Homeland helped put Showtime on the map as a prime place to be in primetime, but all good things must come to an end. After months of rumors that Homeland's end is nigh, Showtime has come out with a confirmation. Homeland will indeed end after the finale of its eighth season, and there's both good news and bad news to come with that announcement.
The bad news is, of course, that a limited number of episodes are left before Carrie Mathison's last adventure comes to an end (and gives leading lady Claire Danes a break from all the intensity). While some fans may feel that the time has come for Homeland to end rather than stretch its premise to the breaking point, there's still undoubtedly some sadness among viewers that the next finale will be a series rather than season finale.
The good news is that there's still a full season to look forward to. The Season 7 finale aired back in April, and Season 8 has yet to premiere. Fans don't have to deal with this news coming shortly before the final episodes, as has been the case with some recent cancellations. They'll be able to go into Season 8 fully prepared for the end. There's no guarantee that the Homeland producers won't make the frustrating decision to end on a cliffhanger, but at least viewers can ready themselves to say the last goodbye.
Season 8 has yet to be shot and will not air until June 2019, which should mean that the folks behind the scenes will have the time and freedom to tie off loose strings and deliver closure on at least some of the stories. In the aftermath of the Season 7 finale, Homeland showrunner Alex Gansa stated that Season 8 will take the characters out of D.C. and back overseas, with the focus more intelligence-based. Season 8 will reportedly get to "the emotional heart of things" and allow the show to start fresh, with a "fairly big time jump" from Season 7 to Season 8. The plan at the time was to set the story in Israel, but Gansa did not confirm Israel as the location.
The official news of Homeland's ending comes courtesy of Showtime president David Nevins at the Television Critics Association summer press tour (via TVLine), and he put it this way:
[Exec producer] Alex Gansa will be bringing this show, which has won eight Emmys and five Golden Globes, to its proper conclusion. I cannot say enough about how much Homeland has meant for the acceleration of our brand, not to mention to me personally. It was, in fact, the first show that I greenlit when I came to Showtime... Alex and Claire both started talking about it towards the end of last season. I asked, 'Are you sure? Let's think about it.' But when they were resolved, it seemed like it was the right time. The two of them finally made the decision.
Alex Gansa and Claire Danes have apparently been on board with Homeland closing its final chapter for a while now. We can only hope that they and the rest of the team manages to craft a final season that does justice to the wild ride that has been Homeland. Season 8 will run for 12 episodes and premiere next summer.