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'Dexter' ready for its CBS close-Up

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CBS’ unprecedented decision to begin airing repeats of Showtime’s Dexter on Feb. 17 seems like a deadly proposition given the show’s hyperviolent theme (the drama focuses on a forensics expert, played by Michael C. Hall, who moonlights as a vigilante serial killer). But Showtime entertainment president Robert Greenblatt, who personally managed the editing process with the show’s writer-producers on strike, says it was a cinch: CBS didn’t require the episodes to conform to the standard 44-minute length, so he only had to shave roughly six minutes off of each installment, and most cuts involved little more than dirty words.

“CBS never asked us to reduce the number of killings or to change the psychology,” explains Greenblatt. “Aside from some cosmetic changes, you’ll see virtually the same show. Dexter doesn’t have a lot of overt violence or sexuality. It’s just the premise that makes people squirm a bit.”

Dexter wrapped its second season on Showtime in December. It’s unclear when pre-production will begin on the drama’s third season, given the ongoing strike; the show’s scribes were originally supposed to return to work by early February to prepare for Dexter’s return this summer.

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