Why Is the Final Season of ‘Homeland’ Getting Pushed Back in 2019?

If you feel a pang in your heart when a great series departs from TV, 2019 could be a rough year. That’s because fans will say goodbye to Game of Thrones and Veep on HBO before bidding farewell to Homeland on Showtime.

In brief, you will see three of the best shows of the decade disappearing in the space of six months. While we know HBO will air its two departing shows in the spring, the word from Showtime was we’d get to dig back into Homeland by the summer (June, actually).

But the date for the spy thriller will be pushed back, Showtime’s president of programming Gary Levine announced last week. As reported by TV Line, the new schedule from the network will have Homeland appearing in the fall, which would push the series finale close to the holidays.

Overseas ‘production demands’ cited

Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson and Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland (Season 5, Episode 9, “The Litvinov Ruse”). | Stephan Rabold/SHOWTIME

In a word, Homeland is now slated to start its final, 12-episode season three-to-four months later than expected due to issues with overseas production. Levine cited the “demands” of scheduling shoots and staging scenes abroad as the reason for pushing back the premiere of its signature show. (Homeland remains even more popular than the excellent Billions.)

As was previously reported, the show’s producers decided to abandon the D.C. and New York locations of recent seasons in order to get back to foreign locales. The eighth installment will use Afghanistan as a primary setting, with those scenes shooting in Morocco, TV Line reported.

The last time we saw Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) abroad (Season Five), she was working in private security in Germany while raising her young daughter and struggling to maintain a relationship. Some attempts on her life eventually led to her saving a wayward Peter Quinn (and, later, an attack on a German train station).

Back in Season Four was the last time she worked in the Middle East. (At the time, she was Kabul’s CIA station chief.) This season returns her back to that tense spot on the map. Showtime execs promise plenty of excitement ahead.

A ‘surprising and moving ride’ to the show’s conclusion

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in HOMELAND (Season 7, Episode 11, “All In”). | Kata Veinrmes/Showtime

How do you end a classic show like Homeland? Do you take the David Chase route with The Sopranos or eschew ambiguity for a explosion-filled finale? Whatever the Homeland producers have planned, they haven’t offered any hints. However, we know the show doesn’t shy away from fireworks, so we’d expect more of the same.

According to Levine, who read some of the early scripts, the show will deliver “a breathless, surprising and moving ride to its conclusion.” All things considered, Homeland fans can’t ask for more than that.

Though the time jumps ahead a few years and removes Carrie from the concerns of D.C., the show will be bringing back familiar characters — from the last time we saw her in Afghanistan.

If you were wondering, the early February headlines about the U.S. war in Afghanistan should settle any concerns about whether the final season will be as timely as the previous seven.

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