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'Dexter,' 'Homeland' Register Record Ratings With Season Finales

Showtime's original series duo ended their seasons on Nielsen high notes.

Serial killer series Dexter completed its seventh campaign averaging 2.75 million viewers in the 9 p.m. hour on Dec. 16, making it the highest-rated episode for a Showtime original series, according to Nielsen data. Over the course of the night, Dexter delivered 3.4 million watchers, again topping the premium channel's list.

Sunday's finale was up 14% from the 2.4 million viewers for the seventh-season bow (vs. 2.4 million) and 23% above the 2.2 million for the sixth-season ender on Dec. 18, 2011. For the night, the finale was up 26% from the 2.7 million for last season's concluder. 

Season-to-date, Dexter averaged 6.1 million total weekly viewers across platforms, its highest rated season ever, and 12% more than at the same juncture a year ago.

Emmy-award-winning terrorist drama Homeland also enjoyed its biggest night to date, garnering 2.3 million viewers for the 10 p.m. finale, a 32% jump from the 1.7 million for its sophomore campaign opener. Across the night, Homeland pulled in 2.7 million watchers to surpass the 2.6 million who tuned in this season's penultimate installment on Dec. 9.

Season-to-date, Homeland hailed 5.9 million total weekly viewers across myriad platforms, up 37% above its freshman season and now ranks as the network's second-highest-rated series behind its lead-in.