Why Dexter Is Returning To Showtime For A Limited Series

Showtime's iconic serial killer is on the way back to the small screen! Dexter will be revived with original series star Michael C. Hall front and center for a limited TV series, following the original (and controversial) series finale back in 2013. With Dexter back and presumably ready to kill again, the question is why now is the time for the show to produce new episodes. Fortunately, a Showtime exec wasted no time in delivering the answer.

The Dexter limited series revival will run for ten episodes and not only star Michael C. Hall (who took a break from TV after Dexter), but will also bring back showrunner Clyde Phillips. Showtime Networks President of Entertainment Gary Levine explained why Dexter is coming back, saying:

DEXTER is such a special series, both for its millions of fans and for SHOWTIME, as this breakthrough show helped put our network on the map many years ago. We would only revisit this unique character if we could find a creative take that was truly worthy of the brilliant, original series. Well, I am happy to report that Clyde Phillips and Michael C. Hall have found it, and we can’t wait to shoot it and show it to the world.

Dexter isn't returning because this was the right time to begin moving forward on new episodes, but because Michael C. Hall and Clyde Phillips apparently found a "creative take" worthy of the original show! Dexter's initial run was for eight seasons, premiering in 2006 and coming to an end in fall 2013. Hall did never say never!

With production on the limited series aiming to begin in early 2021 for an intended premiere in fall 2021, the revival could debut on Showtime almost exactly eight years after the original finale in late September 2013. Ten episodes are on the way, but the description of the revival as a "limited series" suggests that fans shouldn't go into it expecting it to run another eight seasons.

Although some TV revivals have been more well-received than others, Dexter fans in particular might be pretty thrilled at the news of new episodes. The original series ender back in 2013 earned a reputation as one of the worst -- or at least most unpopular -- finales in TV history, with Dexter surviving his years of killing in Miami... to become a lumberjack in Oregon.

Shortly after that original series finale, Michael C. Hall explained Dexter's decision to go into self-exile was because Dexter felt the need to let everything go before it would eventually be destroyed, and didn't kill himself because he's a "self-preservationalist." At the time in the Reddit AMA, Hall said that Dexter "put himself on hold," so maybe the stage was set even back then for a return. Hall later came out and said that he thinks TV fans focus too much on series finales.

Interestingly, showrunner Clyde Phillips was no longer on board Dexter by the time that divisive series finale rolled around. He departed the show following the Season 4 finale. The original run of the series received plenty of recognition on the awards circuit, accumulating many Emmy and Golden Globe nominations over the years, including nods to Michael C. Hall as lead actor and the show itself as a standout drama.

Unfortunately, new episodes of Dexter won't be available on Showtime until 2021. The good news is that you can find the first eight seasons of Dexter streaming on Netflix, and plenty of other options on our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).