The American series is based on an Israeli drama series Prisoners of War (2009) (Hebrew for 'Abducted' or 'Kidnapped'). Gideon Raff created the original series in response to the many Israeli soldiers who had been enemy captives and their brutally difficult, and largely unreported, efforts to reintegrate into Israeli society after they returned home. One of the major differences between the Israeli and American series is that Brody was apparently rescued in Homeland, while in Hatufim the POWs were traded.
To prepare for her role in the series, Claire Danes met with CIA officers. She also watched videos made by people with bipolar disorder and consulted with author Julie Fast who suffers from the same disorder.
In a December 2012 New York Times interview, Howard Gordon explained why Jessica calls her husband "Brody," his last name, instead of his first name, "Nicholas," or a nickname: "It's something that's been in their relationship from the very beginning and speaks to the love between them. We've heard from many military families, and it's not that uncommon a practice."
Damian Lewis landed the lead role without an audition. Producers Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa were so impressed with his performance in the under-rated Keane (2004), they offered him the part over the course of a phone call.
Although Carrie's condition was not specified during the show's first few episodes, Claire Danes, who considered majoring in psychology at Yale, told "Entertainment Weekly" that she decided that Carrie has Bipolar 1.
Claire Danes stated in an interview that writer Meredith Stiehm was deeply involved in writing the character of Carrie, not only because Stiehm was the only female writer on the show but also because her sister suffers from Bipolar Disorder.
Graffiti artists employed to create slogans for a refugee camp in Season 5 actually wrote anti-Homeland slogans such as "Homeland is a joke, and it didn't make us laugh" on the set in protest at the show's portrayal of Muslims.
The show's creator Alex Ganza commented that Homeland always strives to be subversive in its own right and a stimulus for conversation and that he couldn't help but admire this act of artistic sabotage.
Ben Affleck was asked to direct the pilot and wanted to do so, but his arrangement with then wife Jennifer Garner (in which when one worked the other would stay at home with the kids) prevented him to take the job.
Season 4 was shot entirely on location in South Africa. According to director/producer Lesli Linka Glatter, the hardest part was find neighborhoods that would resemble American suburbia for the few scenes that took place around Carrie's sister house.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Brody was going to die on season 1 with the bomb-vest device, but Showtime encouraged Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon to keep the character alive as much as they could, which ended up being three seasons.