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The premium cable network on Wednesday announced that it has renewed the hourlong dramedy for a ninth season.
The news comes days after the William H. Macy-Emmy Rossum starrer opened its eighth season with its highest-rated premiere since season three. The seventh season wrapped as its biggest yet, averaging 6.5 million viewers per week. Production on season nine will begin in 2018.
“As challenging as it can be for any show simply to maintain viewers in the current TV landscape, Shameless is adding them in droves,” Showtime CEO David Nevins said in a statement. “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.”
The series, from showrunner John Wells and Warner Bros. Television, has been a proven hit on Netflix, ranking as one of the streaming giant’s most-watched originals and providing a halo effect on original Showtime episodes. The pickup also comes days after Shameless co-star Ethan Cutkosky was arrested for DUI, but that will not impact the series as production on season eight has already wrapped.
While there is no news that season nine could be its last, sources note that it could run for at least one more season beyond 2018 and potentially longer.
For his part, Macy has been an awards-season staple, while Rossum delayed the season eight renewal after a salary standoff with producers WBTV in which she demanded (and received) salary parity with Macy.
“We are so grateful to Showtime for giving us the opportunity to continue making Shameless,” said Wells. “It’s a labor of love (and a blast) for all of us.”
For Showtime, Shameless leads a roster of scripted originals that includes The Affair, Billions, Homeland, Ray Donovan, I’m Dying Up Here, Purity, White Famous, The Chi, SMILF, Escape at Dannemora, Patrick Melrose, Kidding, Your Honor and The President Is Missing.
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