Jan. 16, 2014 at 4:00 PM ET
Although the third season of "Homeland" was maligned by many critics and viewers of the show, Showtime president David Nevins does not agree.
"I thought this season was pretty brilliant in its architecture," he told reporters when asked about the backlash at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. on Thursday. Then he actually expressed gratitude.
Nevins also noted the series had reached a high of seven million viewers a week, to which one critic responded on Twitter:
Noting that "there's certain things that didn't surprise me" about the negative reception, Nevins praised executive producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon for their "very clever and very audacious" storyline which anticipated the real-life political landscape in Iran.
"They started out in this story about Iran, and the audacity of a regime change in Iran, before I think Rouhani was even elected. … I thought it was a really interesting season, but we always knew we were heading to a major reset," Nevins said.
After devoting much of past seasons' plot to the relationship between Carrie (Claire Danes) and the now deceased Brody (Damian Lewis), season four will focus on Carrie's career as an intelligence officer.
"This is a show that is fundamentally about a field operative, and we really haven't seen (Carrie) — with the exception of the very beginning of season one and the very end of season three — we haven't seen her out in field operating. So the likely plan for next year is you will see her on the ground in a foreign capital doing her job."
As for Mandy Patinkin's Saul Berenson, now working in the private sector, Nevins said he will continue to play a "central role." "
"He'll be important," he added.