The award-winning Showtime series, “Homeland,” returns for a sixth season Jan. 15. This round of episodes focuses on the aftermath of the U.S. presidential election and the transition between election day and the inauguration for a female president-elect.
Scripts for the new season were being written long before the real election day. Producers wanted to give the series a familiar feel with the President but just didn’t know how the voting would go.
Executive producer Alex Gansa explains it all came down to a bit of cheating when creating the winner of their TV election.
“Every season when we’re developing stories, we are terrified of being counter factual by the time we air, or irrelevant. So this year we’re sort of hedging our bets, in terms of our president,” Gansa says. “Although she is a woman, she’s a little bit Hillary, a little bit Donald Trump, and a little bit Bernie Sanders.
“Anything could happen.”
And that anything could be that the new season of “Homeland” will unfold in New York instead of Washington, D.C. One reason New York was selected is because series star, Claire Danes, lives in the Big Apple. The past five seasons have been tough on Danes because of all of the location shooting, the physical nature of the show and that she was pregnant during previous filming.
“We’ve been flinging ourselves in many different directions all over the globe in order to produce a show, which actually has been thrilling and edifying and has really served the story. And there’s no way to really cheat that,” Danes says. “But there is something very heartening and lovely about getting to produce it from our home turf. I think, actually, New York is a very fertile territory for our story. There’s the interface of a lot of different counter-terrorism outfits that’ll be really fascinating. And, as always, ‘Homeland’ is kind of charging towards the most compelling event in our culture, which happens to be what’s happening in politics right now.”
Danes describes this season as the show being “reborn anew” and that will keep people engaged.
TV or not TV
Tricia Helfer has put together a resume that includes multiple science fiction and fantasy projects. Along with her memorable work in the updated version of “Battlestar Galactica,” created by Chowchilla native Ron Moore, Helfer’s credits include “TRON: Uprising,” “Falling Skies” and “Powers.”
Her latest project in the genre is the FOX series “Lucifer.” It’s the story of a bored Lucifer (Tom Ellis) who has given up his job of supervising hell to walk among mortals. Helfer joined the cast for the second season to play Lucifer’s mother.
Working in the sci-fi world was not part of some big master plan by Helfer. In fact, the Canadian actress grew up in a home without a TV set. And, she watched few movies.
That kind of childhood tends to limit sci-fi knowledge. Al least when she did go to the movies, the trips were to see some of the biggest contributor to creating iconic characters and moments.
“I’m a little bit ignorant when it comes to a lot of pop culture and television shows and so forth. But growing up, what I did see were the ‘Star Treks’ and ‘Star Wars.’ Those were the ones that we would actually make the trek, the long trek to the movie theater to go see,” Helfer says. “I think it’s an exciting genre and a genre that you can have a lot of wonderment and what if. You can pose questions about humanity and about survival and everything like that, but also have fun doing it.”
Helfer grew up on a farm and that meant when she wasn’t in school, there was work to be done. She spent much of her free time driving tractors. It wasn’t until Helfer’s older sister started dating that her family bought a television and started a movie night. Her family got tired of the daughters going to other people’s homes to watch TV.
Get “Evil”: Premiere Props will be auctioning off more than 600 movie props costumes from the “Resident Evil” franchise at their Hollywood Extravaganza Auction on Jan. 28 at their headquarters in El Segundo. There will be a preview from 9-11a.m. with the live auction beginning at 11 a.m.
Big return: “The ZhuZhus” retrurn to the Disney Channel at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 7. Frankie and her pet pals Pipsqueak, Num Nums, Chunk, and Mr. Squiggles will be featured in the animated series. New episodes will be broadcast every Saturday and Sunday between Jan. 7 and Jan. 29.