Showtime’s Dexter and Homeland delivered more record-breaking ratings Sunday with their season finales. Dexter’s seventh-season ender drew 2.75 million viewers at 9 PM, the highest-rated episode ever for a Showtime original series. That’s up 23% from the original Season 6 finale for the serial killer series. Overall, Dexter had a Sunday audience of 3.43 million viewers on the night. Meanwhile, Homeland’s 10 PM broadcast of its second-season finale drew 2.3 million viewers, down from last week’s high of 2.36 million. Overall, the spy thriller series had its highest-rated night ever with a total of 2.7 million viewers. The first airing of the Season 1 finale had an audience of 1.7 million viewers last season.
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 look (see below) at the opening minutes of the upcoming Showtime series’ next-to-last season showed Dexter Morgan caught by his homicide detective foster sibling Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) as he cuts up the series’ Travis character. After trying to talk his way out of the situation, the forensic analyst finally seems to lose his cool when Debra goes to call in the incident. That’s when the screen went black and the crowd went wild. Otherwise, despite a lengthy Q&A from adoring fans, cast members Michael C. Hall, Carpenter, and executive producer Scott Buck kept pretty quiet about what the new season will bring. What was not quiet was that Yvonne Strahovski, the former Chuck co-star, would be joining the show this year as Hanna. Described by the actress, who was also on the panel, as “a woman of mystery who meets Dexter and helps him with an old murder investigation,” the Hanna character seemed to be a pivotal figure in the season. “I can’t say more, there are lots of things I’m not allowed to say or I’ll get in trouble,” said Strahovski. She did say that while she had …
In her first series gig since the end of NBC’s Chuck, Yvonne Strahovski has joined the cast of Showtime’s drama series Dexter for a multi-episode arc in the upcoming seventh season. She will play Hannah McKay, a strong, independent woman with a past that she’s struggled to put behind her. As a turn of events leads Miami Metro Homicide to ask for her help in solving some old cases, Dexter (Michael C. Hall) works with her and begins to wonder if there’s more to this woman than she’s professed. Production on Season 7 began last week for a September 30 premiere. Strahovski is best-known for playing CIA operative Sarah Walker on Chuck. Up next, she co-stars in two films: Guilt Trip opposite Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen; and as the female lead in I, Frankenstein with Aaron Eckhart.
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 September 30. Production on Season 7 begins in May in Los Angeles. Gedrick, also a film and stage actor, most recently co-starred in the HBO horse-racing drama Luck, which is not returning for a second season.
As it hinted following Dexter and Homeland‘s successful pairing last fall, Showtime is keeping the two dramas together for another cycle. The pay cable network has set September 30 as a premiere date for Dexter‘s seventh season and Homeland‘s second. The two series will again air at 9 PM (Dexter) and 10 PM (Homeland) on Sundays.
Showtime is making a major play in the documentary space. On the heels of the recent greenlight for a documentary about infamous rap mogul Suge Knight directed by Antoine Fuqua, the pay cable network today announced The World According To Dick Cheney, a documentary chronicling the life of the former Vice President, which will be directed by The War Room helmer R.J. Cutler. Additionally, Showtime is developing a Richard Pryor docu, through it is still in early stages, and talks with Pryor’s family for their cooperation are ongoing. The three projects are part of what Showtime calls “a new initiative to produce a slate of high-end, filmmaker-driven portraits of iconic figures.” “I had feeling we can have a real impact with documentaries,” Showtime entertainment president David Nevins said during the network’s TCA executive session this morning. The plan is to roll out the initiative slowly with a handful of documentaries and to produce more if they do well.
Nevins said that there is “clear endgame in place” for veteran drama Dexter, whose recent two-season pickup is the “likely endpoint,” “but I’m allowing for the possibility that the plan can change,” he added. He defended an incest-ish plotline this past season that linked adopted siblings Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) and Dexter (Michael C. Hall). “I’m aware that there’s a certain taboo despite the fact that they’re not genetically related, but it’s something …
Showtime’s series Homeland carried over its growth story to the season finale, which hit a season high with 1.71 million viewers at 10 PM and 2.03 million for the night to become the highest-rated finale for a freshman series in Showtime’s history. Compared with the series premiere, the finale was up 58% as the conspiracy thriller now ranks as Showtime’s highest-rated first-year series ever with an average of 4.23 million viewers per episode across all platforms, and the No. 2 overall behind Dexter. Homeland‘s lead-in, the Season 6 finale of Dexter, posted 2.23 million viewers at 9 PM, down 11% from last year’s closer but the most-watched Showtime telecast in 2011. For the night, the serial killer drama averaged 2.71 million viewers, down 7%. Season 6 is on track to become Dexter’s highest-rated season. It has averaged 5.4 million viewers per episode, 10% ahead of Season 5.
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 highest-rated series. Last month, I reported about a breakdown in the negotiations between Hall and Showtime over a $4 million gap between the $24 million Hall’s reps were reportedly seeking and the $20 million Showtime was offering for a new 2-year contract. (Hall’s existing one is up at the end of the current Season 6.) Today, Nevins declined to discuss financials but stressed that they didn’t drive the deal-making. “It’s been a pretty simple negotiation, and Michael C. Hall has been incredibly gentlemanly throughout the whole process,” Nevins said. “The biggest question was: what is the trajectory of the show creatively? And after speaking with (executive producers) John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton and Scott Buck, it became pretty clear that there was a very clear 3-year trajectory. Once we established that, this became a very simple negotiation, which went down pretty quickly.” The 3-year trajectory includes the current sixth season and the upcoming Seasons 7 and 8. Does it mean that Dexter will end after eight seasons? “I’m not going to say with absolute certainty that this is the end, but that is the likely scenario, that the series is …
After lengthy negotiations, Showtime has closed a new two-year deal with Dexter star Michael C. Hall. With him locked in, the pay cable network has renewed its flagship series for 2 more seasons, bringing the its run to 8 seasons. Each season will consist of 12 episodes, with production on Season 7 slated to begin next year in Los Angeles. “Dexter‘s enormous success is a real tribute to the great achievements of its cast, producers, and the powerhouse performance of Michael C. Hall,” Showtime entertainment president David Nevins said. “The series is bigger than it’s ever been in its sixth season, both in terms of audience and its impact on the cultural landscape.” This past week, Dexter inched up again in the ratings for a fifth consecutive week, delivering 1.99 million viewers (2.61 million for the night), the show’s largest audience since the sixth season premiere. Season-to-date, the dark drama averages 5.12 million viewers per week on all platforms. “On behalf of the entire Dexter family, we relish the invitation to delve ever deeper into Dexter’s world,” said Hall, who is executive producing the show with John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Scott Buck and Manny Coto. The deal with Hall comes after some tense moments last month …
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.