‘Homeland’ Showrunner Alex Gansa on Emmy Race: ‘May the Best Show Win’

Homeland’s” season three finale left both audiences and characters reeling from Brody’s (Damian Lewis) death. But with season four beginning production in South Africa next month, showrunner Alex Gansa talked to Variety about what’s next for Carrie (Claire Danes) without Brody in her life.

“It is mostly a Carrie story,” Gansa said. “Saul figures into the narrative in a very, very important way.”

Carrie will be a station chief based in Islamabad and Kabul, Gansa said in a post-screening Q&A moderated by ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent & “The Week” Special Contributor Martha Raddatz. That’s all he would say for fear of revealing too much.

Writers have been in the story room since mid-January, so even Danes isn’t entirely sure what’s next for her character. Carrie’s pregnancy, however, will most likely play a large role in the way she handles herself in the upcoming season, both physically and mentally.

“I think [the child] is going to be a big theme for her emotionally,” Danes said. “I think she probably escapes into her job. I think she hurls herself at it as a way to avoid some unresolved, very painful feelings to do with Brody.”

As audiences know, Carrie has dealt with the ups and downs that come with her bipolar disorder. Next season will be no different.

“The pendulum is always swinging, and even if she’s composed and kind of coherent we have to anticipate the possibility of some rupture,” Danes said.

“Carrie’s mental condition and her bipolar illness is always part of the story,” Gansa added, “and she will be dealing with that again in season four.”

Earlier this year HBO announced that “True Detective” had switched categories for the Emmys and would compete for best drama instead of miniseries. But “True Detective” isn’t the only cable show to make the move, as Showtime’s other hit show, “Shameless” has also switched to the best comedy category.

Gansa, who is a huge fan of “True Detective” (he even watches it live, week-to-week, instead of binge watching), said that at the end of the day, it’s not about the categories, it’s about the quality of the shows.

“[“True Detective”] deserves to be in the category it thinks it should be in,” Gansa said. “I have no feelings about it one way or the other.”

“It’s like, may the best show win,” he added.

During a post-screening Q&A, Gansa said the show was becoming a single-lead show, which differs from the previous three seasons in which audiences watched multiple characters lead the screen. Gansa and Danes acknowledged binge-watching, but both agreed that the phenomenon doesn’t affect the way the writers tell the story.

“We’re just trying to tell a compelling narrative from beginning to end,” Gansa said.

“Cable doesn’t have to leave breaks for commercials, so there’s these very contained units that can be sewn together very easily,” Danes added. “It’s nice because it becomes more reminiscent of reading a novel or something.”

Production on “Homeland” begins in June in South Africa, where Gansa revealed that Johannesburg will double for Islamabad. He also added, “South Africa has a very big tax break.”

Dana Walden, Martha Raddatz, Alex Gansa, Claire Danes and David Nevins(Dana Walden, Martha Raddatz, Alex Gansa, Claire Danes and David Nevins)
 

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