Inside ‘Homeland’ Final Season Premiere: Fan Faves Return, a Series Finale Scramble, and Hidden Sushi

TheWrap parties in New York City with Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin and a ton of the Showtime series’ killed-off cast

This Sunday, the final season of “Homeland” will finally arrive. Stars Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin, showrunner Alex Gansa, and a lucky hundred or so of the rest of us got to see it Tuesday at the world premiere, which was held at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

The after-party played out at the Lobster Club, a few long city blocks over. For a “Homeland” fan, the evening was about as good as Tuesdays get. For so many former “Homeland” stars, it was a homecoming.

Below are a few of our non-spoilery takeaways from the nice-enough February night in Manhattan.

Hey MoMA? Yeah, Couple of Notes

  1. It’s very expensive to park by you. Honestly, that’s on us though.
  2. You seem to have a ton of different entrances on 53rd St. and they all have the same address?
  3. Your red carpet is black. OK, we know that was a (fitting) stylistic choice for the occasion.
  4. We need to talk about how the chairs are numbered in your theater. So, the numbers are on the BACK of the seats — not the chair backs, but the actual rear side of the chair backs — which makes it obviously impossible to see. There’s an argument to be made that one should then refer to the seat number in front of them as their seat number but with staggered and offset chairs, that doesn’t work.

This reporter could write 2,000 obsessive words on note No. 4, but we know you wouldn’t read them. Moving on.

Everybody’s Here! Executive Edition

While the screening and after-party were both pretty intimate affairs, there was still a (proportionally) big number of big names in the house(s).

Showtime CEO David Nevins, who greenlit the series, was there. As were the premium cable channel’s co-presidents of entertainment, Gary Levine and Jana Winograde.

Bert Salke, the president of “Homeland” studio Fox 21 Television Studios, was also in attendance. But the guy who truly turned heads was the president and CEO of the newly recombined ViacomCBS, Bob Bakish. You don’t see that guy out and about so much, but apparently he’s a big fan of the series.

Ahead of the actual Episode 801 unveiling, Nevins made some touching opening remarks and called the event “the hottest ticket in town.” He may not have been overselling its exclusivity.

Going, Going, Gansa

After Nevins spoke, he gave the podium to showrunner Alex Gansa. In his own comments ahead of the final season’s premiere, Gansa got a little ahead of himself — literally, in terms of where the show is headed in its twilight episodes.

Gansa said he and Danes came up with the series’ ending a mere 48 hours before they filmed it. To pull off whatever we end up seeing then required an incredible feat from the production designer, Gansa said. Can’t wait to see that prop.

And yes, Gansa knows Season 8 arrived “a little late” and “a little over budget.” Sorry, Showtime.

Everybody’s Here! Cast Edition

Current cast members who were in attendance included the aforementioned Danes and Patinkin, as well as Numan Acar, Linus Roache, Costa Ronin, Maury Sterling, Sitara Attaie, Hugh Dancy, Jason Tottenham, Tim Guinee, Andrea Deck and Sam Trammell.

It’s kind of a current cast’s job to show up, though. What seemed like quite a good sign about the show’s familial environment was how many past cast members came back to say goodbye. Those in attendance included Morena Baccarin, Morgan Saylor, Jackson Pace, Dominic Fumusa, Amy Hargreaves, Diego Klattenhoff, Navid Negahban and Morgan Spector.

Along with Gansa, fellow “Homeland” executive producers Howard Gordon, Lesli Linka Glatter and Debora Cahn were there, as was director Michael Cuesta.

At this point, you’re probably wondering if Damian Lewis made it. He did not, and every time we asked somebody about that, they responded with the same bad quip about how it would have cost them “Billions” to get Lewis to show up. Such a Showtime joke.

Rupert Friend was also not at the event.

A fun tidbit about someone who was: Ronin dresses exactly like his “Homeland” baddie character, something this reporter pointed out to the Russian-born Australian actor at the after-party. While we apparently weren’t the first to make that connection to Ronin, according to him, he did credit us for our tax-deductible angle.

Party in the Front, Sushi in the Back

The Lobster Club is a cool place if you’ve never been. It’s even cooler when ViacomCBS is picking up the tab for your scotch and sliders.

While we didn’t get any actual lobster at the Lobster Club, there was a ton of damn good hors d’oeuvres getting passed around. And the party at the crustacean club wasn’t totally fish-less, you just had to search a bit for the sushi. (It was in the back, along with a second bar and some meatballs.)

Check out the cool branded chopsticks as part of our collage above. This attendee isn’t saying whether or not his +1 pocketed a few of those utensils.

“Homeland” Season 8 premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.

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