Dexter is an American television drama series that airs on the premium channel Showtime. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), a covert serial killer governed by a strict moral code who works for the Miami Metro Police Department as a blood spatter analyst.
The show is based on characters created by Jeff Lindsay for his series of Dexter novels. It was adapted for television by Emmy Award-winning screenwriter James Manos, Jr., who wrote the pilot episode.
On October 21, 2008, Showtime renewed the series for a fourth and fifth season, each consisting of 12 episodes. Production began in early 2009, with season four premiering September 27, 2009
The series premiered on the premium cable network Showtime on October 1, 2006. Dexter received considerable critical acclaim and won two Emmys in technical categories, and also generated public controversies concerning its content and promotion. A reedited version of the series began airing on CBS on February 17, 2008 to make up for the shortage of new content caused by the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike. Canada's CTV simulcasts episodes along with CBS, and is also airing the edited version in order to follow Canadian cable simultaneous substitution rules. Currently however it is broadcast by HBO Canada.
Dexter's opening title sequence features an extended montage where ordinary day-to-day events such as shaving, flossing, dressing, preparing breakfast and eating are used visually to evoke Dexter's darker nature.Per television critic Jim Emerson, "The first time you see it... it tells you everything you need to know about the character."
The series won an Emmy Award in 2007 for "Outstanding Main Title Design", while the title music was also nominated for "Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music" in the same season. It was made by Digital Kitchen.
In addition to Michael C. Hall, the show's principal cast also includes Hall's real-life wife Jennifer Carpenter as Dexter's sister Detective Debra Morgan, Julie Benz as Dexter's girlfriend (and later wife) Rita Bennett, and James Remar as Dexter's deceased father Harry. Dexter's co-workers include Lauren Vélez as Dexter and Debra's commanding officer Lt. Maria LaGuerta, David Zayas as the friendly Detective and later Sergeant Angel Batista, and C.S. Lee as the perverted lab tech Vince Masuka (promoted to title credits as of Season 2). Rita's children Astor and Cody are played by Christina Robinson and Preston Bailey (who replaced Daniel Goldman after the first season). Erik King portrayed the troubled Sgt. James Doakes for the first two seasons of the show. Desmond Harrington joined the cast in Season 3 as Detective Joey Quinn; his name was promoted to the title credits as of Season 4. Keith Carradine, as Special FBI Agent Frank Lundy and Jimmy Smits, as ADA Miguel Prado, each appeared in season-long character arcs in seasons 2 and 3, respectively. John Lithgow joins the cast in season four as the notorious "Trinity Killer". Carradine returns in Season 4, reprising his role as now retired FBI Special Agent Frank Lundy, who is hunting the Trinity Killer.
Notable guest stars in Season 1 include Christian Camargo as Rudy Cooper, who woos Debra and has ties to Dexter's past; and Mark Pellegrino, as Rita's paroled, abusive ex-husband Paul. Brad William Henke had a role as amputee victim Tony Tucci in the first season as well. Margo Martindale has a recurring role as Camilla, a records office worker who was close friends with Dexter's foster parents. Geoff Pierson plays Captain Tom Matthews of Miami Metro Homicide. Jaime Murray portrayed Lila Tournay in Season 2, a British artist and recovering drug addict who develops an infatuation for Dexter. Anne Ramsay portrayed defense attorney Ellen Wolf, Miguel's arch-nemesis. Valerie Cruz had a recurring role as Miguel's wife, Sylvia. David Ramsey, who plays confidential informant Anton Briggs in Season 3, returns in Season 4, now romantically involved with Debra. Courtney Ford guest stars as an ambitious reporter who mixes business with pleasure, getting romantically involved with Det. Quinn while simultaneously fishing for sources and stories. Also, Christina Cox from the Canadian television series Blood Ties notably guest-stars in episode 4 of Season 4, as a police officer, Zoey Kruger, who killed her family and therefore is in turn killed by Dexter.