In a move so inevitable that the only surprise is what took so long for it to be made official, Showtime has renewed “Dexter” for a sixth season.
The drama is the biggest hit the pay cable channel has – this season’s 10th episode drew 2.54 million viewers, second only to the fourth season finale that concluded the John Lithgow arc (2.57 million) – and Showtime president David Nevins called the renewal “the easiest decision I’ve made since I got to Showtime.”
I was very disappointed with last night’s episode (you can read my review here) and the general sense that the series will keep running in place because it’s too big a success for Showtime to shake up the format, set an end date or what have you. And based on the comments, many of you are also starting to get frustrated with the repetition and lack of real stakes. But as long as it’s pulling in those big ratings – and as long as Michael C. Hall is under contract and/or still interested in playing the part – the show’s going to keep going.
In an ideal world – or another country, like England, which has a very different business model for TV shows – a high-concept series like “Dexter” would run exactly as long as needed to get the most out of that concept. In this world, though, the show must go on, and on, and on, until the ratings dip, or Hall wants to quit, or Showtime somehow develops enough other (relatively) big hits that they can afford to pull the plug.