Showtime has staked its claim on the 2015 Sunday nights of TV audiences, by handing series renewals to its two biggest shows – Homeland and The Affair. The dramatic pair is broadcast as a duo on the network – a coupling that has proved highly successful. With the flagship title of Homeland as the espionage-heavy, globe-trotting lead-in, ratings have shown that viewers are then more than happy to stick around for the more intimate The Affair, leading executives to plan a repeat of that scheduling in 2015.
The renewal of Homeland – created by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa (24) – will take it into its fifth season, and represents an impressive achievement on the part of the show’s creative team. As season three drew to a close at the end of 2013, many doubted the ability of the show to reinvent itself following the devastating conclusion of its biggest storyline, and loss of a lead character. However, since returning to the network with its fourth season, all concerns have been laid to rest. The series has continued to attract sizeable audiences, and favourable reviews.
The triumphant return of Homeland has undoubtedly bolstered the arrival of this year’s newcomer, The Affair. Created by Sarah Treem and Hagai Levi (In Treatment), and starring Dominic West, Maura Tierney, Ruth Wilson and Joshua Jackson, the show chronicles the psychological ramifications of an illicit affair between a waitress and a teacher – both married and spending time in the Hamptons. It, too, has received a warm welcome from critics and audiences alike, averaging nearly four million viewers each week.
Showtime Networks President, David Nevins, reiterated the strength of the two shows in his announcement:
“In its fourth season, Homeland has brilliantly reinvented itself. It continues to capture the attention of a devoted fan base, and has provided an enviable platform for the successful launch of The Affair. With thought-provoking, relevant, addictive storylines, both series have been embraced, dissected and much debated, week after week. We’re excited to see more from these complex shows in 2015.”
The renewals from Showtime constitute 12 episodes for season five of Homeland, and 10 episodes for season two of The Affair – both of which mirror their previous season orders. Such a move illustrates high confidence in both series from Showtime executives as they look toward their 2015 schedules.