It's always a nice surprise when a show that genuinely deserves a continuation actually gets picked up for a second season. Showtime's wonderful new conspiracy thriller Homeland, starring the brilliant Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, has officially been renewed for a another season. Time to rejoice because the show, as you can see in the weekly recaps, produces episode after episode of absolutely captivating television.

The series debuted to very strong numbers, becoming the most-watched drama in Showtime's history (take that, Dexter), only to continue to grow with each successive week. It's no surprise, since the show has been met with universal critical acclaim and offers some of the most interesting and complex characters on the small screen, as well as intricately woven narratives full of misdirection and tension. The initial season, which is currently at its mid-point right now, only received an eight-episode order, but this time around they are extending the season to a full 12 episodes, set to begin production in the spring of 2012.

So, the best new show gets another season of 12 episodes to continue exploring the fractured psyches of our two leads, as well as delving into the ever-growing terrorist plot. Could Homeland pull of a The Killing by not resolving all the loose ends in the first season and baiting us to return? I don't see how everything could possibly be resolved in just four more episodes, so I imagine a cliffhanger leading into this new announced second season. Either way, this is fantastic news and I can't wait for next week's "Blind Spot."

On the renewal, President of Showtime David Nevins said:
Clearly, the overall audience growth from week one to week four demonstrates that this show is hitting a nerve in the cultural zeitgeist. Alex and Howard have created a psychological thriller that holds special relevance in the post 9/11 world. I'm quite confident that its passionate audience will be riveted as the season unfolds and people discover where this story is going.

Developed for American television by executive producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, Homeland is based on the original Israeli series Prisoners of War, by Gideon Raff. Homeland airs on Showtime, Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT. It stars Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, and Morena Baccarin.

Press Release via Showtime. Official synopsis:

Homeland is a one-hour drama series that tells the story of Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a CIA officer battling her own demons, who becomes convinced that the intelligence that led to the rescue of Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), a U.S. soldier who had been missing and presumed dead for eight years, was a setup and may be connected to an Al Qaeda plot to be carried out on American soil.

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