We knew that 'Dexter' certainly couldn't go on forever, both as a character and a show, but now we've learned that there will be a definitive end to Michael C. Hall's bloody good run on Showtime.  So while we patiently wait for the seventh season of 'Dexter' to spill out on Sunday, September 30, just how long can we expect the Bay Harbor Butcher to keep up his work?

According to a recent TV Guide interview with 'Dexter's executive producer Sara Cottleton, 'Dexter' has a definitive endpoint.  While Showtime had previously renewed the series through at least an eighth season, Cottleton revealed that 'Dexter' season 8 is almost certainly intended to be its last.  Says Cottleton:

We wanted to end it this year, but the network convinced us that it would be best to do it in two years. In some ways, this is a two-season series-ender. We have worked that out and know where it's going to end. Next year will definitely be the last year of Dexter. Absolutely.

From the very beginning, when I first started developing the pilot, I always knew it would be a seven-year arc for this series. I feel easily that we can be an eight-year show, but I never want it to get old and stale. I want us to go out on a high and everybody on the show is determined to keep the level of it up to the very end. It's always wise to know when it's time to leave the stage before you're asked to leave the stage.

Cottleton's words certainly don't inspire a tremendous confidence in the upcoming seventh season of 'Dexter,' even with its impressive pedigree of  stars.  In addition to the recent major casting of ‘Chuck‘ star Yvonne Strahovski as “Hannah McKay,” a woman with a dangerous past who finds herself embroiled with Miami Metro, ‘Dexter’ season 7 boasts some impressive talent, including ‘Luck‘ star Jason Gedrick  as an owner of a gentleman’s club, one which frequently plays host to fellow-cast (and likely major villain) Ray Stevenson, a “high-ranking member of an Eastern European crime ring who arrives in Miami determined to learn who killed one of his associates.”

Elsewhere, Cottleton  had a few more things to say on the direction season 7 will take, with Deb not being the only one to have a few things illuminated:

There are other complications that will come in because, at the crime scene, Dexter's blood slide gets found by Lieutenant LaGuerta (Lauren Velez) because he loses it in the chaos that ensues and she immediately recognizes it's his. The only other time that she had seen this blood slide was in the copy case of the Bay Harbor Butcher. Her dear friend Sergeant Doakes, everyone thought he was the Bay Harbor Butcher, and thought that when he died, the Bay Harbor Butcher died with him.

Now, she begins to suspect, "Is the Bay Harbor Butcher still alive and how can I set about proving the innocence of my friend Sergeant Doakes?" That is something that's a silent thing at the start, but it's, again, going to be eventually working its way back to Dexter. It's going to be very interesting to see if she can exonerate him.

You can check out the full interview here, including more on how Deb will react to learning her brother's secret, along with new details on season 7 cast members Yvonne Strahovski and Ray Stevenson, but in the meantime what do we think  Are you glad that 'Dexter' has a fixed endpoint, or do you think it could go on past two more seasons?  What are you most looking for when season 7 debuts on September 30? Sound off in the comments below!