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Network Desperation Starting To Set In

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As Reuters mentioned yesterday, CBS is going to broadcast the entire first season of Dexter starting in February. The network is also considering borrowing Weeds from its sister network Showtime. Other networks are considering similar reshuffling of shows from their cable-only partners.

It took me a day or so (I know I'm slow) to dwell on this. Initially I was very pleased that more people will have the opportunity to see this gem of a show. Dexter is one of the best things that has appeared on TV in half a decade and the fact that it was on a pay-only network, and Showtime at that, in the shadow of HBO's The Sopranos and The Wire, meant that it was kind of boutique-y and had limited reach, so more people seeing this is better right?? The problem is that this is a series about a serial killer and it's very graphic, bloody, with plenty of language, and some nudity to boot. While TBS might be able to fudge around certain things with Sex and the City since it is also relegated to the cable spectrum, I have the sinking feeling that entire chunks of plot, dialog, and beautiful cinematography are going to end up on the proverbial editing room floor in order for an episode to make it onto CBS. Some episodes in season one are particularly horrific so does that mean CBS will turn Dexter into a 1/2 hour sitcom with the remaining airable footage?

I'm all for more people seeing Dexter but is more exposure better for art if more of the art is censored?