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Life Serial: "Dexter" Heads to CBS

It's official. After weeks of speculation, Showtime serial (and ratings) killer Dexter, starring Michael C. Hall as a police forensics expert who happens to be a serial killer, will head over to scripted-starved network CBS in a rare display of network/cable repurposing, especially for a pay cable drama.

CBS will air edited versions of the twelve episodes from Dexter's first season on Sunday nights at 10 pm, beginning February 17th.

Content will be edited for violence and language, as well as screen time; an average episode of Dexter runs pretty darn close to an hour, so expect that about 12 or 13 minutes will be removed to get it down to a broadcast runtime.

"Dexter is a "high-quality, compelling series that will be new and original programming for most CBS viewers," said CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler. "It's also a great match with our existing lineup."

CBS plans to repurpose all twelve eps over twelve consecutive weeks, so Showtime-deprived audiences will get to see what all the fuss over Dexter is all about, without any gaps.

Still, not everyone is thrilled about Dexter being repurposed for network TV. Former Dexter executive producer Daniel Cerone (who wrote the Season Two premiere and finale as well as the Season One finale) doesn't think that the series is appropriate for broadcast television.

"We didn't pull any punches," Cerone told Variety. "We were very aware that we were writing for a premium cable audience. The most interesting thing about Dexter is he kills without remorse. I'm curious and intrigued at how they would cut the show down to make him a character that works on broadcast TV. I wouldn't feel like a responsible writer-producer if I didn't express that concern."

While the moral and ethical dilemma over whether or not to tune in to CBS' Dexter is completely in your lap, gentle readers, I do predict some boffo numbers for the series' network run.


Anonymous said…
I think we're going to see a lot more of this as the television well runs dry. It's going to be tough cutting shows like "Dexter" down while still preserving the quality but, hey, it will still probably be better than the flood of reality TV that's coming.
The CineManiac said…
I'll e tuning in if only to see how it's done, especailly with Deb's dialogue.
Unknown said…
I just finished watching season 1 on DVD. I hope season 2 is out on DVD soon or maybe I'll read the books. What a great job transferring it from the book! I'm glad more people will get a chance to see it, but I also agree it's rare for the scriptwriter's intent to survive significant editing.

If they edit out all the not-ready-for-primetime language, that alone might bring it down to a network-lovable 42 minutes of content.
eAi said…
If you do decide to read the books, avoid the 3rd one - it's pretty poor. Just look at the amazon reviews. The second one is ok, but I think the TV series is better than the books frankly - a rare occurrence.
Unknown said…
Thanks for the tip. I'll make sure to get them from the library, but I'm hoping the season 2 DVD comes out before I get around to it.
The CineManiac said…
I'm reading the second book now and at the halfwya point it's nothing like the second season. The second book is pretty good so far, but I have to say the show was better.
As for book 1/season 1 they were pretty comparable in content and goodness.
Unknown said…
That does it. Two votes in favor of the show over the book--I'll stick with the show. Thanks for the recommendations!

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