Dexter executive producer Scott Buck will take the reigns of Showtime’s serial killer serial starting with its 6th season. He’ll be replacing Chip Johannessen, who ran the show in 2010. Buck has been working on Dexter since its second season, most recently as Johannessen’s number two.

While Dexter has consistently topped the ratings for Showtime and the fifth season has bested its own viewership records, critics and fans have had a lukewarm reaction to this year’s run. Screen Rant deemed the finale and the season overall “acceptable,” and readers’ comments seem to echo that. According to Deadline Hollywood, Buck has a good rapport with the show’s writers, all of whom will return next year.

Scott Buck has been a co-executive producer for Dexter since 2007 and has also written a handful of episodes. He’s also worked on HBO’s Six Feet Under as a supervising producer. Given his writing on various previous episodes, we may see more of his work in upcoming scripts. Chip Johannessen was apparently well-regarded by the crew, but Buck has been determined to be a better pick. Prior to Johannessen, Dexter was run by Clyde Phillips, who was an executive producer for the first four seasons and has remained a consultant for the fifth. It’s unknown what parts Johannessen or Phillips will play as the series continues.

After the shocking end to season 4, fans and critics wondered how Dexter would maintain its stellar suspense. Although the ratings are better than ever (Dexter averaged more than 5 million viewers for its 12-episode run), the reaction has been somewhat tepid. The season 5 finale earlier this month ended on a decidedly soft note, which may have disappointed fans hoping for a repeat of last year’s big finish. Even so, the show has earned numerous nominations from both the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild.

Dexter has set a pattern in the last few years, recruiting a new actor or actress to focus on throughout a single season. While season 4’s antagonist John Lithgow was met with acclaim as a fellow family man/serial killer, this year’s addition of Julia Stiles as a victim with homicidal tendencies has seen a softer reception. It’s not known who Showtime will recruit for season six, or even if the show will continue its trend under Buck’s direction. The next year will likely continue to focus on Dexter’s developing family issues and romantic interests.

Dexter season 6 will air on Showtime in the fall of 2011.

Source: Deadline Hollywood