'Dexter's Season-Four Finale Slices Showtime Viewing Record


 The season-four finale of Showtime's Dexter sliced a piece of network history, becoming the most-watched original series episode in the history of the premium cable channel.

The Dec. 13 season-concluder, starrng Michael C. Hall as a Miami cop/vigilante, averaged 2.5 million, a 71% jump over the serial killer serier's third-season finale and a 19% increase over what had been a record-setting 2.1 million viewers for the penultimate episode on Dec. 13, according to Showtime officials.

The show marks the best performance for any Showtime original series, special or sports event since a 1999 Showtime Championship Boxing heavyweight boxing match between Mike Tyson and Orlin Norris.

Including an 11 p.m. encore, the show averaged 3 million viewers for the evening -- the first time any Showtime original series has broken the 3-million viewer mark.

Following Dexter, Showtime comedy Califonication retained only about 40% of the Dexter audience, but still set a series high with 1.0 million viewers. The season-three finale of the David Duchovny-starrer increased its audience by 72% over its second-season finish, according to the network.

Combined with a 10:30 repeat airing, Californication scored some 1.3 million viewers.