September 23, 2013 12:34pm PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Dexter' Series Finale Brings Record 2.8 Million Viewers
Despite heavy competition, a record number of viewers chose to watch Dexter's Showtime swan song. The series raked in 2.8 million viewers in its inaugural airing -- a record for the series and for the network, making it the most watched original outing in Showtime history.
That number edges past the previous record, set by last year's finale, of 2.7 million viewers. Across multiple views, Dexter took in 3.3 million for the night.
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Dexter remained remarkably consistent during its eighth and final run, opening to up 2.5 million viewers in the summer and ultimately rising 13 percent to Sunday's finale. It has also seen gross viewership swell. The run is averaging 6.4 million weekly viewers across platforms, and likely to go up in final returns. The previous season averaged 6.1 million.
Ray Donovan retained its status as Showtime's highest-rated freshman series with its finale, topping the first Homeland finale by 33 percent. The first airing of Ray Donovan brought in 1.41 million viewers at 10 p.m., eventually grabbing a total of 2.1 million viewers for the night.
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A cross-platform gross average of 5.7 million weekly viewers also makes Ray Donovan Showtime's third-most-watched show, behind Dexter and Homeland -- and given Dexter's exit, Ray Donovan is technically now the network's No. 2.