Showtime subscribers will likely feel no shame for the following news - Shameless has been renewed for a ninth season. The announcement comes not long after the eighth season premiere on Sunday, and comes with little surprise given the William H. Macy-starring series is the longest-running and top-rated show on the network.
Shameless is a Chicago-set relentlessly dark comedy, starring Macy as Frank Gallagher, the often-inebriated patriarch of a large and dysfunctional family. While Frank schemes to steal and survive while leaving his family in squalor, his six children, including Fiona (Emmy Rossum) fend for themselves, with the show depicting many of the family members' misadventures. While Shameless does embroil itself in issues such as poverty and gentrification, it is well-known for still being off-the-wall absurd and quite shocking. Macy has consistently been nominated for Emmy Awards for his role, winning a SAG Award at the most recent ceremony.
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A report on the renewal comes from Deadline, detailing the show's ratings success from Sunday. Drawing in 1.86 million viewers, the season 8 premiere was the highest-watched premiere since season 3; this is a pretty significant 50 percent improvement from last year's season 7 premiere. Showtime Networks president and CEO David Nevins said in a statement:
As challenging as it can be for any show simply to maintain viewers in the current TV landscape, Shameless is adding them in droves. But it’s no mystery why. The series’ reputation for rich and resonant characters and for deep – and deeply twisted – comedy has drawn not only faithful longtime viewers, but a steadily growing audience. And creatively, the season that kicked off this past Sunday is stronger than ever.
Showrunner John Wells (ER), who adapted the British show of the same name by Paul Abbott, expressed gratitude to the network in his own brief statement. Showtime can likely attribute much of the show's success to its younger skewing audience, having the youngest viewers out of any of the shows on the network. It certainly helps that Shameless is present on Netflix, giving viewers easy access to the show for some heavy binge-watching.
But in a development that sounds like it could come straight from any of the Gallaghers in the television show, one of the cast members has found himself in some legal trouble as of late. Eighteen-year old actor and series regular Ethan Cutkosky, who portrays the second younger Gallagher child Carl, was recently arrested on a DUI charge. Showtime did not acknowledge the news in any statement, and it is unclear what effect this incident, if any, will have on the show's production. As season 8 of the highly rated show has already wrapped, the series will continue to air as normal. We'll soon find out, with season 9 of Shameless beginning production sometime in 2018.
Shameless season 8 airs Sundays at 9pm on Showtime.