Third series of controversial drama 'Homeland' gets green light
EMMY-WINNING television drama Homeland has been renewed for a third season.
A further 12 episodes of the critical and ratings hit have been commissioned by Showtime with production due to start in spring.
Stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes both won Emmys for performances in the CIA conspiracy drama.
The first series of Homeland, first broadcast in 2011, won a slew of awards, including six Primetime Emmys and a Golden Globe.
Showtime boss David Nevins told Variety: "The show continues to grow and the word-of-mouth effect is starting to happen. I find it incredibly satisfying that we continue to keep audiences off-guard and surprised."
The story follows former US Marine Nicholas Brody, played by Lewis, a repatriated al-Qaeda hostage, and mentally ill CIA agent Carrie Mathison (Danes), who thinks Brody is a double agent for the enemy.
The second series began broadcasting on RTE2 four weeks ago and has already attracted controversy with the Lebanese tourist board threatening legal action over the show's depiction of capital city Beruit, and former British hostage John McCarthy branding its plot 'ridiculous'.
He said: "My concern is that, with the flashbacks and hints and really horrible violence we see, his conversion is almost like titillation - let's keep watching... Did he really kill his comrade?"
He said of the flashback scenes: "It all seems so mad, the whole bloody plot. It seems ridiculous."