Dexter

First four seasons of serial-killer drama to bow on Netflix on Oct. 31, with last four scheduled for Jan. 1

Netflix and CBS announced a content-licensing agreement under which all eight seasons of the Showtime drama “Dexter” will become available for Netflix members in the U.S.

The first four seasons of “Dexter” will become available beginning on Halloween (Oct. 31), with seasons 5 to 8 to be available starting on Jan. 1, 2014.

Under the multiyear pact, Netflix will be the exclusive Internet subscription VOD distributor of the series. CBS also will sell TV syndication rights for “Dexter” to a cable network, with details yet to be announced.

“Dexter” stars Michael C. Hall as the titular character: a Miami crime-scene forensics expert by day and vigilante serial killer by night. The show ended its run on Showtime last month, with a series-high turnout of 2.8 million viewers for the Sept. 22 finale, according to Nielsen.

Netflix is making the full series run available in two parts, instead of throwing all eight seasons online at once. A Netflix rep declined to go into specifics on the deal with CBS but said, “We are able to start streaming the first four as early as Halloween so we are. We didn’t want to wait until Jan. 1 to put all eight out at the same time.”

“We’re thrilled to have ‘Dexter,’ one of Showtime’s highest-rated shows on Netflix, and so quickly after it completed its record-breaking run,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said in a statement. “This is one of the great serialized dramas of the past decade and we know our members will enjoy discovering or reliving the twisted world of Dexter Morgan anywhere and anytime they want.”

Netflix had previously offered the first two seasons of “Dexter” via instant streaming — but in mid-2011, Showtime pulled both “Dexter” and “Californication” from the service, making those available to pay TV subscribers through its Showtime Anytime TV Everywhere service instead.

“Dexter” will continue to be available to Showtime subscribers through pay TV providers at no additional charge, with all eight seasons currently available on Showtime On Demand and Showtime Anytime.

Scott Koondel, chief corporate content licensing officer for CBS, said the “Dexter” deal with Netflix “further demonstrates the value of this content in the marketplace while expanding the show’s passionate fan base to a whole new online audience.”

Other Showtime originals available to stream on Netflix — all of which have finished their runs on the premium cabler — include “The Tudors,” “Sleeper Cell” and “United States of Tara.” The Lionsgate-owned “Weeds,” which ran for eight seasons on Showtime, also is available on Netflix.

Separately, CBS recently renewed its pact with Amazon.com for “Under the Dome” season 2, under which the Internet retailer will remain the exclusive online subscription-video distributor for the show. Amazon Prime Instant Video, available to members of the Prime free-shipping program, will again provide eps of “Under the Dome” four days after airing on the Eye.

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