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The premium cable network on Monday announced that the William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum starrer will return for an eighth season in 2017. Production on the 12-episode season will begin in May, as Rossum announced last week.
The news arrives a day after the season-seven finale that ended with a post-credits scene telling viewers to “come back next year.” The pickup is little surprise after leading lady Rossum negotiated a new deal to return to the dramedy following a salary standoff in which she demanded equal pay with Macy — and more — to compensate for years of being paid less. Macy recently renegotiated his contract with producer Warner Bros. Television. Sources say awards- season regular Macy scored a raise that puts his salary in the upper echelon of cable dramas. The cast’s last renegotiation a few years ago gave raises to all the main members of the ensemble.
Shameless has become a key piece of Showtime’s original scripted lineup. The drama has pulled off the rare feat of airing twice in the same calendar year (this year) in a bid to fill the originals gap created by Homeland‘s delay to early 2017. Shameless also is a key asset for Warner Bros. TV, which is attempting to sell more series to premium cable outlets as broadcast networks buy from their vertically aligned studios.
John Wells, who recently scored a series pickup for his WBTV-produced TV Land comedy American Woman, serves as showrunner on Shameless. Jeremy Allen White, Cameron Monaghan, Emma Kenney, Ethan Cutkosky, Shanola Hampton and Steve Howey round out the cast of the Chicago-set family drama.
Season seven of Shameless ranked as its highest-rated season to date. The show is a top five cable drama among total viewers, adults 18-49 as well as adults 18-34. Shameless, along with Homeland, ranks as Showtime’s longest-running scripted original. They are part of a roster of hourlong shows that includes The Affair, Billions and Ray Donovan. Set to join that roster in 2017 are Twin Peaks, Jim Carrey-produced I’m Dying Up Here, Daniel Craig starrer Purity and John Ridley’s Idris Elba mini Guerrilla. This past year, the pay cabler bid farewell to dramas Masters of Sex, Roadies and Penny Dreadful. On the pilot side, Showtime has Lena Waithe’s drama starring Common (aka The Chi); Jason Katims‘ comedic anthology Mating, starring Taran Killam; Jay Pharoah starrer White Famous; and SMILF.
“Playing Fiona Gallagher has been one of the great privileges of my life. I’m so happy to continue w my SHAMELESS family! Back to work in May!” Rossum tweeted Dec. 14.
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