LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - CBS, seeking to fill programming holes left by the writers' strike, said on Monday it will rerun the entire first season of the crime drama "Dexter" from Showtime, its sister cable channel, starting next month.
"Dexter," which stars Michael C. Hall (formerly of HBO's "Six Feet Under") as a police forensics investigator who moonlights as a serial killer, will make its CBS debut on February 17 and air for 12 consecutive Sunday broadcasts.
Rival network NBC, a unit of General Electric Co, said last month that it will recycle episodes of "Monk" and "Psych" from its sibling cable outlet, the USA Network, beginning in March.
But the move of "Dexter" to CBS marks the first time that a full season of a pay-cable series has made the transition to commercial television, the network said.
The nine-week-old screenwriters strike against major studios has brought production on all prime-time scripted series to a halt. That has left broadcast networks with a shortage of original dramas and comedies to put on the air this year as their stockpile of newly produced episodes runs low.
Starting this month, the networks have turned to a bigger-than-usual supply of reality shows and reruns to pick up much of the programming slack. NBC drew strong ratings with Sunday's two-hour debut of its new reality contest show "American Gladiators."
But broadcasters are trying hard to keep some fresh scripted offerings on the air. In addition to "Dexter," CBS is considering borrowing the series "Weeds," about a pot-dealing mom, from Showtime as well.