‘Billions’ Spin-Offs, ‘Dexter’ Prequel, Showtime Is Trying To ‘Do A Yellowstone’


Dexter New Blood


With news that Showtime and Paramount Plus are about to merge into a new service, Paramount+ with Showtime (seriously), it’s not just Showtime’s series that are being ported over. They’re actually attempting to replicate Paramount Plus’s business model as well.

That means attempting to follow the mold of Yellowstone, a Paramount series they hilariously do not have the actual streaming rights to, given that it’s the #1 show in the country, so instead they’ve crafted a series of spin-offs and prequels that have gotten a lot of viewership in the burgeoning Yellowstone “universe.” The latest, 1923, set Paramount Plus viewership records, and will be getting a second season.

Paramount and Showtime believe the best path forward is to also do this with classic Showtime series like Billions and Dexter. In that vein, Billions is getting multiple spin-offs. Ones set in Miami and London have been proposed, along with something called “Millions” about lower-tier financiers and “Trillions,” which would follow the ultra-rich. It’s unclear how many of these may see the light of day, but the plan may be to throw them all at the wall and see what sticks.

Dexter, meanwhile, cancelled plans for another season after New Blood, the sequel series meant to tie up loose ends from the much-hated finale. Instead, they’re moving forward with a “Young Dexter” prequel instead, “telling the title character’s origin story.”



There is plenty to be skeptical about regarding this strategy, given the shows we’re talking about. Sure, Billions is a big Showcase series, but enough for 3-4 spin-offs to justify their existence? The show is hardly at its peak, having just aired its sixth season with a seventh on the way, and viewership a fraction of what it used to be. Yellowstone, it is not.

As for a Dexter prequel, conceptually, that doesn’t really even make sense. If you’ve seen Dexter, you’ll know that almost too much time was spent discussing Dexter’s origins with Harry training him to be a “moral” serial killer, so it’s unclear what ground is left to tread there. And of course, the only reason Dexter works at all is because of Michael C. Hall’s performance, and at 52 he will of course be too old to be playing “young Dexter” even with some de-aging.


Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

Really, the only show that feels fresh and engaging and like a huge asset to Paramount Plus integration by itself is Yellowjackets, which was one of the best shows of last year, and everyone is certainly eager to see more from it. But even there, it’s not like people are demanding this network-created “universe” concept where we need a Yellowjackets prequel and a couple spin-offs. Just…keep making the main show. Nothing like that has been announced for Yellowjackets yet, but it sure feels like it’s only a matter of time.

Paramount Plus is a strange experiment, rooted heavily in Star Trek and the whims of Taylor Sheridan. One of its biggest series is a Halo show that most people are hate-watching. While I am glad that a Paramount Plus sub will now get me Yellowjackets, the idea of five Billions universe shows and a Dexter prequel no one asked for does not seem like the correct path forward here. But we’ll see.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

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