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highly-anticipated third season premieres September 28 on Showtime, and the series has never been more popular. During the writer's strike, CBS made the controversial decision to air edited versions of Dexter's
first season during prime time. Though fans felt the edited version watered down the show and opponents didn't want that sort of violence on network TV, the CBS experiment seems to have worked. Dexter
received five Emmy nominations last week, including nods for Best Drama Series and Best Actor. And, if the attendance at today's Dexter
panel (including the hordes of people who couldn't get in to the packed house) is any indication, Dexter
is riding a wave of immense popularity right now. Stars Michael C. Hall
and Julie Benz
joined writers Clyde Phillips and Melissa Rosenberg on the panel, which was moderated by E!'s Kristin Dos Santos.
Kristin Dos Santos did a better job that most moderators, even if she is an admittedly huge fan of the series. The less the moderators talk, and the more they give the talent time to speak, the better.
The panel was led off by the season three trailer for Dexter
, in which me saw a much more domesticated leading man. He has also kept himself busy with killing people. We got our first look at Jimmy Smits as new Assistant District Attorney Miguel Prado, a man “committed to family values, committed to cleaning up the streets.” He also speaks in a Spanish/Cuban accent. The trailer also featured an energetic sex scene between Dexter and Rita, plus the tag line: “The Student Becomes the Master.”
The panel was amiable, and Michael C. Hall was very comfortable on stage, doing all the heavy lifting. Hall said it was “like a shot in the arm” to have someone like Smits' caliber make the commitment to Dexter, especially given its open-ended requirements. Here are some of the other major tidbits from the panel:
Lundy will not be back. Many in the audience groaned when this was announced.
The new season will very much focus on Dexter's evolution as a man.
According to Hall, Dexter
has left his father behind him and will, in the new season, start “owning himself in a new way.”
Miguel Prado, in a way, will become Dexter's first friend.
Rosenberg was happy with the CBS edits, if only because it made the series accessible in a new way. They could bring viewers in with the promise of less violence, and then hook 'em with quality.
Julie Benz was asked whether Joss Whedon had contacted her regarding Dollhouse
. The answer was no, but she'd say yes in a heartbeat if asked.
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(Image Courtesy of Showtime)