Why Homeland's Final Season Has Been Delayed Until 2020

Homeland Carrie Mathison Claire Danes Showtime
(Image credit: Showtime)

Why has the premiere for Homeland’s final season been delayed until February 2020? Fans of the Showtime series have been enduring a considerable wait for Season 8, only to learn the series’ final installment will not arrive until early next year. Leading one to wonder why that is. Well, there is a reasonable explanation.

Going out on a high-note takes time. At the TCA summer tour, Showtime’s entertainment president, Gary Levine, explained the hold-up. It turns out that Homeland’s multi-location production is part of the worthwhile wait. Homeland’s creator has a lot planned. Here's what Levine said (via TVLine):

Homeland is an ambitious series — especially in its final season. [Showrunner] Alex [Gansa] wants to go out proudly, and that has involved production in multiple countries at times and in places that have some issues. It just takes time. There have been no missteps. It’s been a relatively smooth process. But it’s a very ambitious production schedule and it has taken more time than we [anticipated].

This makes a lot of sense. Traversing the world to deliver an epic final season takes time. Hence, Homeland’s delay. Showtime’s entertainment president reassures that there have been “no missteps.” Indicating that the series has not run into anything wrong. In other assuring news, he said that Homeland’s showrunner is prepping the show to go “out proudly.”

Having to bring a final chapter home requires a lot of effort. As multiple shows that have ended their runs can likely tell you. It sounds like it should be worth the wait, and what is a little extra time? Once Homeland is over ... sadly, it is over.

News of this most recent delay is still undoubtedly upsetting for fans. It is the latest in a couple of schedule changes. Homeland’s final season was initially set to premiere during June 2019. Yes, the month before last. Then came a Fall 2019 date, which has now been pushed to February 9, 2020. (Interestingly enough, that is also the current date of the 92nd Academy Awards. So the Homeland premiere will apparently compete against the 2020 Oscars. Counter-programming alert?)

For reference, a new episode of Homeland last aired during April 2018. Putting the currently scheduled release date almost exactly two years after the Season 7 finale. Thankfully, there has been no shortage of news about what the drama’s final season will involve and who it will include.

Hannibal vet Hugh Dancy will star in Homeland’s final season as John Zabel, a “savvy” Washington D.C. consultant. Zabel will act as the foreign-policy adviser for Beau Bridges’ President Warner. Trivia time, in case you did not know: Dancy is the husband of the show’s lead, Claire Danes.

Also starring in the final season will be a True Blood fan favorite in a highly intriguing role. Last year, Homeland announced that it would be ending with Season 8. After Claire Danes had said it would. The reason for Homeland’s delay is not in the same vein as Starz’s rationale for holding back Outlander until 2020. Showtime’s move sounds strictly production-related.

Homeland will conclude with twelve episodes. Its story will reportedly take place in Afghanistan. The show coming to an end marks the end of an era. The thriller premiered in 2011 and became a massive hit for Showtime, both in the ratings and with critics. Time will tell how Carrie Mathison and her fellow characters’ stories will end.

Homeland's eighth and final season is currently scheduled to premiere on February 9, 2020, so watch this summer’s premieres to help deal with the wait.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.