The U.S television show Homeland may not feature a Muslim storyline in its next season, it has been revealed.
A new threat could be chosen in the fifth season ‘for creative reasons’ – and not because of the deadly attack on the headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris last week.
Each of the first four seasons of Homeland have featured fictional Middle East terrorists and Muslim extremists.
But producers are considering moving away from the format and finding a new target for CIA case officer Carrie Mathison - played by Claire Danes - when the show makes a return to screens later this year.
According to insidetv, the attacks in France last week will not play a part in deciding who the story’s next villain will be and will not prevent producers from tackling sensitive issues.
Seventeen people, including journalists and police, were killed in three days of violence that began last Wednesday when militants burst into Charlie Hebdo's office during a regular editorial meeting and shot dead five of its leading cartoonists.
David Nevins, the president of Homeland’s TV network Showtime, is reported by insidetv as saying: ‘I hope [the attacks are] not considered at all.
‘I really, really don’t want there to be any limitations. I don’t expect there will be. They never shied away from anything difficult. I want them to go right into the teeth of it again.’
Speaking at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour he said producer Alex Gansa would ‘not necessarily’ stay with addressing U.S. relations in the Muslim world.
He said no final decisions had yet been made and that writers may still opt to focus on the Middle East.
In December, the Pakistani government hit out at producers of the Emmy-winning show over the portrayal of the country as a safe haven for Islamic terrorists.
Diplomats condemned Homeland for depicting Islamabad, the setting of the show's fourth series, as a refuge for the Taliban with one official describing it as a 'disservice to the people of the US'.
The fourth series of the popular show sees star Claire Danes portraying a member of the Central Intelligence Agency serving in Islamabad.
Filmed in fact in Cape Town, the first episode sees a violent mob of local people beating another agent to death over a drone strike which killed a wanted terrorist hiding in a rural farmhouse.
But Mr Nevins said this week: 'Some of the other sides [to Pakistan] the show brought up I think are also very defensible … It’s a very well researched show.'
He added that the show was a work of fiction and that he was 'very defensive' of the rights of producers to 'tell difficult stories in difficult parts of the world.'
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.