The shocking fourth season finale of “Dexter” broke all ratings records for Showtime on Sunday (Dec. 14) night.
In its first airing at 9 p.m. on Sunday, the “Dexter” finale drew 2.575 million viewers, making it the most-watched original series episode ever on Showtime. In addition to pulling in an audience 71 percent larger than the Season Three finale, the “Dexter” episode was Showtime’s largest audience for a single telecast since a 1999 boxing match between Mike Tyson and Orlin Norris.
Factoring in an encore airing at 11 p.m. the total night audience for the “Dexter” finale went to 3.078 million, making it the first Showtime original series episode to draw more than 3 million viewers in a single night.
Not surprisingly, the record-breaking “Dexter” audience helped spill over into the Season Three finale for “Californication,” which set series records with 1.055 million viewers in its initial airing at 10 p.m. That was a 72 percent improvement over the second season finale. With the addition of a 10:30 p.m. encore, the “Californication” finale pulled in 1.305 million viewers in its first night of airing.