2:45pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Shameless': Expanded Season 9 Will Be Split in Two
Showtime is doubling down on Shameless.
The premium cable network on Monday announced that it would be adding two episodes to the season nine order for one of its longest-running series, while also splitting its run in two.
The first half of the 14-episode ninth season of Shameless will premiere Sept. 9 and wrap with a midseason finale on Oct. 21. The remaining seven episodes will return Jan. 20 at 9 p.m. The 14-episode order is the largest the series has ever had. Its previous eight seasons were always 12 episodes each.
The move comes two years after Showtime aired two seasons of Shameless in 2016 and will help give the pay cabler a dose of its highest-rated series in two quarters.
The scheduling is reminiscent of cable networks like AMC, which splits its top-rated show, The Walking Dead in half. The tack provides a ratings (and financial) injection to the networks.
It's unclear if Showtime will take the split-season approach on any of its other scripted originals.