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David Chase

Where 'Homeland' fits on 'The Family Tree' of great TV drama

Where 'Homeland' fits on 'The Family Tree' of great TV drama

When Henry Bromell won the Writers' Guild Award this year for scripting “The Good Soldier” episode of “Homeland,” he thanked Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana.

Why, you might wonder, would this California screenwriter be thanking these two producers closely identified with Baltimore and New York, respectively, as he accepted an award for work on a series with which they had absolutely no connection?

The answer goes to the heart of what's known in the television industry as “The Family Tree,” a group of a couple of dozen writers and producers who can trace their screenwriting roots or training back to a pair of seminal TV shows from the early 1980s, “St. Elsewhere” and “Hill...