Fans have been looking forward with eager anticipation to the return of Homeland for season 8 since Showtime CEO David Nevins confirmed at the 2018 Television Critics Association (TCA) summer press tour that the upcoming season would be the final installment of the series.
Showtime announced the renewal of the hit drama series for seasons 7 and 8 back in August 2016 before confirming in August 2018 that Homeland season 8 would be the last installment in the series.
Ahead of the return of the hotly-anticipated political spy thriller, we bring you everything we know so far about Homeland season 8, including release date, trailers, cast, plot, and more.
We will also be updating this page with new details, including casting announcements, teasers and trailers, and other news, ahead of the launch of the new season.
Homeland season 8 release date
Showtime CEO David Nevins announced at the August 2018 TCA summer press tour in Beverly Hills that Homeland season 8 will begin production in February 2019, and premiere in June 2019.
Seasons 1-5 of the series all premiered in September-October. Only seasons 6 and 7 premiered in January and February respectively. The pattern of past launch dates has led some fans to speculate that the premiere date for Homeland season 8 could still be moved from June to the fall of 2019.
However, this is only speculation. Showtime has not announced a change in the expected premiere date for the upcoming season.
Like all previous seasons of the series, Homeland season 8 is expected to consist of 12 episodes.
Nevins also confirmed at the 2018 TCA summer press tour that Homeland season 8 would be the final season of the series.
Homeland season 8 details
Homeland was developed for an American audience by Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, and is based on the Israeli series Prisoners of War (“Hatufim”), created by Gideon Raff.
Homeland season 8 is also executive produced by Gansa and Gordon, alongside Deb Cahn, Lesli Linka Glatter, Chip Johannessen, Claire Danes, Patrick Harbinson, Michael Klick, Avir Nir, Gideon Raff, and Ran Telem.
The series, produced by Fox 21 Television Studios for Showtime, stars Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress Claire Danes, and Tony and Emmy winner Mandy Patinkin.
Claire Danes plays the bipolar CIA operative Carrie Mathison.
Homeland follows Mathison’s adventures as she hunts terrorists and Russian spies trying to harm the United States.
Audience and critical Response
Since it premiered in October 2011, Homeland has won multiple Emmys, including Outstanding Lead Actress (Claire Danes) and Actor (Damian Lewis) in a Drama Series, Outstanding Drama Series, and Outstanding Writing (Alex Gansa, Henry Bromell, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff).
The series has also won Golden Globe, Peabody, Critics’ Choice, AFI, and TCA Awards.
Homeland has received positive critical reviews, with season 1 scoring an approval rating of 100% (based on 30 reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes. Season 2 scored an approval rating of 95% based on 41 critical reviews.
Overall, the series earned a generally favorable Metascore of 92 (based on 28 critical reviews) on Metacritic.
Homeland premiered on Showtime to enthusiastic audience response. An estimated 1.08 million watched the first episode of the series on Showtime, making it the network’s highest-rated season premiere in eight years. The season 1 finale drew 1.7 million viewers, also making it Showtime’s most-watched season finale ever at the time.
Homeland season 1 averaged a 0.5 rating in the key 18-49 demographic and drew an average of 1.25 million viewers. The ratings increased significantly in season 2, which averaged 0.8 in the key 18-49 demo and 1.92 million average viewers.
Homeland season 8 is the last installment of the series
Showtime president Nevins announced at the August 2018 TCA summer press tour in Beverly Hills that Homeland would end after season 8.
He explained that the decision to end the series with season 8 was a joint decision by Gansa and Danes.
“Alex and Claire both started talking about it towards the end of last season,” Nevins said, “but the two of them finally made the decision.”
He said he tried to dissuade them but they had made up their minds to end the series.
“I said, ‘Are you sure? Let’s think about it. Let’s take a few months to sleep on this,'” he continued. “But when they were resolved, it seemed like it was the right time.”
The announcement by Nevins wasn’t unexpected. During an interview on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM show in April 2018, Claire Danes had appeared to confirm previously circulating rumors about the imminent end of the series.
“Yeah that’s it,” Danes (Carrie Mathison) said in response to Stern’s question whether season 8 would be the last of the Showtime series.
She added that she felt conflicted about ending the show.
But later in June 2018, Danes appeared to walk back her previous comments, saying that Homeland could continue “indefinitely.”
“As I said, it’s the kind of show that could continue going on indefinitely because it’s a strange model,” she said. “It’s an unusual model. It can mutate in ways a lot of shows can’t. “
Gansa had earlier talked about the imminent end of the series in 2016, before Homeland season 7 premiered.
“It’s definitely going to be my last year,” he said. “I can’t speak for Claire or Mandy, but it will be my final year and it will be designed to be the end of an eight-season story.”
Homeland season 8: Production
Showtime renewed Homeland for seasons 7 and 8 in August 2018.
Production on Homeland season 8, the final season of the series, is expected to start in February 2019, ahead of an expected June 2019 premiere.
Gansa had shared in April 2018 that Homeland season 8 would be shot overseas.
“Season 8 will be overseas somewhere,” he said. “We get to play a story with larger national stakes in season 7 and we’ll go back to a smaller intelligence-based season in 8.”
