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Showtime Extends 'Dexter's Count To Five Seasons

Dexter Morgan’s body count is going to continue to rise.

Premium network Showtime has ordered two more season of serial murderer series Dexter.

Starring Michael C. Hall in the title role, the series, which was nominated for the best drama series Emmy, has currently aired three installments of its third campaign. The show’s fourth and fifth season will consist of 12 episodes apiece, with production set to begin on the former next spring in Los Angeles.

The series, which has gained exposure on CBS as substitute programming during the Writers Guild of America strike, centers on Hall’s Morgan, which also earned the actor an Emmy nomination, as a blood-splatter expert for the Miami police department, who spends his leisure time slicing up victims.

Showtime executives say Dexter is the network’s higest-rated drama. The premieres of this season's first three episodes at 9 p.m. have averaged 1.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data, up 14% from the show's sophomore-season average of 933,000 in that initial window. Adding in the 11 p.m. encore for the show's first two weeks this season, Dexter has averaged 2.53 million watchers, 16% more than its second-season average of 2.18 million for its pair of Sunday-night showings.

When calculated on a live + seven-day basis, Dexter's first episode this season cumed some 3 million viewers, a level Showtime executives are hopeful teh series can maintain throughout this campaign. The cume numbers do not factor in any on-demand showings.

"Dexter's enormous success is a tribute to the great achievements of its cast, the producing team, the author of the original book, and the gifted Michael C. Hall,” said Showtime president of entertainment Robert Greenblatt in a statement. “I thought at best we would attract a devoted cult audience but soon realized that, ironically, this show is so thematically rich and layered with humanity that audiences of all kinds have flocked to it."