Oct. 22, 2012 at 3:22 PM ET
Showtime is sticking with "Homeland." Though it should come as little surprise after winning big at this year's Emmys and returning to 1.73 million viewers in September, Showtime has officially announced its third season renewal for the Fox 21 drama.
Slipping just shy of its premiere haul to 1.66 million viewers in its second week, "Homeland's" original outings are outperforming its freshman run. That season averaged 4.4 million weekly viewers across platforms -- DVR, On Demand, encores, streaming -- and had the strongest finale for a freshman season (5 million across platforms) in network history.
The season two premiere has thus far netted 5.2 million viewers across platforms, and the most recent episode outperformed its previous record with 1.75 million viewers during its inaugural airing.
The series, from executive producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, is loosely based on the Israeli series "Prisoners of War." It's won a devoted fan base that includes President Obama and Bill Clinton -- and is considered a contributing factor in the network's 1.1 million subscriber gain this year (to a total of 20.5 million).
"Homeland" took home six Emmys at the recent kudos, including outstanding drama series, outstanding writing and outstanding lead nods for stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes. It also won the top drama prize during the 2012 Golden Globe Awards earlier this year.
“The Emmy wins for 'Homeland' have certainly set the stage for a great second season,” said Showtime Networks president of entertainment David Nevins, who ordered the show within days of taking the job in 2010. “The writers, cast and crew of 'Homeland' continue to create a remarkably entertaining and suspenseful roller coaster ride, growing audiences week after week. We can't wait for our viewers to experience what unfolds through the rest of season two. Our partners at Fox 21 have been tremendous, and we are thrilled to begin the planning for 'Homeland's' third season."
The third season of 'Homeland' will consist of 12 one-hour episodes, with production set to begin in the spring. Among the questions as the series moves ahead is whether the six-member writing staff -- which Fox 21 president Bert Salke has dubbed a "murderer's row"-- will remain intact. (Gordon has a cadre of broadcast efforts in development, and Meredith Stiehm has "The Bridge" in contention at FX.)
The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman recently called the current season "one of the best high-wire acts put on the small screen."
More in The Clicker: