going to happen on the show, it requires sometimes taking wrong turns before it comes together. Alex needed the time and wanted the time.”

READ MORE: How ‘Homeland’ Star Miranda Otto Dug Into the Juiciest Women’s Role on Television

“Homeland” Season 6 takes place during the 70 days between Election Day and the presidential inauguration. “When you’re in that transitional time, when all the instruments of governmental power are being handed from one administration to another, a lot of complications ensue,” said Showtime president David Nevins, who announced the show’s move to January this morning. “‘Homeland’ has proved again and again the outstanding ability to reflect real-world politics that we live in, in America and our very complicated place in the 21st century world.”

As part of the move, Nevins also said that Showtime was close to renewing “Homeland” for a seventh and eighth season.

“This show has the patina, the substance of really wrestling with some complicated ideas narratively,” Gordon said. “That also requires getting things just right, or as right as you can. That also informed the decision to give some more incubation.”

READ MORE: Hooray, Showtime Orders ‘Homeland’ Season 6 and ‘The Affair’ Season 3

Storylines the show is mining include the election, the refugee crisis and the rise of ISIS. “The world has only gotten more complicated,” he said. “Navigating through that is increasingly challenging.”

Gordon is focusing on the launch of Fox’s upcoming “24: Legacy,” but stays in contact with Gansa as the “Homeland” team works on next season. “The way Alex is doing it is really impressive,” he said. “I’m amazed at how assiduous he, Chip [Johannessen], Patrick [Harbinson] and everyone is.”

Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland"

Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”

Showtime

Meanwhile, the “Homeland” move to January may also benefit Showtime, in that viewers may have recovered from the election at that point. Had “Homeland” premiered in the fall as usual, it may have actually been hurt by viewers’ politics fatigue. “I think it does nothing but just increase the appetite for the show,” Gordon said. “It’s not that long a wait.”

With “Homeland” out of fall, Showtime will instead air Season 7 of “Shameless” on Sundays at 9/8c starting October 2. Also, “Masters of Sex” is back with Season 4 on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 10/9c, and the third season of “The Affair” premieres on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 10/9c. The scheduling is part of Showtime’s new strategy to premiere its tentpole series on nearly a monthly basis.

Additionally, Showtime announced the pilot order “White Famous,” from executive producers Jamie Foxx and Tom Kapinos. The show, based on an idea by Foxx, centers on a young African-American comedian who looks to become a crossover success.

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