By Alison Willmore | Indiewire March 5, 2013 at 1:10PM
The seventh season of "Dexter" wrapped on December 16, having introduced one major change that somehow didn't end up feeling all that different by the finale's end. The long life that "Dexter" has enjoyed on Showtime hasn't done the show any favors in terms of its need to maintain the status quo of its premise -- Dexter (Michael C. Hall) is a forensics expert by day, serial killer by night who always has to be on the verge of being exposed without actually being exposed, because that would disrupt the series. It's one of the reason's the show's felt stuck in stasis in the last few years, even with the recent developments involving Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) -- no serious consequences could come for Dexter until an end was in sight.
When "Dexter" was renewed for a seventh and eighth season in November of 2011, many assumed that the show's final arc had been set -- except that Showtime has refused to confirm the now upcoming eighth season, set to start on Sunday, June 30, as the last. However, Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of Showtime's parent company CBS Corp., has been less hesitant. According to Broadcast & Cable and Entertainment Weekly, he referred to the upcoming season of "Dexter" as the final one at a conference yesterday: "We have Ray Donovan coming on, with Liev Schreiber, which comes on with Dexter‘s last season starting in June."
Slip up or spilling of the beans? Showtime has elected not to comment on or confirm Moonves' statement. While the series does seem to running on fumes, narratively, its ratings were higher this past season than ever, making the prospect of a semi-graceful exit a little less certain. It's obviously a valuable property for Showtime, and one they're using to boost and draw attention to a new, untested series. "Homeland" has become a hit and an award-magnet for the network, but with "Weeds" over and "Dexter" coasting toward a yet-undetermined end, it's going to have to bear the burden of being the network's flagship series.