Homeland is pushing the reset button.
The Emmy-winning drama, which ended Season 3 with Carrie (Claire Danes) pregnant with the late Brody's baby just as she was promoted to a position overseas, was the target of heated criticism from fans as well as critics.
"I don't know how you can look at the last six or seven episodes that we did last season and not say that Homeland is one of the best shows on television," co-creator and executive producer Alex Gansa told reporters at the Television Critics Association's fall previews on Friday. "The criticism hurt, the lack of an Emmy nomination hurt, but we're going to come back strong and try to get to the mountaintop again."
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Season 4 of the Showtime series, which premieres Sunday, Oct. 5 at 9/8c, will pick up with Carrie on the frontlines of the Middle East. "I do think the show is about the private and public costs of keeping America safe," Gansa said when asked about the show's identity in the wake of Brody's death. "That's the overarching theme of the season."
Although Carrie will have her hands full professionally, her life will have changed significantly personally as well after the birth of her child. "She's got a period of grieving to do in coming to terms with what happened at the end of last season and clearly that's represented and identified by the child that she had," Gansa said. "The baby exists as a marker for her emotionally."
A quick glance of the newborn can be seen in the trailer below, but it's unclear how much motherhood will play a role in Carrie's day-to-day life while overseas. "The place that she's in now is a place where you cannot have dependents, so she was forced to leave the child at home," Gansa said.
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Carrie's new assignment, this season's new characters (including Life of Pi's Suraj Sharma and House of Cards' Corey Stoll) and the death of Brody (and the subsequent absence of his family), will make it easy for new viewers to hooked on the drama. "I think you could drop in and enjoy it as a new show," executive producer Meredith Stiehm said.
Watch the new trailer for Season 4 of Homeland here:
Homeland returns on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 9/8c on Showtime. Are you excited for the new season?
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, Showtime's parent company.)