"Dexter" might not be laid to rest after its series finale this summer.
Confirming that Showtime is discussing the possibility of a "Dexter" spin-off, the network's entertainment president, David Nevins, offered a tantalizing tease to reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour Tuesday.
"We announced a deal with ('Dexter' showrunner) Scott Buck today," he said. "Draw your own conclusions."
The obvious inference is that Buck, who joined "Dexter" in 2007 and took over the reins before season six, will shepherd an offshoot of the serial killer drama as part of his two-year overall deal with the premium cable network.
"There's nothing actively happening," said Nevins, explaining that Buck has "been totally focused on this season — he's not finished with post."
"The original series — it's everything," Nevins emphasized after realizing that his "hint" was the equivalent of dropping a lit match in a gasoline-soaked church.
"It's all about the satisfying ending to the show. We have a deal with Scott and we're going to develop a bunch of different things with him. ... I don't know that there will ever be a spin-off. It could well never happen."
Still, Nevins said "all options will be explored. We're really not dealing with it all until we're through this season — and maybe for a while thereafter."
The network did confirm, however, that Buck and his "Dexter" star, Michael C. Hall, will be teaming up again very soon in an adaption of Matthew Specktor's novel "American Dream Machine." Buck will serve as script supervisor with Hall executive producing. (No casting decisions have been made, but Nevins said it is "unlikely" that Hall will also star.)
Meanwhile, seven episodes remain in "Dexter's" eighth and final season, leading up to the Sept. 22 finale.
Nevins, who's read the final script, said, "I think it ends with great satisfaction. ... I think it's quite brilliantly built to."
"Dexter" airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on Showtime.