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CBS Corporation (CBS), The Walt Disney Company (DIS) & The Bright Side To The Gloom

For the past few years, I’ve been carefully revealing a deep and dark secret to friends, family, and co-workers. . .

My favorite TV show is about a vigilante serial killer. Now, I know I’m not alone. The genre has exploded in popularity recently, and it’s naïve to think that many of the people who I’m afraid to confide in are the same people who are tuning in with me to watch.

CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS)A novel approach to TVs favorite serial killers

Whether you think he’s justified or not, odds are, if you know him, you love him: Dexter Morgan — the vigilante serial killer who is the subject of CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS)’s Showtime series, Dexter. The show is, in fact, based on a series of novels, the first of which is Darkly Dreaming Dexter, and it has arguably been the most successful series for Showtime. The previous season (season seven) was the highest-rated season of the series, averaging 6.1 million viewers per week. The season seven finale had 3.43 million viewers on the night it aired — the most viewers ever for a Showtime series episode. In advance of the start of the final season, Showtime entertainment president, David Nevins, had already hinted at the possibility of a spin-off. He stated, “All options are on the table as to where it could go after this.”

It is difficult to gauge just how profitable Dexter has been for CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), but for 4Q12, cable network revenue increased 11% to $438 million, up from $395 million for the same prior-year period. According to CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS), this is the result of “ . . . higher affiliate revenues, which reflect increases in rates and subscriptions at Showtime Networks . . . as well as an increase in revenues from the licensing of Showtime original series.”

Just as Dexter was adapted from a novel, so was Norman Bates. Before Norman appeared in Hitchcock’s masterpiece, he was the subject of a novel, written by Robert Bloch. The creators of A&E’s, Bates Motel, contend that their series is not completely beholden to either work. They admit to having taken some liberty with re-imagining a younger Norman and his relationship with his mother, Norma. A+E Networks, a joint venture of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and Hearst Corporation, has already renewed the series for a second season, based on the initial acclaim of the series.

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