'Dexter': Michael C. Hall, cast and creators on Season 5 -- live from the TCA panel

dexter-season-5-michael-c-hall-harrison.jpgThe Showtime "Dexter" panel has cast members Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, James Remar, C.S. Lee on hand plus executive producers Sara Colleton, John Goldwyn and Chip Johannessen.

"Dexter" released a preview clip for Season 5 at Comic-Con. It's sure to whet your whistle for the upcoming premiere on Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. But for now, follow along as we live-blog the TCA panel. All times Eastern.

1:55 p.m. -- On unrestrained "Dexter" in the wake of Rita's death -- "It was fun ... I think that place in his psyche has always existed in my imagination ... Dexter is just words on a page, it was my job to let loose." -- Michael C. Hall

1:57 p.m. -- EP Sara Colleton on the season premiere, "We needed to start he season right where we left off ... the blowback from Rita's death. To cheat that would be to cheat our audience."

1:59 p.m. -- On their off-screen relationship, Hall's wife Jennifer Carpenter says, "Everyone in our cast is incredibly professional. We respect our jobs and the show too much to make it about anything other than the work." and Hall jokes, "It's nice to be on the same schedule."

2:02 p.m. -- Jennifer Carpenter on her character Deb's life on the show. "I think her arc has been extreme. I spend a lot of time justifying how she's not in a straitjacket at this point ... Because I am so much more emotional than Dexter is, it's hard not to carry pieces of that into every scene. How it unfolds this year ... I think I look at the other cops in the bullpen and I'm one of them now. They all had this sort of wretched experience they walk around with and she's sort of playing the game. It's a new strength but it's also compartmentalizing in a way she hasn't before."

2:04 p.m. -- EP John Goldwyn on Dexter's secret -- "Dexter's being found out ... the one that really, really matters, I think, is Deb. That's the one that matters to all of us emotionally."

2:07 p.m. -- Michael C. Hall on being the killer everyone cheers for -- "I don't lose sleep over the possibility that I'm advocating serial murder though my work. I think it's undeniably related. I'm proud of the show. When I hear comments like that I don't really worry that they're going to be taken ... ya know. It's more a meditation on reality, on our shadow side."

2:10 p.m. -- EPs on the change in "Dexter" formula this year and the introduction of many new characters. "Peter Weller was part of the original pitch to Showtime, he's going to be a big problem for Dexter. He's an ex-cop, a cocaine cowboy era guy who gets into some trouble with a corruption thing and ends up kind of posing a problem for Dexter." -- Chip Johannsessen.

"We are taking a break this year from what has been the what we've plotted out our seasons in the past four years, which is to have one season-long adversary for Dexter ... As he's going through different stages of his grief, really, even though for Dexter it's inarticulated ...  as he goes through different stages there will be different characters who will interact. The through-line is Dexter's atonement. Different people help him along the way in different capacities."

2:14 p.m. -- On Dexter in the wake of Rita's death and his relationship with his father Harry. "What's interesting is this idea that Dexter is forced ... into these situations where he has to step into waters he never anticipated stepping in ... There is some sort of appetite to address his guilt or remorse or need for atonement ... I think the relationship with Harry is becoming more dynamic this season. They're not quite adversarial or if they are, they trade arguments. That relationship evolves every time James and I do a scene."

2:20 p.m. -- On Julie Benz appearing in Season 5. EP Colleton says Benz will not be appearing the way Harry does. "We can say no, absolutely. In this show, Harry serves a very unique purpose and to dilute that in any way would fundamentally harm the DNA of our show." Michael C. Hall cracks, "He's the only one with keys to that room." EP Johannessen teases, "You'll be seeing her more than dead in the bathtub for sure."

2:26 p.m. On John Lithgow as the Trinity Killer. "We knew the beginning, middle and end, but when you're working with an actor like John Lithgow and you see the chemistry that he and Michael Hall had in their performances, your instinct is to deepen and give more layers to that character." -- EP Colleton

2:29 p.m. -- "Did he save this guy's life or did he abuse him? I mean, all parents make mistakes," Hall on Harry's relationship with Dexter.

That concludes the "Dexter" panel from the TCA press tour. Look for an interview with Michael C. Hall later today.

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Photo credits: Showtime