As has been hinted, CBS will replay edited versions of Showtime's "Dexter," starting Feb. 17.
The full announcement is after the jump. But let me express some deep reservations here.
The shifting of premium shows to broadcast or basic cable (as has been the case with "The Sopranos" and "The Wire," among others) inevitably requires the editing of content, and that changes the tone, the style, the very essence of the show. (IT can also add commercials to shows that were not meant to be seen that way.) When, for example, I hear from readers who are watching "The Sopranos" on A&E, I try to persuade them that that's not the way to watch the show. They need to see it as originally made, whether via HBO itself or on the DVDs containing the entire series.
I am not a big fan of "Dexter," but on principle it should be spared the trimming that will go with its journey to broadcast. Sure, CBS is looking for something fresh as the strike drags on. And the people who saw "Dexter" on Showtime are few in number. So there is an argument to be made that a broadcast-size audience might then be drawn to Showtime, thus keeping "Dexter" alive (and making Showtime, a corporate sib of CBS, more healthy). But that's not enough of a claim to justify artistic heresy.
DEXTER, the critically acclaimed drama series about a serial killer, which recently completed its second season on premium cable network SHOWTIME, makes an unprecedented appearance on network television when it premieres Sunday, Feb. 17 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
DEXTER's move to CBS marks the first time a full season of a premium cable drama series will make the transition to network television. DEXTER's 12-episode first season will be edited for network television and will be broadcast on 12 consecutive Sundays.
"We're excited to work with our corporate cousins at SHOWTIME on this unique programming opportunity," said Nina Tassler, President of CBS Entertainment. "DEXTER is a high-quality, compelling series that will be new and original programming for most CBS viewers. It's also a great match with our existing lineup, affording us the opportunity to promote this critically decorated series in CBS's top-rated crime dramas."
"We're thrilled to have the chance to expose DEXTER to a wider audience on CBS," said Robert Greenblatt, President, Entertainment, SHOWTIME Networks. "I think it will be very compatible with their lineup as well as be a great opportunity to promote our brand on a platform that reaches every home in America."
Based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay, DEXTER stars Emmy and Golden Globe Award-nominated Michael C. Hall ("Six Feet Under") as Dexter Morgan, an incredibly likeable forensics expert for the Miami Metro Police Department who also happens to be a serial killer — but one with his own moral code in that he only kills murderers who can't otherwise be brought to justice.
DEXTER has been honored in two consecutive years with American Film Institute Awards for Top 10 Outstanding Programs (2006, 2007) and has been nominated in various categories for awards given out by the Writers Guild, Producers Guild, Casting Society, Television Critics Association and the Primetime Emmy Awards.
For his portrayal of Dexter Morgan, Hall has been twice nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series (2006, 2007), a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series and a Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama. He is the recipient of a Golden Satellite Award and a Saturn Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series.
DEXTER's second season finale on Sunday, Dec. 16 averaged 1.4 million viewers, the largest audience ever for an original SHOWTIME broadcast.
DEXTER also stars Julie Benz ("Angels," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Jennifer Carpenter ("The Exorcism of Emily Rose"), Erik King ("National Treasure"), Lauren Velez ("Oz"), David Zayas ("Michael Clayton") and James Remar ("Sex and the City"). John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton and Clyde Phillips, are executive producers. DEXTER was developed for television by James Manos, Jr.
CONTENT RATING FOR THE PREMIERE EPISODE: TV 14-V