In November, Showtime announced that “Dexter” has been renewed for Season 7 and Season 8. At Thursday’s Television Critics Association Press Tour, David Nevins, the network’s President of Entertainment, admitted to the press that he does expect Season 8 to be “Dexter’s” last — but he’s not married to the idea.
“This is the likely endpoint, but I’m allowing for the possibility that the end can change,” he says. Later when questioned about the perhaps faltering quality of the story — this season wasn’t anybody’s favorite — he says he’s pleased with the creative direction. “I think there’s a very clear trajectory now of where they’re going over the next two seasons, and I think it’s going to help to write with that endgame in mind.”
There will be some significant shifts on the show, particularly given the fact that in the Season 6 finale, Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) discovered Dexter’s (MIchael C. Hall) secret. “I’ve been pushing to shake up the formula a bit,” Nevins says. “I think there’s going to be fundamentally different dynamics now that Deb [is exploring her feelings for Dexter] and has been given a huge reveal at the end of the season. That’s going to ricochet through and… shake up what Dexter goes through so he’s not just a lone wolf.”
As for the ick-factor of the storyline in which Deb’s therapist encourages her to look into her more-than-platonic feelings for her adoptive brother, Nevins acknowledges the inherent weirdness. He tells us that it’s been something that has built for a while. “That’s a story that will continue next season,” he says. “I’m aware that there’s a certain taboo despite the fact that they’re not genetically related. It’s something that has been building for a number of years, I think… it’s an idea that has informed how they’ve done the show for a long time.”
Hall and Carpenter, who recently divorced, have been very involved in the story plans and producers have been sensitive to any awkwardness given their off-screen relationship, or lack thereof.
Nevins says that the audience’s awareness of the split has been factored in. “It makes for an interesting ripple in the show. I think audiences will figure that in as we go,” he says. “When you have actors like Michael and Jennifer who have been heart and soul characters for so long, there are conversations. They go back and forth all the time [with producers]. Michael and Jennifer have a very good relationship so it’s quite comfortable, but that has been a conversation and will continue to be a conversation.”
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