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Despite Criticism, “Dexter,” “Homeland” Again Set Ratings Records

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A quick glance at online reviews for recent “Dexter” and “Homeland” episodes will surely produce negativity.

The long-running “Dexter,” many will argue, squandered the opportunity to have its best season to date by prematurely killing off bad guy Isaak Sirko and shifting to several logically-challenged, uninteresting storylines to bring the season to a halt.

“Homeland,” meanwhile, has traded in the sincerely-dramatic dynamic of its first season to become a popcorn thriller far more like late-season “24″ than should be permissible for a high-level premium cable series.

Regardless of whether one agree or disagree with such sentiment, there is one thing he cannot ignore: the two series are as hot as ever.

Showtime confirmed Tuesday that Sunday’s “Dexter” set the network’s all-time viewership record with 2.58 million viewers at 9PM. That narrowly edged the 2.57 million result for the show’s fourth season finale. It averaged an impressive 1.3 adults 18-49 rating.

The show net 3.08 million across its first two airings, which is also a record for the network.

“Homeland” could not touch that record-setting performance, but the Emmy winner for Outstanding Drama still delivered its highest numbers of the season with 2.36 million viewers at 10PM and 2.6 million with its first encore included. It delievered a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating at 10PM.