'Dexter' Slays Showtime Records

Last week was a pretty good one for Michael C. Hall and his Showtime series "Dexter."

On Tuesday, Hall was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance in the show's title role as the crime-scene analyst/serial killer. Then on Sunday, "Dexter's" first-season finale became the most-watched original series telecast on Showtime in at least two years.

The finale drew an audience of 1.1 million people, which Showtime says is the biggest for an original series since 2004, when Nielsen started separating the channel's ratings from Showtime Plex, the package of Showtime channels offered by most cable and satellite systems.

Showtime is notoriously circumspect about revealing its ratings numbers, but since the heyday of "Queer As Folk" it's been rare that a series has topped a million viewers. And considering Showtime has fewer than 20 million subscribers, a million viewers is a pretty solid performance.

The ratings for the finale are also significantly better than those for the show's October premiere, which drew slightly more than 600,000 viewers.

Showtime has already renewed "Dexter" for a second season, with production scheduled to begin in the spring.