Why ‘Homeland’s’ Last Season Won’t Arrive on Showtime Until 2020

If you’ve been waiting to see how Carrie Mathison’s story ends on Homeland, you’ll have to dig in and wait a bit longer. After a (planned) lengthy break between the thriller’s seventh and eighth seasons, Showtime executives announced we wouldn’t see the finale until the fall.

At that point, Showtime cited production demands overseas as the reason for the spy show starting later than planned. (Originally, fans expected to see the last season’s premiere in June of this year.)

But now the show will go a full two years before the final installment kicks off. According to Showtime President of Entertainment Gary Levine, the multiple countries on the show’s shooting schedule have forced producers to take longer than they believed they’d need.

Though Levine insisted there have been “no missteps” while making Homeland’s Season Eight, the show will not make it to air until early 2020

A ‘very ambitious’ shooting schedule means a February 2020 premiere.

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in HOMELAND (Season 7, Episode 12, “Paean to the People”). | Kata Vermes/SHOWTIME

Showtime executives spoke with the media at Television Critics Association (TCA) sessions at the start of August. “Homeland is an ambitious series, and especially in its final season,” Levine told the press (per Deadline). “Alex Gansa wants to go out proudly, and he’s going to.”

While production delays could lead some to believe there have been creative issues (i.e., with the storyline or acting), Levine maintained that wasn’t the case. He simply said it took more time that the network hoped it would.

However, Levine suggested the flip side meant good news for Homeland fans. “One of the things we do at Showtime is, we’d rather have it good than fast,” he said. On February 9, 2020, fans will get a chance to screen the first episode of the show’s final season.

Given the clues we’ve gotten about the plot, it’s not unreasonable to expect great things from Homeland on its way out.

‘Homeland’ heads back to the Middle East for its last stand.

Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson and Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison HOMELAND | Sifeddine Elamine/SHOWTIME.

While Homeland also shot (as usual) at various U.S. locations this season, the main attraction will be the Middle Eastern countries where Carrie (Claire Danes) has battled so intensely in the past. This time around, she’s still recovering from her long stint in a Russian prison.

However, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin) needs her back in action in the Middle East. After the Taliban manages to get its hands on Saul, Carrie has to devise a way to get her mentor out of his latest bind.

Given the nature of spycraft and the longstanding suspicions about Carrie within the agency, it makes sense why she’s once again accused of “working for the enemy.”

Homeland fans probably wouldn’t have it any other way. While waiting until 2020 isn’t ideal, knowing the show will go out on its own terms must be satisfying.

As Levine said earlier in the year, the show will deliver “a breathless, surprising and moving ride to its conclusion.” If Gansa and his team deliver on that promise, there won’t be any complaints come February.

Also see: Claire Danes: How Much is the ‘Homeland’ Star Worth in 2019?