Spy thrillers are a fascinating genre, as most of it is based on reality. These agencies exist in real life, and are as dangerous as portrayed on our screens. It’s an interesting look into the dangerous world of international espionage that fans haven’t been able to get enough of, and that is why we’ve created a list of 12 shows like Homeland.
Homeland is an American espionage thriller TV series developed by showrunners Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa. It follows the story of Claire Danes, played by Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer and Damian Lewis’ Nicholas Brody, a Scout Sniper in the US Marine Corps. Mathison believes Brody was turned by the enemy during his time as a prisoner of war of al-Qaeda.
This is the suspicion that powers the plot of Homeland, and a gripping one at that. So if you’re looking for more shows with the same level of suspense, centered on one of the most dangerous professions that exist in the world today, then here are 12 shows like Homeland.
List of TV Shows like Homeland
1. Alias (2001)
Alias is an American spy thriller similar to series like Homeland, which follows the story of Sydney Bristow, played by Jennifer Garner, a double agent working for the CIA, who is posing as an agent for the SD-6, a criminal espionage agency, with the aim of taking the organization down.
Alias has been named among the best TV shows of the 2000s, and was constantly nominated for Emmys and Golden Globe Awards throughout its time on air. It has been particularly praised for the acting performance of Jennifer Garner, in her role as Sydney Bristow.
2. The Spy (2019)
This made-for-Netflix mini-series is centered on the travails of Eli Cohen, a Mossad spy, who has the task of infiltrating the Syrian Ministry of Defence during the years leading to the Six-Day War that would later rage on between Syria and Israel.
The Spy is based on the book The Spy Who Came from Israel, and tells the true life story of Eli Cohen. Although it has been criticized for not being the most consistent in terms of historical accuracy, it has been praised for its engaging storytelling and Sacha Baron Cohen’s enthralling performance as Eli Cohen.
3. MI5 (2005)
Also known as Spooks, MI-5 is a British spy drama that focuses on a group of MI5 officers working from their Thames House headquarters, housed in a secure site known as The Grid. They spend their days anticipating and countering terrorist threats aimed at the UK and its government.
MI-5 was a highly successful show throughout its runtime garnering multiple nominations and wins at the British Academy Television Awards and the Royal Television Society Awards, among many others. If you’re interested in high stakes spy drama series similar to Homeland, then this is the one for you.
Also Read: Shows like Sopranos
4. Burn Notice (2007)
Burn Notice is centered on Michael Westen, a former spy who was fired from the agency which he worked for. While taking jobs as a private investigator to make ends meet, he also needs to find out who brought about the end to his espionage career.
An espionage thriller similar to TV shows like Homeland, this show has been complimented for its witty dialogue and quick pacing, all held together by some accomplished acting across the board by a talented ensemble cast.
5. Covert Affairs (2010)
Covert Affairs is an action drama which follows the story of a fledgling CIA trainee, named Annie Walker, who is assigned a handler named August “Auggie” Anderson to guide her in her new designation and profession. Soon she is mysteriously granted a promotion borne out of hidden motives.
Piper Perabo was nominated at the 68th Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, testament to her great performances as Annie Walker. Covert Affairs remains one of the better action dramas of the 2010s and is highly recommended for fans of series similar to Homeland.
6. Spies of Warsaw (2013)
Spies of Warsaw is a British espionage show similar to Homeland, which follows the story of an intelligence agent who poses as a military personnel at the French Embassy in Warsaw as the Second World War kicks into gear.
This show has been described as “true to the original” story which it is based upon, and an “enjoyable, straightforward espionage tale without a lot of twists and layers” Spies of Warsaw should make its way onto your watch list if you’re a fan of spy dramas in general.
7. Nikita (2010)
Nikita features Maggie Q in its titular role, as a young woman serving her country via a covert agency known as Division. She dedicates herself to the agency with the aim of repaying them for saving her from death row. Little does she know that she will be turned into an assassin to be used for their sometimes evil machinations.
Nikita is an action packed spy thriller similar to series like Homeland, with tons of character and world building garnered from backstories and flashbacks. It’s also been noted for its serious, grounded tone, and its sleek visual style.
Also Read: Shows like Dexter
8. Allegiance (2015)
Allegiance, adapted from an Israeli series known as The Gordin Cell, follows the story of Alex O’Connor played by Gavin Stenhouse, a talented CIA analyst who is assigned to a joint task force alongside the FBI, to uncover a Russian plot to bring down crucial US infrastructure.
He soon realizes that those who seek to bring harm to his country might be closer than he thinks. It’s a methodical spy drama in the same vein as series similar to Homeland, and will keep you enthralled through every of its scenes, episodes and seasons.
9. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979)
Set in 1970s England, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a BBC spy drama similar to TV shows like Homeland. The show is based on a novel of the same name, authored by John le Carré by. The story is set in the era of the Cold War, where a spy veteran George Smiley is assigned the task of uncovering a Soviet Agent within MI6.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has been named by Le Carré himself as his favorite film adaptation of his book. It’s a classic spy series which has been noted for its slower pacing, which might be unfamiliar to fans of more modern spy drama series like Homeland.
10. The Recruit (2022)
The Recruit is an American spy-adventure similar to shows like Homeland. The show features Noah Centineo, who plays Owen Hendricks, a CIA lawyer who is all of a sudden thrust into the high stakes world of international espionage after an agent threatens to compromise the agency.
Released on Netflix following a flurry of promo in late 2022, it has since garnered good reviews for its first season, with praise reserved especially for its great use of Noah Centineo in a role which he would not be expected to excel in.
11. Treason (2022)
Treason is a British mini-series centered on Adam Lawrence, an agent of the MI6, who gets caught up in a complicated situation when a Russian spy who he has a history with, comes back into his life, threatening to turn his beliefs and entire life upside down.
Full of double-crossings and fun action setpieces, it garnered generally positive reviews from critics and fans alike, with praise especially reserved for its thrilling premise, and gripping storylines. If you’re looking for something with all of these qualities, then try checking this out on Netflix.
12. The Blacklist (2013)
The Blacklist is one of the more celebrated modern spy action thriller series like Homeland. It closely follows James Spader’s Raymond Reddington, a internationally known criminal who turns himself in to help the FBI catch some of their most wanted fugitives who are still at large.
A strong ensemble cast, a superb soundtrack and a thrilling plot, The Blacklist has remained of a consistently good quality over its time on air, despite slight dips in certain seasons as expected for a show that has stayed on air since 2013. If you loved Homeland, you’ll love The Blacklist.
Here are more shows like Homeland that didn’t make the list which you can watch regardless:
- Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (2018)
- In From The Cold (2022)
- The Americans (2013)