'Dexter' picked up for 2 more seasons

Showtime orders 24 episodes of Emmy-nominated series

Showtime has renewed its top-rated drama series "Dexter" for two more seasons.

The premium cable network has ordered 12 episodes each for Seasons 4 and 5, with the fourth season set to go into production in the spring in Los Angeles.

Season 3 premiered Sept. 28 and is averaging 2.5 million weekly viewers combined across all airings, up 16% over the same period last season. When DVR and on-demand numbers are factored in, Showtime expects that number to exceed 3 million weekly viewers.

"Dexter," which stars Michael C. Hall as a complicated and conflicted blood-spatter expert for the Miami police department who moonlights as a serial killer, was nominated for five Emmys this year, including best drama series and best lead actor in a drama. The show also received a 2008 Peabody Award.

Showtime president of entertainment Robert Greenblatt credited the cast, producing team and Jeff Lindsay, author of the books on which "Dexter" is based, for the show's success.

"I thought at best we would attract a devoted cult audience but soon realized that, ironically, this show is so thematically rich and layered with humanity that audiences of all kinds have flocked to it," he said.

John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Clyde Phillips and Charles H. Eglee serve as executive producers for Season 3. Hall, Scott Buck and Melissa Rosenberg are co-executive producers.
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