The season 3 finale of "Homeland" Sunday shocked fans of the series with the public execution of longtime lead character Nicholas Brody. While many Showtime viewers questioned the character's death and the possibility of actor Damian Lewis returning to the Showtime drama, a showrunner has confirmed that Lewis' character will not be returning next season.

In an interview with Vulture, "Homeland" executive producer Alex Gansa confirmed Brody's passing, calling the on-screen demise "a long time coming." "It was one of the first decisions made in the story room, that the time had come, and in a way, the entire year was constructed around that event. We knew it was going to happen; we just didn't know exactly how it was going to happen," said Gansa, who later confirmed that Brody will not return to the show, saying, "Brody's dead. It's done."

According to Gansa, Lewis' character, a former American prisoner of war turned on-screen lover of Claire Dane's character Carrie, was originally scheduled to die as early as season one. Reportedly, Lewis' role was kept out of harm's way on the program due to "Showtime's invervention."

So with Brody officially gone, what's next for the popular program? According to Gansa, big changes are in store. "I think there's no doubt that the show has to be reinvented, on some level," he said. "We don't have the central relationship that was so important for the first three seasons. But I think we have a lot of fantastic characters up and running, and we will clearly dial them into the show in one way or another," he added.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Lewis, 42, had yet to comment on his departure from the series on his official social media account.

Season 4 of "Homeland" is scheduled to return in 2014. Last week, TVLine reported that actors Morena Baccarin (Brody's wife, Jessica) and Morgan Saylor (Brody's daughter, Dana) will not return as regulars for the show's next season.