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Life with the Gallaghers will continue on at Showtime.
The premium cable network has handed out a 10th season renewal for dramedy Shameless. The William H. Macy starrer from Warner Bros. TV already ranked as Showtime’s longest-running scripted original and has now become its first series to reach the 10-season marker. Season 10 will return in late 2019.
The news, announced Thursday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, helps solidify the future of the John Wells-run drama following the upcoming departure of female lead Emmy Rossum and after her co-star Cameron Monaghan departed in the first half of season nine. Rossum’s Fiona — the eldest of the Gallagher siblings — will be written out in the season nine finale as the actress moves on to pursue other opportunities after a decade on the series. Showtime entertainment co-president Gary Levine announced that Monaghan will indeed return for season 10.
For his part, Wells — who had to rework the final two episodes of season nine to write in Rossum’s exit — has been open about wanting her and Monaghan to return down the line in some capacity. “The [Fiona] character is moving away from us. It was sad. But I hope for the audience that it will be as rewarding and appealing as what happened with the end of Ian’s story in episode six. That’s what we’re striving for: a show that’s entertaining and emotional,” Wells told The Hollywood Reporter in October.
In the same interview, Wells noted that he “could write [Shameless] forever” but questioned if the dramedy could withstand additional cast departures. He compared Shameless to another long-running series he worked on: NBC’s ER, which he noted featured “three separate casts” over its 15 seasons.
“Can this show perform the same way? I never would have guessed that we would be able to still be on the air after nine seasons,” he said. “On ER, we were in a situation where we were going to start looking at a fourth cast and I looked around and said, ‘I think we wrote what we wanted to write and it’s time to do something else.’ That could happen. But I don’t see it in the foreseeable future as long as Showtime and Bill [Macy] and some of the other people who are so central to the series want to keep making it.”
For his part, awards season staple Macy has been open about wanting to do a 10th and maybe 11th season but suggested his time with the series could come to an end after that. “I know there’s another 10 years of stories, and I’d love to see them. But when I think about acting them, my back starts to hurt a little bit. (Laughs.) I know I want to do another season or two, and after that we shall see,” Macy told THR in a September interview marking the show’s 100th episode.
Shameless ranks as Showtime’s most watched series and is one of Netflix’s top acquired series.
For season nine, Showtime added two episodes and split it in half to help launch comedy Black Monday. The Don Cheadle 1980s-set Wall Street comedy launched with the second half of season nine starting Jan. 20.
Renewing Shameless helps solidify Showtime’s originals roster as breakout hit Homeland and The Affair are both ending in 2019. The cabler’s slate includes Billions, The Chi, Ray Donovan, SMILF, Kidding, Black Monday, City on a Hill and the upcoming Penny Dreadful revival, long-gestating Halo adapation and the Roger Ailes miniseries, among others.
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