Showtime President David Nevins didn't waste any time addressing the elephant in the room — aka awards darling Homeland's uneven third season — during the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Thursday.
"From what I've read on Twitter, there were a lot of different opinions about the show this year," Nevins told reporters. "All I can say is thank you for being so invested."
When asked more directly about the critical reaction, Nevins praised the season, but also discussed the changes ahead. "There were certain things that didn't surprise me. I thought that this season was pretty brilliant in its architecture," he said. "I thought it was very clever and very audacious what they set out for. I thought it was a really interesting season, but we always knew that we were heading towards a major reset."
That major reset comes in the wake of the hanging death of Carrie's (Claire Danes) love and baby-daddy Brody (Damian Lewis). "This is a show that is fundamentally about a field operative and we really haven't seen her — with the exception of the very beginning of Season 1 and the end of Season 3 — we haven't seen her out in the field operating," Nevins said.
That is something that will change dramatically. "The likely plan for next season is that we'll see her on the ground in a foreign capital doing her job," Nevins said. However, he also stressed that not much has been presented yet. He noted that the writers were in Washington, D.C., working on Season 4.
When asked about the current trend of miniseries, Nevins drew comparisons between Homeland and FX's popular anthology series American Horror Story, because of how much the story can change between seasons. "It's going to be different next year and you're going to see a different Carrie story next season," Nevins said, noting that Carrie's new path may run the course of one season or two.
Although Saul was out of the CIA and getting ready to move to New York in the season finale, Nevins said that Mandy Patinkin would still be involved in the show going forward. "My expectation is he'll be central. He'll be important," he said.
But before Homeland returns this fall, Showtime announced premiere dates for two of its returning comedies, as well as new drama Penny Dreadful. Season 6 of Nurse Jackie and the final season of Californication will premiere on Sunday, April 13 at 9/8c, followed by the 10-episode climate change documentary produced by James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Years of Living Dangerously, at 10/9c.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, Showtime's parent company.)