The record viewing ratings for Dexter: New Blood don’t spell great news for long-time fans of the show.
Having finished with its eighth season in 2013, Dexter returned for a follow-up series in October 2021, with producers hoping to bring the show back into favour following its heavily-derided finale.
Titled Dexter: New Blood, the show saw Michael C Hall return as the serial killer, with episodes reuniting him with Harrison (Jack Alcott), the now-teenage son he abandoned at the end of the original series.
The show came to an end yet again on Sunday (9 January), but fans were left feeling rather underwhelmed by the climactic events.
It’s now been revealed that the final episode was actually network Showtime’s biggest finale since the third season of Homeland aired in 2013, averaging three million viewers.
The series also set a streaming and on-demand record for the network, with two million opting to watch it this way.
In all, the show averaged more than eight million weekly viewers, meaning Dexter: New Blood is now the most-watched series in Showtime history. Even more crucially for the network, the show helped drive more subscriptions than ever before.
Showtime Networks President Gary Levine said of the record: “We’re thrilled by the overwhelming response from the millions of fans of Dexter: New Blood these past 10 weeks.”
He continued: “Whether they loved the finale or couldn’t bear to see it end, we so appreciate their passion. Our deepest thanks to Michael, Clyde, Scott, and Marcos for delivering a profoundly powerful conclusion to our beloved and extraordinary series.”
Despite executive producer Clyde Phillips telling Entertainment Weekly there are no current plans to bring the show back, the viewing figures will certainly leave Showtime working out if this is a possibility.
*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*
The most likely scenario is that the show could focus on Harrison’s new life in Los Angeles without his father. It’s revealed in New Blood that he has violent tendencies after being “born in blood” just like his dad – and is even schooled by him for a few episodes.
Ultimately, though, Harrison kills Dexter after his previous crimes are unearthed by his girlfriend, Sheriff Angelia Bishop (Julia Jones), and he kills an innocent police sergeant (Alano Miller) while trying to get away.
Viewers have been expressing the hope that the New Blood finale would now be the end of Dexter once and for all – but, with these viewing figures in mind, could Harrison be happening?
One look at those figures and it seems more probable than ever. In a time where Showtime is facing stiff competition thanks to rivals including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and HBO Max, bosses probably don’t want to turn its back on what could be a surefire ratings winner.
The show wouldn’t have to go without its lead star, either – much like Dexter saw his dead father Harry (James Remar) and sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) throughout each series, perhaps Harrison could be accompanied by visions of the father he killed while ridding the streets of LA of evil killers?
Perhaps the show could even see Harrison meet Angel (David Zayas), whose return in New Blood left fans feeling very confused due to the fact it went absolutely nowhere.
Just don’t be surprised when that inevitable announcement is made.
Dexter: New Blood is available to watch on NOW.