When Showtime's terrorism-themed"Homeland"scored nine Emmy nominations Thursday morning, it was a triumph for a freshman show whose fate was once far from certain.
Many series with political and Sept. 11 overtones, after all, had previously sputtered; Showtime itself struggled to land an audience with a similarly themed show titled "Sleeper Cell" in 2005.
"For the first three or four episodes, we were so uncertain and unsure — we were afraid the audience wouldn't be interested for just those [political] reasons," executive producer Howard Gordon, who like collaborator Alex Gansa was also a creative force behind the politically inflected"24,"told The Times on Thursday morning. "We thought there could be some fatigue on the subject matter; we almost resigned ourselves pre-emptively to that."
A thriller set largely in Washington, D.C., "Homeland" stars Claire Danes as a CIA operative tracking the movements of a potentially traitorous former American POW (Damian Lewis). Though it has been on the air for only 12 episodes, it garnered more Emmy nominations than any new series, including a spot in the coveted outstanding drama category. Danes and Lewis also each picked up lead acting nominations.