- - Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Showtime is sticking with “Homeland.”

Although it should come as little surprise after winning big at this year’s Emmys and returning to 1.73 million viewers in September, Showtime on Monday announced its third-season renewal of the drama.

Hitting a series high Sunday night with 1.75 million viewers, “Homeland’s” original outings in its second season are outperforming its freshman run, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That season averaged 4.4 million weekly viewers across several 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 thus far has netted 5.2 million viewers across platforms.

“Homeland,” from executive producers Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon, is loosely based on the Israeli series “Prisoners of War.” It has 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, which gives it a total of 20.5 million.

“Homeland” took home six Emmys last month, including outstanding drama series, writing, and lead acting nods for stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes. It also won the top drama prize at the 2012 Golden Globe Awards in January.

“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.”

The third season of “Homeland” will consist of 12 one-hour episodes, with production set to begin in the spring.

‘Private Practice’ to end with 13-episode season

ABC’s “Private Practice” is shutting down.

ABC Entertainment spokeswoman Alison Rou said Monday that the “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff will be ending after 13 episodes this season, most likely in January, The Associated Press reports. Series star Kate Walsh had previously announced she would be leaving the show after 13 episodes.

This is the show’s sixth season on the air. After being paired on ABC’s schedule with “Grey’s Anatomy” on Thursday nights, “Private Practice” moved last spring to Tuesdays.

“Private Practice” had 6 million viewers last week, putting it at No. 51 in Nielsen’s weekly listing of the most popular programs.

‘The Voice’ adds shows during election week

While America heads to the polls on Nov. 6, NBC will celebrate another opportunity for America to vote with a total of five hours of “The Voice” airing during election week.

NBC has added special live broadcasts of “The Voice” at 8 p.m. Nov. 7 and 8 — as well as its regular airing at 8 p.m. Nov. 5, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The Voice” will not be broadcast in its regular Tuesday slot that week due to NBC’s election-night coverage.

The episodes the week of Nov. 5 will be the first live shows of the season — giving viewers the chance to help decide which artists get into the top 12.

The additional shows on Wednesday and Thursday will place NBC’s singing competition in direct competition with Fox’s “The X Factor.” The same situation occurred earlier this season when NBC added a third night to its premiere week, which aired the same time as “X Factor’s” premiere episode.

“The Voice” also will go head to head with TV’s top scripted shows, ABC’s “Modern Family” on Wednesday and CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” on Thursday.

Currently, the show’s third season — starring coaches Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green — is in the battle rounds, which pit two contestants on a team against each other, singing the same song. Only one moves on to the next round, which is the new “knockout” round.

Ailing ‘Blue Bloods’ actress calls CBS ‘shameful’

“Blue Bloods” cast member Jennifer Esposito is blasting CBS for sidelining her from the show.

In Twitter postings, the actress has accused CBS of “absolutely shameful behavior” in putting her on unpaid leave from the Tom Selleck-starring police drama.

Miss Esposito tweeted that she has been diagnosed with celiac disease and requires a reduced work schedule, The Associated Press reports. She said CBS believes she is angling to win a pay raise.

CBS has responded that because Miss Esposito can’t fulfill the full-time demands of her role, it has “regretfully” put her character, Detective Jackie Curatola, on a leave of absence. Her last appearance for now will air Nov. 2. The network said it hopes Miss Esposito will be able to return.

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat.

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