'Homeland' Faces Uncharted Territory

What began as a twisted tale of a “turned” American solider takes a totally new direction as Homeland (Season Premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime) enters its fourth season.

What began as a twisted tale of a “turned” American solider takes a totally new direction as Homeland (Season Premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime) enters its fourth season.

With Brody (and his family) out of the picture, the suspenseful drama doubles down on the frontline action, picking up with Carrie in her new position at a CIA station in Kabul. She’s back as a CIA case officer — a position she’s trained for, though viewers only caught a glimpse of her in this role via flashbacks — working with foreign government officials and finding recruits. As troops pull out of the Middle East, Carrie and her team are left putting the pieces back together across Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But can Homeland succeed without Brody? Viewers unknowingly got a taste of how that would play out last season, when Damian Lewis’ screen time was limited, but this season brings big changes for the show’s story.

New players this season include mysterious agent Sandy Bachman (Corey Stoll), who will work closely with Carrie, and Aayan Ibrahim (Suraj Sharma), a Pakistani med student in a position similar to Brody’s. Saul, Quinn, Fara and Lockhart all return this season.

Sunday’s two-hour premiere finds Carrie making a tough call, Saul challenged by his new role under Carrie and Quinn spiraling out of control.


Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – Lots of milestones for the family: Jay and Gloria celebrate their anniversary; the Dunphys take Alex to Caltech for a campus tour; Mitch and Cam update their family portrait with Lily.

South Park (10 p.m., Comedy Central) – The residents of South Park are hit with an outbreak that’s been making its way across the globe — the gluten-free trend.

The League (10 p.m., FXX) – Love pants, hand holding and a new hot tub round out this week’s lineup.


Gracepoint (Series Premiere, 9 p.m. Fox) – David Tennant (Doctor Who) and Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) star in this U.S. remake of the U.K. drama Broadchurch (in which Tennant also starred). Like its source material, Gracepoint follows the investigation of the murder of a young boy, but this show promises a different outcome.

Project Runway (9 p.m., Lifetime) – Project Runway meets Storage Wars when the designers — paired off in teams — are tasked with using the contents of storage lockers for their next outfit. And the season would not be complete without a rapid runway challenge during judges’ panel!

A to Z (Series Premiere, 9:30 p.m., NBC) – Fancy a silly romcom featuring Ginsberg from Mad Men and the mom from How I Met Your Mother? This new series follows the unlikely pairing of Andrew (Ben Feldman) and Zelda (Cristin Milioti), as narrated by Gemma from Sons of Anarchy (Katey Sagal). OK, enough TV references.

Parenthood (10 p.m., NBC) – Kristina struggles to keep up with the demands of her students, which comes to a head when the school’s food vendor backs out. And so help me, if Zeke doesn’t make it through this season…


Mistaken for Strangers (9 p.m., Showtime) – Cincinnati filmmaker Tom Berninger offers a unique perspective on family and fame as he follows brother Matt of The National on tour with the band.

The Knick (10 p.m., Cinemax) – Thackery worries another inventive doctor will steal the show at the upcoming New York Surgical Society presentation; Bertie continues to pursue Lucy; Cornelia and Speight work to keep “Typhoid Mary” locked down. Meanwhile, a citywide cocaine shortage has everyone in a bad mood.


Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – Host Sarah Silverman returns to the SNL stage for the first time since her stint on the show’s 1993-94 season.

Adam Levine & Friends

Maroon 5 performs.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine (8:30 p.m., Fox) – Holt’s longtime rival (Kyra Sedgwick) comes to inspect the station and brings out a new side of the captain; Jake and Terry put their friendship to the test.

Boardwalk Empire (9 p.m., HBO) – Chalky makes his way back to Atlantic City to seek revenge; Nucky meets with Maranzano in New York; Margaret strikes a deal with Mrs. Rothstein; Eli reunites with his wife; Van Alden throws a dinner party. He’s gotten so fun over the years!

Mulaney (Series Premiere, 9:30 p.m., Fox) – Stars John Mulaney, Nasim Pedrad and Martin Short are all talented comics with SNL ties, so I want to like this, but it just feels like a stale Seinfeld reboot.

CONTACT JAC KERN: [email protected] or @jackern

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