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Homeland Overhauled – Feb 28, 2018

Six Shows That Were Seriously Overhauled After Their Stars Left

by Sam Ashurst & Morgan Jeffery | Digital Spy | February 28, 2018

If it’s broke, try to fix it. No one can do the same job forever, and actors are more keen to stretch their legs than most – doing different things is basically the job description. But sometimes telly shows want to carry on after their star leaves, going to drastic lengths to extend their shelf life.

Here’s some shows that managed to survive losing their star, thanks to some major plot overhauls.

Damian Lewis – Homeland

Source: Showtime

Damian Lewis was very much at the heart of Homeland when it started out – the first season was all about the investigation into his character Nick Brody, a US marine who’d been corrupted by terrorists, while the second run saw him exposed as a traitor and explored his redemption.

Come the third season, though, it was clear that the show’s writers were running out of things to do with him. Lewis appeared in just half of that year’s 12 episodes as a fugitive Brody, before Homeland took the bold decision to kill him off.

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A Forensic Analysis of Homeland – Feb 8, 2018

Homeland: Is the CIA Drama Actually Any Good? (A Forensic Investigation)

by Gavin Haynes | The Guardian | February 8, 2018

Source: Showtime – Photo: Everett/Rex Features

We armed our writer with some DVDs and a few cups of coffee and he came back with a definitive answer to one of TV’s biggest unanswered questions. Homeland is famous for two things: Claire Danes’ capacity to act by wobbling her face, and being maddeningly uneven. Terrorists come and go: who could tell a Bibi Hamed from a Saad Massoud in the long game? But inconsistency remains. So as the show resumes later this month, when you look at it across six seasons, is Homeland actually any good? The question has never quite been resolved. Until now. Six seasons, one metric. Goodness.

Season One

UPSIDE

What’s striking now about Homeland’s debut is how slow it is. Rather than what it became – a frantic hail of bullets falling amid a fog of sarin gas – this is a psychological turn about the alienation of a returning PoW.

DOWNSIDE

A climax that’s a touch random. Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) attempts to turn the vice president into strawberry jam with his suicide vest, before mammalian evolutionary programming saves the day, via a last-minute phone call from his teenage daughter – as if The Godfather climaxed with the Monty Python foot coming down on Michael Corleone.

Verdict: 57% good

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After “Homeland,” Damian Lewis Looked To His Past To Plan His Future

Damian at the 2015 TCA Winter Press Tour

The Homeland alum relied on two decades of invaluable Hollywood lessons to tackle lead roles in a pair of new television projects, BBC Two’s period drama Wolf Hall and Showtime’s high-finance pilot Billions.

When Damian Lewis faced the press on Jan. 19, for the first time since he was killed off Showtime’s Homeland in December 2013, the 43-year-old still bore an uncanny resemblance to Sgt. Nicholas Brody, thanks to his close-cropped hair, rigid posture, and clean-shaven face. But it quickly became clear that, on the inside, he couldn’t be more different than the man who signed on to the series in 2011.

Thanks to Homeland, Lewis — who calls himself an “autodidact” — was afforded some incredibly unique learning experiences. “I love doing projects where there’s something to be learned,” Lewis told BuzzFeed News, sitting at the far end of a long, empty dining room table of an ornate hotel conference room in Pasadena, California. To properly bring Brody to life, he studied the Qur’an and learned about the Islamic faith and the experiences of U.S. Marines deployed in Afghanistan. “The wonderful thing about acting is you can be on a 40-year university course.”

But Lewis has also grown through the wisdom gleaned from his own professional mistakes — again, most recently through his role on Homeland, for which he won an Emmy Award in 2012.

Lewis’ character, Nicholas Brody — an American prisoner of war who was rescued and returned home a changed man (not so spoiler alert: He was a sleeper agent for the enemy) — was not designed to remain on the series indefinitely. But when the show clicked with critics and fans took a shine to Brody’s burgeoning relationship with CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), the creators’ initial plan was scrapped. But by the third season, many viewers had grown weary of the duo’s increasingly operatic romantic entanglements and the character was, as initially planned, killed off in a brutal and shocking death scene.

“He had to go,” Lewis said, without hesitation. “When I took the show, I was really of the understanding I would only be there for two years. I stayed for a third season because TV rollover came into play: ‘This is our show and we can’t get rid of him.’ I think the one area of the story the writers weren’t clear would work was this relationship. So when it worked, they were ambushed by success of that central storyline and they had a problem because people were now tuning in to see this relationship.

“We set out to make a different drama: a show about the flawed characters at the center of a flawed central intelligence agency that is protecting the interests of a flawed country in the name of a flawed idea — which is called democracy — against a bunch of radical, violent people. This was our big central idea and [then we had] people tuning because they want to see if these people are going to get together or not.”

A Brody-less Season 4 of Homeland premiered in October 2014 to promising reviews, as hopeful critics noted the show looked to be returning to its roots. That promise paid off — in spades — as Homeland experienced a complete creative resurrection. “I think they did a brilliant job of just extricating themselves, tiptoeing away from the situation,” Lewis said of the fourth season, which went on to earn rave reviews. “What they’ve been able to do in Season 4 is get back to the nuts and bolts of the CIA and this great, brilliant, flawed character, the manic-depressive at the center of it all.”

Homeland’s presence is still felt in Lewis’ life. “It can be aggressive, that kind of adulation,” he said, crossing his arms and leaning back in his chair. “People can go a little bit crazy, so there’s quite a lot of manhandling in the streets. Now I know what it must have been like to be Brad Pitt for an entire lifetime, ever since he did that scene in Thelma and Louise where he took his top off — I’m straight and that scene did it for me as well. There’s a very small group of people who have lived at that elevation and at times it was overwhelming, but I’ve enjoyed slightly calmer waters subsequently.”

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After “Homeland,” Damian Lewis Looked To His Past To Plan His Future, Buzzfeed, January 20, 2015

After “Homeland,” Damian Lewis Looked To His Past To Plan His Future

The Homeland alum relied on two decades of invaluable Hollywood lessons to tackle lead roles in a pair of new television projects, BBC Two’s period drama Wolf Hall and Showtime’s high-finance pilot Billions.

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Emmys: ‘Homeland’s’ Damian Lewis on Brody’s Brutal End and Viewers’ Reactions (Q&A), The Hollywood Reporter, June 2, 2014

Emmys: ‘Homeland’s’ Damian Lewis on Brody’s Brutal End and Viewers’ Reactions (Q&A)

9:00 AM PDT 6/2/2014 by Ray Richmond

Showtime, Damian Lewis on “Homeland’

The actor reflects on the demise of his controversial character, the show’s passionate fan base and the thrill of playing “a baddie.”

Continue reading Emmys: ‘Homeland’s’ Damian Lewis on Brody’s Brutal End and Viewers’ Reactions (Q&A), The Hollywood Reporter, June 2, 2014