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Showtime entertainment president Gary Levine told reporters Tuesday that the network didn’t handle the show’s original finale very well. Dexter concluded in 2013 after eight seasons with a run of episodes that were considered by many fans and critics to be a creative nadir for the show.
“Dexter is a jewel in the crown of Showtime and we didn’t do it justice in the end, and that has always been a burr under my saddle,” said Levine at the Television Critics Association press tour. “We’ve always wanted to see if there was a way to do it right and it took a long time to figure out what that was and a long time for [star Michael C. Hall] to be willing to revisit the role.”
Added Hall: “The way the series proper ended has a great deal to do with why we’re revisiting the show and the character. I think a lot of what was mystifying or dissatisfying to people is what creates the appetite we’re hopefully satisfying now. It didn’t end in a way that was definitive or gave people closure. We didn’t hear from Dexter at the end, and it left audiences in a kind of suspended animation. I think a big part of our motive was to definitively answer what happened to this guy.”
Levine was also asked if the upcoming limited series was truly “limited” or whether they’d make more if Hall wanted to continue playing his iconic character.
“Call [the upcoming episodes] what you will,” he said. “Call it a ‘limited series,’ but the rules are it can’t be limited series if it’s coming from something that was on the air for a long time. We call it a ‘special event series.’ For me, it’s revisiting Dexter and giving a proper finale for a brilliant series.”
Pressed if the network would consider a spinoff, Levine, again, demurred. “The expectation is so high for it and the series is so special to the network and me … the future will take care of itself.”
When asked the same question, Hall said, “For me to answer that question definitively would maybe give away or potentially imply info we don’t want to imply. I’ll refrain from answering too definitively. I do hope that watching the show is a satisfying experience for people who watched it originally and are curious about what happened to him. I hope it does provide some definitive answers that aren’t primarily just mystifying to people.”
The upcoming special event series thing is titled Dexter: New Blood and the production just spent 119 days filming in Massachusetts during the pandemic. The story picks up 10 years after Dexter went missing. The police forensics expert/serial killer is hiding out in the small town of Iron Lake, New York and a series of events resurfaces his old urges. The cast also includes Julia Jones (The Mandalorian), Alano Miller (Sylvie’s Love), Johnny Sequoyah (Believe), Jack Alcott (The Good Lord Bird) and Clancy Brown (The Crown). Perhaps most crucially, original series showrunner Clyde Phillips, who left the show after its fourth season, is also back on board.
There are also as-yet-unannounced returning castmembers from the original show. “There are several people coming back and a couple have not been announced,” Phillips said.
The 10-episode Dexter: New Blood premieres Nov. 7. Here’s the current trailer:
Lesley Goldberg and Rick Porter contributed to this report.
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