Network dices ‘Dexter’ for primetime

Katie Young

Dexter: the good serial killer


Sundays, 9 p.m.


In an attempt to capture audience interest during the writers’ strike, CBS dared to toe the line and picked up “Dexter,” a Showtime original featuring a serial killer who kills people he feels deserve it.

And like most cable programs aired on network television, “Dexter,” continues to face scrutiny from concerned viewers. The series follows Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter expert for the Miami Metro Police Department. What’s different about Dexter is his favorite activity: killing.

As the series progresses, viewers learn more about Dexter’s past and how he learned to use his urges for good. The series also follows cases that the police department receives and how Dexter’s knowledge as a killer helps the cases get solved.

CBS faced several different issues when placing “Dexter” in its Sunday night lineup. The language used in “Dexter” is typical of a police department setting. In one argument between Dexter and his nemesis, Sgt. James Doakes, Doakes uses the F-word six times in a matter of minutes. This is, of course, edited out by CBS.

Violent imagery is also a big part of the show, with the original episodes showing both Dexter’s crimes, along with those of other serial killers and criminals. CBS surprisingly cut out only the extreme cases of inappropriate images, including Dexter’s practice of stripping down his victims and Saran wrapping them to tables.

The network also faced the issue of time. Because it was originally shown on Showtime, “Dexter” ran at exactly 60 minutes, without commercials. Many scenes were trimmed down and extra dialogue cut in order to make room for ads.

But did the changes affect the integrity or popularity of the show? Not according to the statistics. The show earned 8.1 million viewers for its premiere, a significantly larger number than its original premiere on Showtime. According to Variety, the show also gave CBS its highest ratings in the Sunday night time slot since December.

But not all personal opinions reflect the statistics. Freshman nursing major and Dexter fan A.J. Hughes said after watching the Showtime originals, he feels that the edited show suffers a little from the changes.

“It’s less realistic,” he said.

However, Hughes also said that the editing could give the show an opportunity to gain new viewers.

“I think that more people will be interested in the show with less language, gore and violence.”

Contact all reporter Katie Young at [email protected].