Showtime Moves the Maybe-Final Season of Dexter to Summer, Homeland Stays Put

It's time to start using that "Wondrous Lighthouses of the Celtic Countryside 2013 Calendar" that you got from your aunt, so get out a pen and jot down the following:

Dexter returns for its eighth season on June 30 at 9pm.

WHAT? But that's summer! Yep, Showtime is proving itself quite the maverick when it comes to scheduling, moving its highest-rated (I think) series from its normal fall slot to the dog days, according to The Hollywood Reporter. There's business behind this, of course, and if it poses a slight inconvenience to Dexter fans, then Showtime is sorry but it has to think about itself, too.

This eighth season of the serial killer drama will possibly be its last, and because giving premium airtime to a show that's going off the air is like buying five years' worth of a Jerky of the Month Club subscription for someone who is on their death bed, Showtime is spreading out the wealth as it prepares for one of its most important years ever as a pay cable network. That means Dexter is being moved to the summer in order to help launch the new drama Ray Donovan—which will follow Dexter at 10pm and stars Liev Schreiber as a Hollywood "fixer"—just as Dexter once helped launch Homeland. That Dexter is a nice guy!

And now that Homeland has become the country's new darling, it will keep its fall turf and be used to boost Showtime's second big new drama project, Masters of Sex starring Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as sexual pioneers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. Homeland returns for Season 3 on September 29 at 9pm, and will be followed by the series premiere of Masters of Sex at 10pm.

Elsewhere in Showtime scheduling news, Inside Comedy returns for Season 2 on February 11 at 11pm, Nurse Jackie checks back in for Season 5 on April 14 at 9pm and will be followed by the Season 3 premiere of The Borgias at 10pm, and The Big C: Hereafter will finish off the series with four episodes starting April 29 at 10pm.

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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