Showtime’s Dexter Moves to CBS

CBS and all the other networks may be running out of scripted programming because of the Writer’s Strike, but that doesn’t mean it can’t cannibalize its own shows. In pursuit of that, CBS is bringing the first full season of Showtime’s grisly serial killer drama Dexter to its network, and will be airing the show’s entire first season on Sundays starting February 17, 2008.

Obviously the whole idea is to give the impression of having original shows, when they don’t, since Showtime, Dexter’s home, is seen in a tiny fraction of households as compared to the reach of a free network channel like CBS.


“‘Dexter’ is a high-quality, compelling series that will be new and original programming for most CBS viewers,” said Eye entertainment prexy Nina Tassler. “It’s also a great match with our existing lineup.”

“Dexter” will be cut because of content, but also because of time issues. Average segs run nearly an hour; show will be sliced down to 47 or 48 minutes for CBS. That’s still longer than the average hour primetime drama; as a result, promo time will be axed. An Eye spokesman said he still expects “Dexter” to carry a full ad load.

Greenblatt has been overseeing the “Dexter” chops himself. The exec said he didn’t think the cuts would impact the show creatively.

“It’s exactly the show that it has always been. We’re just cutting little things here and there that no one will miss,” he said.

The critically acclaimed Dexter stars Michael C. Hall as the titular character, a Miami Police forensics expert who just happens to moonlight in his free time as a serial killer. The catch? Dexter only kills killers — that is, people he knows for a fact are killers (being a forensics expert, he investigates all their cases) when the long arm of the law fails. The show is currently in its second season on Showtime.

Showtime’s Dexter Moves to CBS