Yesterday’s official announcement that the upcoming eighth season of Dexter will be its last was two years in the making. When Showtime gave the veteran drama a two-year renewal in 2011, the network’s entertainment president David Nevins noted that that was likely going to be the end. “We wanted to leave open the possibility for a change if something creatively came up,” Nevins said in an interview today. “Once we ended last season and did some of the creative conversations between seasons, it became clear the time was right (to end the series).” There was no point over the past two years where extending Dexter beyond Season 8 was seriously considered. And the “basic end game scenario” sketched going into Season 7, has remained pretty much intact, Nevins said. While made before Season 8 went into production, the decision was kept quiet (save for CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves’ slip) to make the official announcement closer to the season premiere date.
While Dexter will end with the upcoming eighth season, that won’t necessarily be the end of the franchise, with a spinoff series a possibility. “There are all sorts of possibilities,” Nevins said, adding that “all kinds of ideas have been discussed but there is nothing happening right now.” There are no plans to use any of the episodes in the upcoming season of Dexter to set up a potential spinoff, and no Dexter cast members have deals for potential off-shoot series. “This season is about this season playing out the trajectory of the Dexter character,” Nevins said.
As for the heightened sensitivity towards violence in light of recent mass killings, “we’re not putting new limitations on the show in its last season,” Nevins said, noting that Dexter has never been about the depiction of violence. “The show has always been very interested in the psychology of Dexter and the psychology of violence. That will be examined this season, bringing together the threads of how Dexter developed as a character, the background that formed him, his relation with his sister, his son, his romantic relationships.”
Another Showtime drama, however, will relate to current events. The upcoming third season of Dexter‘s former companion Homeland “will deal with the aftermath of a major bombing event and will touch on many things you watch on CNN and Twitter,” Nevins said.