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“Homeland” swept the Emmys.  President Obama says he’s  a fan.  We’ll talk to “Homeland” executive producer and director Michael Cuesta.

Damian Lewis on Homeland from "Marine One" (Tv.com)

Damian Lewis on Homeland from “Marine One” (Tv.com)

Showtime’s breakout cable hit “Homeland” swept the Emmys this year.  Big wins for stars Claire Danes, as the bi-polar CIA agent up against a terror nightmare.  For Damian Lewis, as the U.S. Marine and longtime Al Qaeda captive now home and turned and scary.

It’s a psychological thriller that grabs our own national ambivalence about fear and paranoia and terror.  About truth and how dark it can get.

This hour, On Point: we talk with Homeland executive producer and director Michael Cuesta about what makes this high-wire show tick now.

-Tom Ashbrook


Michael Cuesta, executive producer and director of Homeland. He was also an executive producer on the hit show Dexter.

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today “Anyone who watched the Emmys knows this gloriously suspenseful spy series had a great first season — making history as Showtime’s first best-series winner while adding Emmys for stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, an extremely rare triple play. The good news is that Sunday’s premiere, written by the show’s Emmy-winning creators Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, starts its new season as brilliantly as it ended the last one.”

Chicago Tribune “Emmy winner “Homeland” opened to 1.7 million viewers for its first telecast Sunday and 2 million for the night, while “Dexter” hit a series record of 3 million viewers over a pair of showings.”

US News & World Report “So what did you think of the first episode? It certainly wasn’t “slow,” but I felt it had sort of a “Let’s catch everyone up and lay the foundation for Season 2″ feel to it. It did have some, heart-beating, sweaty-palms moments: particularly when Brody stole the target sites from Estes, and Carrie evaded her tail in Beirut. As some critics have pointed out, Season 1 could have ended with a big bang (literally) had Brody gone through with his suicide bomb and Carrie redeemed for her Brody-obsession.”

The New Yorker “There are still many gemlike elements in Season 3, like a scene in the second episode, in which Antoine—a formerly dissolute second-line musician who is now a sober family man, teaching music in a run-down public school—is alone in a classroom. When a music student walks in, Antoine begins to sing the call and response in “Marie Laveau,” relishing the comical rumble of his own low, growly voice.”


Here’s the Showtime trailer for “Homeland.”

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  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Great show!!


  • J__o__h__n

    I hate calling the United States of America, “homeland.”  It sounds like a bunker not a great country. 

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    I’m sorry, but the show lost me when alarm bells were going off all over the place and Carrie Matheson (Claire Daines) chooses to give Brody the benefit of the doubt and not raise her doubts up to Saul. I felt that for such an insightful analyst to do not do the right thing despite the huge personal cost was a huge reach for me. The fact that she crossed the line so far to begin with was too incongruous for me and I could no longer suspend my disbelief despite Carrie’s underlying frailties.

    Yes the series would have ended right promptly, unless there was more to the plot than evident so far…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

    I see Brody as a metaphor  for the criminal elite in this country.

    Pretending to be for you all the while working for your destruction.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

    HOMELAND is what the Nazis called Germany during their reign of terror.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

    Is Brody a Manchurian candidate?

    Is he brainwashed or converted?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

    Back home with his family. I don’t believe that he would seek such revenge unless he is brainwashed.

    I don’t believe any life experience leads you to harm “yours” for the wounds of others.

    Conversion isn’t enough.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

    Is Homeland is a recruiting tool for the “other side”? Tom asks

    If so Michael Cuesta could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Training «

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1476174749 Jared LaMarche

       I was the caller who said SERE school they miss heard what I said as fear school. Sounds like they need another military advisor for the show. Feel free to contact me. ~Jared~

  • tbwyvern

    The last commentor on the radio about the “realism” had me thinking about Galaxy Quest and the “Historical Documents”…Unfortunately, if it was real not many people would watch.

  • rkean

    Speaking of “the criminal elite” how about a show on the Trans Pacific Partnership “trade” agreement. Check out tradewatch.org, Lori Wallach- chapters in this so-called trade agreement give incentives to foreign and domestic business interests to work against American workers- a corporate lock down in trade agreement clothing.

  • caroling3

    Uncertain of where to state this and sent comments and complaint to wnyc already.  This show was my fav on FM radio at a time I had to be in the car.  AM does not come in there or on my home radios where I listen most.  I am extraordinarily disappointed to have this high quality show go to low quality AM band.

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    I’ve been abroad for over 5 years and just reconnected w US TV, downloading Homeland, Newsroom, Breaking Bad, Big Love. US TV is the best in the world by a long long shot. Homeland is excellent- I loved Claire Danes, and it took me a while to warm to her adult neurotic personna, but her deeply likeable soul shined through after a while.

    Problem is the politics, produced by the 24 people, which descended into fascist nonsense, with terrorists everywhere and torture justified in every episode (Cheney loved it). America has been permanently changed and damaged by this sick obsession with terrorism (OBL won, since that’s what terrorists want above all), spending 200 times more against imaginary threats (for local PD’s) than the CDC for the superflu that probably will do a radical housecleaning. Homeland is already descending into absurdity- what is the chance BOTH captives would be turned into terrorists???? Torture can force people to do anything, but not after they’re set free- turning people into robot killers involves erasing their identity and personality. This plays into the anti-Muslim sentiments of the right wing and many middle of roaders… and permits more treasonous outrages like the Iraq Invasion… if say, a Romney becomes Prez- the most professional liar I’ve ever seen.

Jul 22, 2014
Smoke rises after an Israeli shelling at the Shijaiyah neighborhood in Gaza City, Monday, July 21, 2014. The top Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip signaled Monday that the Islamic militant group will not agree to an unconditional cease-fire with Israel, while Israel's defense minister pledged to keep fighting "as long as necessary," raising new doubt about the highest-level mediation mission in two weeks. (AP)

The escalated Gaza offensive. We’ll get the views from both sides and the latest developments.

Jul 22, 2014
Lt. Col. James Howard Williams, aka "Elephant Bill," is the hero of Vicki Constantine Croke's new book, "Elephant Company." (Courtesy Random House)

We’ll travel to the jungles of Burma for the remarkable true story of Billy Williams—aka “the elephant whisperer”—and his World War II heroism.

Jul 21, 2014
In this May 15, 2014, file photo, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, during a committee hearing to examine the state of Veterans Affairs health care. (AP)

Will he run for president? We’ll ask Vermont’s Independent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

Jul 21, 2014
Toys and flowers are placed on the charred fuselage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, July 20, 2014. (AP)

The United States and Russia after the downed plane. We’ll unpack the politics and latest news. Plus: the latest from Gaza.

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