“Dexter” is coming back, and there will be (new) blood. Showtime previously announced that its revival of the hit crime drama series will premiere November 7, but more details were spilled during Tuesday’s virtual panel with the show’s stars and creators at the Television Critics Association Summer 2021 Press Tour.
The show’s cast and creators emphasized that though “New Blood” is a sequel to the original series, they intended to have the upcoming show stand on its own and did not rely on the same visual style or spend excessive time exploring what Dexter had been doing in the years since the events of the original show.
“We don’t spend a great deal of time in a flashback or anything like that in regard to where Dexter has been,” Hall said. “We’re led to believe that he has been somewhat nomadic. He’s doing more than just existing. He’s cobbling together a semblance of a normal life and has been skirting along the edge of the western to northern border of the country.”
The team didn’t say whether more sequels or spin-offs were intended to follow “New Blood,” but Phillips noted that the series gives some nods to changes in pop culture’s perceptions on murder since the original series, such as by having Jamie Chung portray a true-crime podcaster.
Showtime originally announced the “Dexter” revival in October 2020. The original “Dexter” premiered in 2006 and ran for eight seasons. Though the earlier seasons were critically acclaimed and the show won four Emmys, critics were divided on its later seasons. The “Dexter” finale, which revealed that the titular character was living incognito as a lumberjack, was especially controversial among fans and critics alike.
Hall noted that the divisive nature of the original series’ finale informed the decision to create “New Blood.”
“I think the way the series proper ended has a great deal to do with why we’re revisiting the show and the character,” Hall said. “The show did not end in a way that was definitive for people or gave them a sense of closure. We didn’t hear from Dexter. He didn’t say anything to us when the show ended, and I think it left audiences in a state of suspended animation. A big part of our motivation was to definitively answer the question of what happened to this guy.”
In an executive panel earlier on Tuesday, Showtime’s co-president Gary Levine said the intention of “New Blood” is to give “a proper finale for a brilliant series,” though neither he nor fellow president Jana Winograde would commit to this being the last we see of Dexter Morgan.
“‘Dexter’ is a jewel in the crown of Showtime and we didn’t do it justice in the end, and that has always been a burr under my saddle,” Levine said. “We’ve always wanted to see if there was a way to do it right and it took a long time to figure out what that was and a long time for [star Michael C. Hall] to be willing to revisit the role.”
The 10-episode “Dexter: New Blood” picks up a decade after the events of the original series. Showtime’s description for “New Blood” reads:
Set 10 years after Dexter went missing in the eye of Hurricane Laura, the series finds him living under an assumed name in the small town of Iron Lake, New York. Dexter may be embracing his new life, but in the wake of unexpected events in this close-knit community, his Dark Passenger beckons.
Michael C. Hall reprises his role as the titular serial killer and stars in “New Blood” alongside Julia Jones, Alano Miller, Johnny Sequoyah, Jack Alcott, and Clancy Brown. Clyde Phillips, who served as the original showrunner on the first series, also serves as showrunner for “New Blood.”