CBS Corp. appears to have found a new cost-savings strategy: recycling character names from its networks’ shows.
How else to explain the mystery of Walter Simmons, the name initially given to the serial killer played by John Lithgow on the current season of Dexter on Showtime. Last month, the CBS Corp.-owned cabler sent out a terse press release saying that the character’s name had been changed to Arthur Mitchell.
Then, last week, Mr. Simmons turned up again-this time in a CBS press release announcing a new member of the CSI: Miami team named, yep, Walter Simmons.
Coincidence? Inside joke? After all, both shows are set in Miami crime labs investigating grisly murders. And it’s worth noting that during the 2007-2008 Writers Guild strike, CBS aired episodes from the first season of Dexter to fill space and help boost sampling for Showtime
Or maybe it was a turf war between two shows that desperately wanted to use the name. And with CSI: Miami drawing some 13.5 million broadcast viewers to Dexter’s 1.5 million premium cable subscribers, it would seem Lt. Horatio Caine has more sway at CBS Corp. than Dexter Morgan.