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The panel's description: "Showtime presents exclusives from the set of the highly anticipated third season of Dexter. Moderator Kristin Dos Santos (E!) presides over this revealing interview and Q&A session with the top stars and executive producers of Dexter, featuring Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Clyde Phillips, and John Goldwyn, plus a special guest! Room 6CDEF"
5:45 PM: Quick note - I'm having some wireless troubles so this many not appear in real time so to speak.
5:48 PM: E!'s Kristin Dos Santos, our moderator, appears to intro the panel and reveal the world premiere trailer for the new season, due September 28. I assume this will be running on Showtime proper shortly so I won't delve too much into it.
5:53 PM: Hey it's Michael C. Hall, Julie Benz, Clyde Phillips and Melissa Rosenberg!
5:54 PM: Kristin notes that newcomer Jimmy Smits, who plays "a law and order DA," is being billed as Dexter's first real friend.
5:55 PM: Julie on how she sees the Rita/Dexter relationship - she sees a "gentile soul" in Dexter and finds it difficult to picture him as anything else in her mind (i.e. the shoe incident).
5:57 PM: Michael on if the CBS run helped its chances to get its five Emmy nominations: "It didn't hurt."
5:59 PM: Clyde on what types of edits had to be made for the CBS run: time, language, nudity and gore. "It helped make it more accessible," Melissa adds. Clyde notes that six times as many people watched the show on CBS than did on Showtime.
6:01 PM: Michael says Dexter's relatability is due to the show's structure - you're in on his secret.
6:02 PM: Clyde on the show's themes. First season - learning, second - debate of good and evil, third is family values and the evolution of Dexter as a man. "He's going to own the code and become more of his own man this season," he adds.
6:03 PM: "There's a buried need for connection [in Dexter]," Melissa notes, which extends back to the first season.
6:04 PM: Clyde on Deb's future: she'll finally have a real relationship but it won't be with who you expect.
6:05 PM: Julie on if she'll turn up on Joss Whedon's "Dollhouse." She hasn't been asked but is open to it.
6:06 PM: Fan Q&A time. Will we see comic books based on Dexter? "I think it would be a natural fit," Clyde notes.
6:08 PM: Michael says for season three Dexter has put his father behind him and taken the code upon himself. But that conflict with his father won't stay buried.
6:11 PM: A fan asks if they'll follow the book's plot in which one of Rita's kids, Cody, exhibits Dexter-like qualities. The short answer: no. "[We] wanted to challenge ourselve to do something else," Clyde notes.
6:12 PM: Someone asks about Dexter's sexual journey. "He's come a long way," Michael notes, causing the audience to cheer. "He's definitely learned how to have sex, that I'll cop to," he adds.
6:18 PM: Clyde on finding the dark place "Dexter" exists in. "I think we all have a shadow self within us," he notes. He then shares that one of their writers' assistants quit after a few episodes because she couldn't handle the subject matter.
6:25 PM: Lots of questions about the true nature of Dexter, which Clyde and Melissa confess is still a heated debate in the writers' room.
6:26 PM: Clyde on why Doakes was killed - in essence, his character had a short shelf life from the very beginning. Eventually his purpose - to be the one that exposes Dexter - had to play itself out. "I'm watching you motherfucker," set that in motion. Clyde adds that going the book's route (where Doakes was mutilated - his arms, legs, cut off, etc.) wasn't even a possibility. "We didn't want to go there."
6:30 PM: Michael on his favorite kill. "In the show," Clyde jokingly adds. Michael responds that Little Chino was a favorite because he was so big. Jemenez (sp?), his mother's killer, was also fun.
6:31 PM: Julie again on how she sees Rita and Dexter: "I honestly believe every man needs a hobby."
6:32 PM: People like to ask about the books.
6:34 PM: A fan notes that Michael has created his favorite character. But then says his question is for Julie. The audience roars. Funny stuff.
6:36 PM: And with that Kristin turns the panel over to Marc Ecko (sp?) who's here to talk about the "Dexter" video game.
6:39 PM: He reveals that the game will be released exclusively on the iPhone/iTouch - an announcement that's actually met with a fair amount of boos - as an episodic download.
6:41 PM: Kristin asks if it's true there's a huge twist/reveal at the end of the first episode of the new season. "Dexter sets something into motion that he can't pull back that will change his life forever," is all Clyde will tease.
6:42 PM: That appears to be all for the panel and day one. I survived! The madness continues tomorrow. I hope you've enjoyed today's coverage. Be sure to check back later tonight for a photo gallery of all of today's events.