Showtime reported excellent ratings for last night's programming, including a record high for the series finale of "Dexter" and the season finale of "Ray Donovan," according to a Sept. 23, 2013 media announcement from Showtime Networks.
The series finale of "Dexter" aired to mixed reviews on Sunday night. Many "Dexter" fans turned to social media to express their disappointment at the show's sad ending, but at least they were watching in droves. Fans who hoped for a happy ending, or even a just ending, for Dexter (Michael C. Hall) and Debra Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) were bound for a disappointing experience, based on various comments on the social media forums.
"Dexter" faced a competitive night of programming, including the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards and the Emmy winning hit series "Breaking Bad," but the series finale delivered the show's highest-rated telecast ever. Leading ladies top Emmy wins for Showtime
Paired with the series finale of "Dexter" was the season one finale of "Ray Donovan," which stars Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight as a son and father with a strained relationship. "Ray Donovan" ended its freshman season on a high note by wrapping up a major story-line and leaving a few threads dangling. James Woods guest starred as a creepy gangster who seemed to be based on real life mob boss Whitey Bulger, who was recently sentenced to life in prison after 20 years on the run. The gangster's fate on Ray Donovan was very different and extremely satisfying.
The "Dexter" series finale delivered the show’s highest-rated telecast ever and the biggest audience ever for an original episode in Showtime history, besting the show’s season seven finale and season eight premiere. 'Dexter" attracted 2.8 million viewers at 9 p.m. (up 13 percent from the season 8 premiere – vs. 2.5 million viewers, and up from the season seven finale – vs. 2.7 million) and 3.3 million viewers for the night (up from the season eight premiere – vs. 3.2 million viewers).
"Dexter" continues to break records for Showtime. The eighth and final season is on pace to rank as the series’ highest-rated season ever, a record which the show continues to break season after season. Season-to-date, the series is averaging 6.4 million weekly viewers across platforms (up versus its seventh season, vs. 6.1 million).
"Ray Donovan" ended its season ranked as the highest-rated freshman series in Showtime history, outpacing the first season of the hit thriller "Homeland" by 33 percent. The season one finale of "Ray Donovan" delivered 2.1 million viewers on Sunday night, which is the best finale night ever for a freshman series on Showtime. The series garnered 1.41 million viewers at 10 p.m., outranking its series premiere which garnered 1.35 million viewers. "Ray Donovan" with 5.7 million weekly viewers across all platforms, now ranks as the network’s third highest-rated show, behind only "Homeland" and "Dexter."
"Dexter" was wrapped up in a way that makes a series spin-off plausible, but whether that will happen is unknown. "Ray Donovan" will return with its second season next year. Ray Donovan renewed for a second season on Showtime
On Sun., Sept. 28, Showtime will debut the third season of Emmy winning suspense series "Homeland," along with the series premiere of "Masters of Sex" about human sexuality researchers Masters and Johnson.