Battles, Backlash, CIA Meetings
by Michael O’Connell | Hollywood Reporter | January 16, 2019
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Damian Lewis and the creators of the era-defining Showtime drama — now entering its eighth and final season — reveal in The Hollywood Reporter’s oral history never-told tales of a show that smashed records, captivated presidents and predicted everything from terrorist attacks to Russian election hacks.
“What keeps you up at night?” That’s the question Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa annually posed to Washington insiders before putting fingers to keyboard on a season of his Emmy-winning Showtime drama.
What began as a slick spy thriller driven by a potent sexual chemistry, courtesy of leads Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, evolved into an exposé on the greatest dangers to an America that finally had some distance from 9/11. Threats from ISIS, the surveillance state and Russian interference punctuated clandestine meetings with the intelligence community — part of a yearly writers and cast symposium in D.C. affectionately dubbed “Spy Camp.”
The series, loosely developed from an Israeli format by Gansa and longtime collaborator Howard Gordon (24), became an instant and bona fide success when it premiered in 2011 to 2.8 million viewers and unanimous critical acclaim. Boasting a murderers’ row of writers, each a showrunner at one time, the drama catapulted Showtime and studio Fox 21 to an echelon of prestige TV they previously couldn’t reach. It swept its first Emmys (with six awards total) and those first seasons had both the Obamas and Clintons soliciting screeners.
Continue reading Homeland Declassified: An Oral History of Never Told Tales – Jan 16, 2020
Both Billions and Homeland Make the List
by Staff | Los Angeles Times | January 1, 2020
Television … now more than ever: To paraphrase the satirical film studio slogan of Robert Altman’s “The Player,” TV’s dominant mode these days is the avalanche, the deluge, the endless binge. But even amid the clutter of 500-some scripted and countless unscripted series, there’s plenty to be excited about, including originals from nascent (or still-to-be-launched) platforms like Apple TV+, HBO Max and Quibi. Let the Times TV team help you plan your viewing schedule with this list of our 20 most anticipated new and returning shows of 2020.
The searing drama about the high-stakes battle between federal government watchdog Charles Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and cocky billionaire Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis) incorporated a clever twist in its fourth season when Axe became consumed with destroying his former protégé, Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillion), who left him to form their own hedge fund firm. In a complicated scheme, Axe blackmailed Taylor and wiped them out, forcing them to return to Axe’s firm. Though Taylor is chastened, they vow to work from within to take down Axe and Rhoades, setting up another lethal war. Upping the ante are Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”) and Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”), who join the cast. (Showtime, TBA) —Greg Braxton
Continue reading Our 20 Most Eagerly Awaited TV Shows of 2020 – Jan 1, 2020
Homeland Makes All the Decade Lists
Political Comedy, Drama Defined the Decade
by Hal Boedeker | Boston Herald | December 31, 2019
It was the decade of Game of Thrones, peak drama, political comedy and superhero films. Here are a few works that defined 2010-19. Showtime’s Homeland started explosively with a twisty story of treason that still resonates in the culture. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis were exceptional. The final season begins February 9, 2020. The way that films and TV series are shown may change, but first-rate storytelling cannot be replaced. On that score, the decade offered reasons to hope.
Decade Disruptors: The 10 Most Influential International TV Shows Of The 2010s, From Hyper-Local Thrillers To Euro Entertainment
by Peter White | Deadline | December 31, 2019
The 2010s was the decade that foreign-language television broke through the global ceiling and got Hollywood to notice the quality of content coming from all corners of the world. While Danish drama The Killing (Forbrydelsen) and French thrillers Braquo and Spiral began inching the door open in the “aughties,” hyper local titles and the booming streaming market means that Netflix subscribers are just as likely to binge Spanish drama La Casa De Papel (Money Heist) or German supernatural thriller Dark as they are the new season of The Crown.
Netflix’s VP International Originals Kelly Luegenbiehl recently told a London conference that “Hollywood is not the be-all and end-all of storytelling,” and “this is really just the beginning.” Georgia Brown, European content chief at Amazon, agreed that “language is kind of irrelevant now.” It’s not just the SVODs that are helping this boom; linear broadcasters around the world have realized that specifically local titles stand more chance of becoming hits than global puddings. Many broadcasters, such as European public stations France Televisions, Italy’s Rai and Germany’s ZDF, are also teaming up to match the budgets of the streamers.
Continue reading Homeland Over the Decade – Dec 31, 2019
The Most Shocking Character Deaths and Actor Exits of the 2010’s
by Jean Bentley | Hollywood Reporter | December 19, 2019
In the age of social media, it’s even more impressive that these major developments were kept under wraps.
Surprising savvy TV viewers is increasingly more difficult now that there are 500-plus scripted series airing each year — and that’s not even taking into account the ways in which social media makes it nearly impossible for a production to preserve a meaningful secret for viewers across time zones.
But somehow, plenty of series throughout the exploding age of Peak TV managed to shock audiences with major cast shake-ups. Whether it was Game of Thrones ruthlessly informing its non book-reader viewers that no one was safe; a major contract dispute ending poorly for an actor; a real-life tragedy; or a popular performer deciding to move on, there were many reasons why shows shook up their core casts by killing off beloved (and occasionally reviled) characters.
Here are some of the most notable examples of the biggest actor exits and character deaths of the 2010s. (Spoilers ahead, obviously.) Continue reading Decade in Review, Nick Brody – Dec 19, 2019