Showtime‘s potent duo of Dexter and Homeland delivered more record-breaking ratings Sunday. The shows’ penultimate episodes for the season posted both series’ highest ratings ever. Dexter drew 2.6 million viewers at 9 PM, the biggest audience ever …
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
On the eve of Dexter‘s Season 7 premiere, there is the palpable sense — at least inside Showtime — that a series that critics had come to believe was running on fumes is suddenly enjoying a second wind. Earlier today at TCA, the network’s programming chief David Nevins referred to this as “a game-changing year” for the serial killer series — still the highest-rated original program on Showtime — in the wake of an energizing sixth-season cliffhanger. In it, Dexter Morgan’s (Michael C. Hall) sister Debra (played by Hall’s real-life ex-wife Jennifer Carpenter) discovers for the first time that her foster brother is a murderer — the Miami police lieutenant finding him mid-kill. So excited is Nevins that while he acknowledged the two-year plan for Dexter that would find it wrapping after Season 8 remains the likely scenario, he added, “I’d be stupid if I didn’t leave the door open. Everything is getting rewired this season in an interesting way. We’ll see where that carries us.”
So does that mean that a ninth season is possible? During the Dexter panel at TCA featuring Hall, Carpenter, new castmate Yvonne Strahovski and exec producers Sara Colleton and Scott Buck, Hall was asked if he potentially foresaw extending the show’s run to a ninth season and beyond. “It’s difficult to answer that in the midst of shooting this seventh season, with at least sort of a vague sense that the eighth season will be the final one,” he admitted. “To imagine it going beyond that, I mean, we finished the first season and I thought we should just stop. What are we gonna do now? So I would never say never, but I think the sense is we’re moving toward a definitive end.”
At the top of the Showtime executive session at TCA, entertainment president David Nevins announced that cancer comedy The Big C will conclude its run with a “special limited run of 4 hourlong installments. “From its inception it has been unique in tone,” Nevins said of the dark comedy, praising creator Darlene Hunt and showrunner Jenny Bicks, who, along with star Laura Linney, are set to return for the final chapter. “The show began in the summer in Season 1, went through spring and winter in Seasons 2 and 3″ and will conclude in “a new form-breaking way.” The departures of The Big C and Weeds have been part of what has been “a transformative year for us,” Nevins said, “time for renewal and reinvention when we’re saying good-bye to some beloved series and getting ready to welcome some new ones.”
Nevins also gave an update on the status of several other Showtime series. He said that drama Dexter going for two more seasons is still “the likely scenario”, but “I’d be stupid if I didn’t leave the door open… Everything is getting rewired this season in an interesting way, we’ll see where that carries us.”
The upcoming seventh season of Dexter sees the Miami serial killer busted by his own sister, Comic-Con fans learned today. A brief …
Jason Gedrick is joining Season 7 of Dexter in a multi-episode arc. He will play the manager of a Miami-area gentlemen’s club that becomes linked to a high-profile murder case in the Showtime drama, which has its season premiere …
Minutes after Showtime announced a new two-year deal with Dexter star Michael C. Hall and a two-year pickup for the show, I spoke with Showtime entertainment president David Nevins about the deal and the future of Dexter, the network’s …
EXCLUSIVE: Showtime’s flagship drama Dexter opened its sixth season on Sunday with a stellar 2.2 million viewers, up 24% from last year to mark the hit series’ highest-rated premiere ever and Showtime’s best original series opener in at least 14 years. But the prospects of the hit drama going to a seventh season are now uncertain as negotiations between Dexter star Michael C. Hall and Showtime have broken down. I hear that the two sides reached an impasse yesterday, the same day Dexter‘s big Season 6 premiere ratings came out. Hall’s contract for Dexter is up after the current sixth season, which is about to wrap production. He has been negotiating with Showtime for a while, but I hear talks broke down after the two sides couldn’t bridge a $4 million gap in proposed salary for a new deal, with Showtime offering $20 million for two more seasons and Hall’s team asking for $24 million. Either figure would make Hall one of the highest-paid actors in cable.
Mad Men (AMC)
Why It Was Nominated: Because it’s television’s reigning gold standard, that’s why, with 19 total nominations this year (more than any other series and second among all shows behind the HBO mini Mildred Pierce, which tallied 21). Matt Weiner 1960s ad agency hour has won three times in a row here and by winning a fourth would tie Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law and The West Wing for the most Outstanding Drama Emmys. In its fourth season, critics and fans seem to be in agreement that Mad Men remains at the top of its game. So if it’s still about quality, just hand the Emmy over.
Why It Has To Win: Mad Men is on a roll, one that shows no signs of derailing with wins this year from the Television Critics Association and the inaugural Critics Choice Award. “They did some of their best work this season,” one producer says, “and the level that Weiner is operating at sort of leaves a lot of us in awe. It’s astoundingly good.” This show appears to be that rarest of exceptions: One that started out hot and has grown only hotter year after year as well as backlash-proof.
Why It Can’t Possibly Win: There are a couple of monkey wrenches that could squelch this year’s anticipated Mad Men coronation. One is the fact that, unlike its first three years in Emmy contention, the show had no fresh episodes this summer during voting time — pushed to next spring by Weiner’s protracted contract negotiations. The other is those very negotiations themselves that found the headstrong Men creator-showrunner all over the media with the sometimes acrimonious back-and-forth. “There will be some who don’t vote for the show out of jealousy directed at Weiner,” a voting writer believes. “But it’s hard to know how much that will matter.”