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Killer ‘Dexter’ bow

Crime pays at Showtime

The premiere of Showtime’s “Dexter” gave the network its highest series rating in nearly two years.

Sunday bow delivered Showtime’s best numbers since the debut of the Kirstie Alley comedy “Fat Actress” in March 2005.

Numbers aren’t out of the park, but the hour pulled in a respectable 603,000 viewers at 10 p.m. and 443,000 more to the 11 p.m. encore for a total take of 1.037 million viewers.

That tally easily bests the series premieres of Showtime’s “Weeds,” “Brotherhood,” “Sleeper Cell” and “Huff.” In terms of one-hour drama bows, ratings for “Dexter” place behind only “The L Word,” which drew 936,000 viewers in early 2004.

Skein stars Michael C. Hall as a serial killer with a conscience. Exec producers are John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, James Manos Jr. and Clyde Phillips.

Elsewhere on cable, Monday’s premiere of “House of Carters” on E! drew a solid 835,000 viewers at 9, improving upon its lead-in “Girls Next Door” (800,000). “Carters” outperformed a 10 p.m. episode of long-running reality show “Dr. 90210.”

“Carters,” a reality show about Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and his sibs, falls just slightly short of the benchmark set by “Girls” last year (990,000).

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