How Dexter: New Blood Is Already A Huge Winner For Showtime

Dexter in beanie and coat on Dexter: New Blood
(Image credit: Showtime)


When Showtime announced that it would be welcoming back Michael C. Hall for a new revival season of the mostly beloved killer thriller Dexter, it was initially viewed by fans as a means to make up for the highly maligned Season 8 finale that took the vigilante killer out of Miami. By all means, that was already a great motivation, but it thankfully wasn't the only good idea coming from showrunner Clyde Phillips. Not only are the new episodes winning viewers over by and large, but the Dexter viewership is bigger than ever, giving Showtime execs a lot to be thankful about.

Already, Dexter's initial run made for one of the biggest successes in Showtime's existence, and while the ratings for just about every show out there now pale in comparison to past years, the New Blood episodes are bucking that trend, thanks in part to impressive streaming data. That said, it’s not just online audiences at play here, but an all-encompassing combination.

Episode 7, which aired on December 19, marked a season high in Dexter: New Blood’s viewership for Live + Same Day totals. Across live TV, streaming and on demand for Sunday evening, the latest installment drew 2.34 million viewers, according to Deadline, with a little over 710,000 of them watching on Showtime proper. It’s the best total audience turnout for Showtime in the four years since Shameless’ Season 8 premiere, which drew 2.4 million people. One can only assume that number will grow even bigger as DVR stats and other delayed viewing totals are factored in over the coming weeks. 

To that end, the Dexter: New Blood premiere from November 7 has become the biggest drama debut ever for Showtime, and has taken over the top spot as the biggest streaming debut ever for the network in regards to premiere week viewership. Six weeks after its arrival, that premiere episode (“Cold Snap”) has been watched by over 8.2 million viewers.

Dexter: New Blood also deserves credit for a major overall win that doesn’t solely involve comparisons to other Showtime series. When Live + 7 Day stats are tallied, the limited series’ premiere is to date the most watched scripted drama premiere among all premium networks throughout 2021. We’ll have to wait another week or so to see if that holds true, but it seems likely enough. 

The season as a whole has become the most streamed Showtime series of all time when it comes to weekly OTT (over the top) viewership. It’s reported that Dexter: New Blood episodes are pulling in an average of around 7 million viewers on a weekly basis, which is certainly bigger than the core audience for every season of Dexter’s initial run. Which is definitely proof of how popular the bloody drama has remained in the years since it first wrapped up in 2013, with millions of new viewers later discovering it (and promptly bingeing the hell out of it) on Netflix and other streaming services. 

Considering how successful this revival season has been, it’s only natural to wonder whether or not the full cast of new and returning characters (at least those who survive beyond the finale) will reteam again for another season. But given its current existence as a limited series, Dexter: New Blood may not be built to spark further extension, with Showtime’s President of Entertainment Gary Levine recently saying the season finale was built to be a proper conclusion. However, he also said the execs involved will be waiting until after the season is over, and all of the data has been accumulated, before a final decision is made.

There are just three installments left in Dexter: New Blood's season, and you can check out the trailer for Episode 8 below!

Dexter: New Blood airs Sunday nights on Showtime at 9:00 p.m. ET, so be sure to tune in to see where the season is going next. And check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see when all the new and returning shows will arrive.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.