TCA: Showtime’s Nevins Teases Possible ‘Dexter’ Spinoff

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Los Angeles -- Dexter is preparing to say its final goodbye in September, but Showtime entertainment president David Nevins teased at the TCA press tour on Tuesday that a spinoff could be in the future.

When asked if that was a possibility, Nevins answered "of course," and pointed to the two-year deal the network just signed with Dexter executive producer Scott Buck to develop new projects, saying "draw your own conclusions."

Dexter will air its series finale on Sept. 22, a week before the return of Homeland. Nevins said he supported the Homeland producers’ decision to keep star Damian Lewis, who plays Nicholas Brody on the series, out of the first two episodes.

"You can’t keep it the same dynamic, you have to be able to change it up. I’ve never been scared of change. Seasons one and two were really founded on this fulcrum of trust and mistrust between Brody and Carrie and that still exists in season three, but the characters are extremely estranged," he said. "There are all sorts of poles this show exists on. I want our producers to take risks, that is one of the things that define the new form of television. You take risks and sometimes you get beat up by them…the enemy of good television is boredom and predictability."

Nevins said he approaches programming the network the same way, saying that he doesn’t want Showtime to get caught in certain boxes of sameness, which is one reason he wanted to do the upcoming Penny Dreadful, the network’s first genre show.

"Whether Penny Dreadful works or not, that’s not going to tell the future of horror genre on our air," he said. "I think it will resonate with people who are watching Homeland and Ray Donovan, which are more today social realism."

Other highlights from the Showtime executive session included:

• Nevins said he likes Netflix’s original series, but feels Showtime’s model offers the best of both worlds, allowing viewers to watch an episode at a time or binge on VOD. "Netflix is playing an interesting game, who knows who’s watching what, but for me ratings number just a function of showmanship… I still believe in the pleasure of giving them out one at a time."

• Showtime looked hard at doing a two-hour series finale of The Borgias but the economics just didn’t make sense so it didn’t move forward. "I think it came to a good stopping place at end of season three,” Nevins said.

• HBO gets asked often if it will break out its HBO Go streaming service as a standalone subscription, and Nevins said Showtime is more focused on increasing distribution of its app, Showtime Anytime, than on an a la carte service. "It would be premature to talk about that," he said. "It’s out there somewhere in the future."