"Dexter," Showtime's hit series starring Michael C. Hall as a serial killer who only targets murderers, has been renewed for two more seasons.
The seventh season is set to air in the fall of 2012 and production will begin earlier that year. Both season 7 and 8 will contain 12 new episodes, Showtime said in a statement to OnTheRedCarpet.com, adding that the current sixth season has been the show's highest-rated yet and has an average of 5.12 million weekly viewers
All regular cast members are expected to return, a show source told OnTheRedCarpet.com.
"On behalf of the entire 'Dexter' family, we relish the invitation to delve ever deeper into Dexter's world," Showtime quoted Hall as saying in its statement.
The actor's character, Dexter Morgan, moonlights as a blood spatter analyst at the Miami Police Department while plotting to kill people responsible for the deaths of others. He is also a single father whose son's mother was killed by a serial killer.
Religion is the main theme of the current sixth season, which sees Hall's character and his colleagues working to nab the "Doomsday Killer," played by guest star Edward James Olmos. Colin Hanks portrays the man's assistant. The current season has also featured rapper Mos Def as a reformed criminal who tries to teach Morgan about faith. The finale is set to air on December 18.
Morgan's sister and boss at the police department, Debra, is played by the actor's real-life wife Jennifer Carpenter. She filed for divorce in December 2010 after almost two years of marriage.
Carpenter told E! News earlier this month that Hall "is and always will be one of my best friends in the world," adding: "just because the marriage ended doesn't mean the love isn't still there. We take very good care of each other and our cast, we always have, and I'm just really lucky."
"Dexter" has a large fan following online. After a Florida jury found Casey Anthony not guilty of murder in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee, scores of people angry with the verdict made "Dexter Morgan" a trending topic on Twitter.