By Michael Ausiello
Updated September 27, 2010 at 07:22 PM EDT

Last night’s fifth season premiere of Dexter attracted a solid 1.77 million viewers, up 16 percent over last year’s debut. It ranked as Showtime’s best season opener in 15 years. As impressive as that is, that number fell far short of the record 2.6 million who watched the season 4 finale last December.