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How will Dexter on CBS differ from Showtime? - VIDEO

by Keith McDuffee, posted Feb 13th 2008 4:39PM
dexter on cbsI've been a fan of Dexter since its premiere two years ago, and it's yet to disappoint. When word came that CBS would be airing (at least) the show's first season, I had mixed feelings. I was glad to see the show get more exposure, and seeing that Showtime/CBS has such faith in the series shows promise that we'll see many more seasons of this series to come. However, I'm somewhat afraid that its success on CBS might remove the show from Showtime, meaning an overly-edited and watered-down version of the show.

Recently I got to take a look at a screener of the pilot that will be airing on CBS (this coming Sunday), and to put my fears to rest, I played my season one DVD in my laptop as the screener played on my TV, both synced to the same moments.

I'm happy to report that what you'll be seeing on CBS -- at least with the first two episodes I was able to see -- isn't cut to pieces. Some longer, drawn out moments are cut down with little to no effect, done to keep the usually commercial-free hour-long version within a network TV hour. The violent scenes are toned down a tad, as is the swearing, but that's to be expected.

One scene that was cut down is shown below (sorry, I don't have the Showtime version to show you to compare). The one below is from the episode that will air on CBS, while the Showtime version added a few seconds of that scalpel making the cut across the man's face. I'm not really sure why they had to cut that out, since a) we know what's happening and b) we see the results later anyway.

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Jackie Mitchell

What I really miss is the creepy music played throughout the action in the original on Showtime. It adds a certain sense of gloom and doom to the show. When I watched the first season it's the first thing I noticed and the first thing I missed on re-airing on CBS.

March 11 2008 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff Peterson

I have been a Dexter fan from day 1. Incredible show and Michael C. Hall........he's a great actor to begin with and I don't of anyone else who could pull off the role better than him. What a great ploy though for CBS. There will be a 3rd season on Showtime. If Dexter on CBS finds an audience, think of the number of new subscribers Showtime will have when Season 3 debuts!!

March 04 2008 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

IMO, season one's last three episodes were some of the most bone-chilling and intense shows I've watched on tv in a while! But I don't know how CBS is going to be able to pull it off. The scenes with young Dexter screaming in the container are etched into my memory like bad nightmares! If any of that is removed, I'm afraid the show will loose some of its vital impact.
As per the other comments, Deb's character is MADE through her nasty potty mouth. Doakes is no saint either and Masuka's inappropriate comments are classic. The sexual tension between Rita and Dexter defines their relationship and the brutality of the Ice Truck killer's murders is crucial to the storyline.
And so, there's not much one can do - I could drive myself nuts thinking of all the editing and how much might be lost!!
With that said, I URGE anyone who enjoys CBS's version of Dexter, to invest in the DVD sets of Dexter.

February 14 2008 at 7:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What are they going to do with the funniest part of the show....DEB'S MOUTH

February 14 2008 at 2:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is terrible because once network execs get their hands on a show then the content gets watered down. And on a show like dexter then watering down anything here will destroy everything.

I guess I'm being selfish, but to me there's nothing wrong with hiding a gem.

February 14 2008 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kelly Linder

Correction: The Network is CBS, not NBC as I had stated in my last sentence. Many apologies!

February 13 2008 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kelly Linder

Although this article calmed me for a moment (thank you) and it even gave me a spark of hope, I still fear the intesity of the show will not come across. The graphic violence is such a key point in making Dexter a great show.

I admit the storylines are strong enough to pull off a decent show, even if censored to death for general-audience-viewers.

If the viewers have never seen the Showtime episodes, they'll probably love the network episodes.

I love Dexter, I'm a faithful viewer, and it pains me to imagine what they are going to do to make the series for Network TV.

How are they going to cut the episodes to 40 minutes?

Dexter's sister (her name escapes me right now) uses the 'f' word in every conversation-I can't imagine how much time she's had to put in doing voice-over's!

The graphic violence is actually key in getting the character's issues to come across properly.
Think of the episode when they show young Dexter, his brother, and a brief shot of his dead mother while they are all sitting in two inches of blood. Or how about the episode when a hotel room is saturated floor to ceiling, wall to wall with outragous amounts of blood.

I dunno, I'm really torn but I'm leaning in the direction of passing on the network version and pray that Showtime continues to produce it instead of selling out to NBC.

Hmmm, disturbing.

February 13 2008 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Season 1 did not have a lot of nudity, but season 2 has a lot more.

Yea I am not sure how they are going to handle Doakes, bc he swears a LOT.

I will watch it, just for the pure curiosity of how they edit it.

February 13 2008 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to h8rain's comment

That's why Hubby and I will be watching it too.... I am not so worried about Doakes and the language that comes out of his mouth... but Deb.... Man... she could make a sailor blush!

February 14 2008 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steven Rubio

You don't mention an extremely important aspect of the CBS showings: commerical breaks. Even if they showed Dexter without a single edit for content, they would be showing a bogus version thanks to the advertisements interrupting the show every ten minutes.

February 13 2008 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is fine now, but later in Season 1 when things get more disturbing how might it play out? The violence is integral to the tone there.

February 13 2008 at 5:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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