Gansa had initially revealed in April 2018 that Homeland season 8 story will be set in Israel where earlier episodes of the series (season 2) had been filmed. He also shared that the season 8 storyline would be a new and self-contained story, and that there would be a “fairly big time jump,” following the events of Homeland season 7.
“We’re going to start fresh in season 8 and probably do a fairly big time jump between 7 and 8,” he added.
But Danes later hinted that Homeland season 8 might not return to Israel.
“I think Alex fantasized about creating symmetry by ending the season in Israel because it was an Israeli show that our show was based on, and we shot a fair amount in Israel over the first couple of seasons,” Danes told IndieWire. “But I don’t know how realistic that is or if he’s still loyal to [it].”
Gansa eventually confirmed in January 2019 that Homeland season 8 will be set in Afghanistan, and that shooting will take place in Morocco.
According to TVLine, Homeland season 8 will see Danes’ Carrie Mathison returning to Afghanistan to continue her fight against terror.
Production of Homeland season 8 will take place on location in Morocco, Showtime has confirmed. The North African country Morocco will be substituting for Afghanistan.
Fans will recall that Homeland season 4, which was also set in Afghanistan, was shot in Cape Town, South Africa. Mathison was then the CIA station chief in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Homeland seasons 6 and 7 were set in New York City and Washington D.C. respectively.
Homeland season 8 trailer
An official trailer for Homeland season 8 is still a long way off. We will update this page when Showtime drops the trailer.
Meanwhile, enjoy the trailer for season 7, released on December 12, 2017, two months before the season premiered on February 11, 2018.
If Showtime follows the same schedule for season 7, fans can expect the official trailer for season 8 to be released in the spring or summer of 2019, depending on the final release date for Homeland season 8.
Homeland season 8 cast
The cast for Homeland season 8 will include Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a CIA operative with bipolar disorder, and Mandy Patinkin as Mathison’s mentor and friend Saul Berenson.
Showtime has also confirmed that Numan Acar will return to Homeland for season 8 as Haissam Haqqani, while Nimrat Kaur will return as Tasneem Qureshi.
Fans will recall that Acar and Kaur played Haqqani and Qureshi in Homeland season 4, when Carrie was in Pakistan. Homeland season 4 was set in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Qureshi (Kaur) was a member of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence who was able to use the ambassador’s husband to infiltrate the U.S. embassy in Pakistan.
Haqqani (Acar) played a Taliban leader who, after being tipped off by Qureshi, planned and launched an attack on the U.S. embassy.
The return of the characters is a strong indication that Homeland season 8 will also be entirely or partly set in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Kaur’s credits include her role as Ila in The Lunchbox (2013). She appeared as Rebecca Yedlin on Wayward Pines (TV series 2015-2016), with Jason Patric as Dr. Theo Yedlin. She also played Amrital Katyal in Airlift (2016).
Acar played Nuri Sekerci in In the Fade (2017) and Mullah Razan in 12 Strong (2018). He will play Hakim in the upcoming Aladdin (2019), starring Will Smith as Genie. He will also play Magnum in Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019).
Other members of the cast who may return for Homeland season 8 include F. Murray Abraham as Dar Adal, Elizabeth Marvel as President Elizabeth Keane, Maury Sterling as Max Piotrowksi, Linus Roache as White House Chief of Staff David Wellington, and Jake Weber as Brett O’Keefe.
Homeland season 8 plot
Homeland season 7 finale episode, “Paean to the People,” ended with Carrie captured by Yevgeny Gromov (Costa Ronin). She was held without access to her medication for several months. By the time she was released as part of a prisoner exchange, she was in such a bad state that she could hardly recognize her friend and mentor Saul.
Gansa had originally announced in 2017 that Homeland season 8 would continue the story started in Homeland season 7. But he revealed in April 2018 that they had changed plans and that Homeland season 8 will introduce a new self-contained story, and that there will be a significant time jump after the events of season 7.
And while season 7 was set in Washington D.C., Homeland will still go abroad for the last season of the series.
Gansa also announced in April 2018 that season 8 would be set in Israel. The plan was that Homeland season 8 would return to Israel to signal the series coming full circle.
“This show began in Israel, and there’s something poetic about going back to that part of the world in the show,” Gansa said.”So we’ve been thinking, just in a thematic way, that it might be nice to end the show set in Israel.”
But that plan has also changed. TVLine reported in January 7, 2019 that Homeland season 8 will return to its season 4 setting in Afghanistan and that production will take place on location in Morocco.
Season 7 ended with Mathison in a bad state of mental health after being held by the Russians for seven months without access to her medication.
With her mental health condition at the end of season 7 having deteriorated so much that she could not even recognize Berenson, fans might wonder how she is able to immediately return to the field for season 8.
But as we mentioned earlier, Gansa has revealed that season 8 will start after a significant lapse of time following the events of season 7. This gives Mathison time to recover her health.
And while season 8 could offer flashbacks of the immediate aftermath of the ending of season 7, fans will be introduced to a fresh storyline in which Mathison returns overseas to continue her interminable struggle against terrorism.
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