Show Exec Makes Sure Viewers Won't Take After 'Dexter'
Show Exec Makes Sure Viewers Won't Take After 'Dexter'
Showtime's Dexter has become such a huge hit among viewers, many of whom root for the show's murderous lead character.  While the cast and crew have been pleased with the show' success, they foresaw one drawback to making a skilled serial killer a modern-day hero when they were preparing for the second season.

According to executive producer Daniel Cerone, one worry was that some unhinged viewer would take after the show's eponymous protagonist, a blood spatter analyst for the Miami police department who chases after and murders criminals who have slipped through the cracks in the justice system.

So, in order to assuage his fears and discourage fans of the show from committing copycat crimes, Cerone said he has injected a copycat killer into Dexter's second season.  Dexter, played by Michael C. Hall, doesn't like the copycat at all.

"That's our way of saying, 'Don't try this at home,' " Cerone said.

While the copycat storyline may help dissuade viewers from following in Dexter's bloody footsteps, it doesn't necessarily prevent the show from bleeding into reality in other ways.  Recently, digital advertising agency Ralph launched a controversial viral campaign in the United States that allows fans to experience a little bit of Dexter for themselves.

The viral campaign, available through, is based on a fake news report about a serial killer in the rampage.  Those who log on to the website can send their friends “The Dexter Treatment” by providing the site with their friends' names, gender, age and occupation.  The site also gives the visitor the option to write a personal message to the recipient, who, after all the necessary information is given, receives a link to a spoof video viral website that hosts the fake US news report about the serial killer.

The website incorporates all the details given by the sender into a short footage in order to make it seem like the next victim of the serial killer is the recipient.  At one point in the video, the recipient sees his blood-spattered name on the wall above the words, “You are next.”

Towards the end, the video will show the sender's personal message via a piece of evidence – a sheet of paper inside a clear plastic bag – found at the crime scene. The video concludes by inviting the recipient to pass on the “The Dexter Treatment” to other friends.

When the viral campaign was launched in London, it became the center of controversy, with the advertising agency receiving calls of complaint from the public and the Scotland Yard.  The campaign was viewed more than 200,000 times, while almost 500,000 people visited the website.

-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: The Los Angeles Times, netimperative
Source: Los Angeles Times, netimperative