Showtime co-president of entertainment Gary Levine this morning announced that the network’s flagship series, Shameless, will end after one more season, which will air this summer. Shameless was renewed for an 11th and final season, matching the 11-season run of the Paul Abbott-created original British series it was based on. The U.S. adaptation was developed by John Wells who has steered the dramedy for its entire run.
In an interview with Deadline, Levine shed light on the decision to end Shameless, shared details about the final season and revealed who will (and might) be back.
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Like most Shameless seasons, the upcoming Season 11 will consist of 12 episodes, Levine said. The show’s current cast, led by star William H. Macy, is set to return.
“Everyone who is in this year is coming back next season, and then you never know in a final season what surprises there may be,” he said.
Could those surprises include a return of Shameless‘ co-lead Emmy Rossum, who left after Season 9?
“Too early to say. She would be welcomed with open arms but Emmy doesn’t owe us anything,” Levine said. “She did great for the show as the show did great for her, and it was a very amicable parting. So if she surprises us, it would be lovely.”
All of Shameless‘ seasons to date have launched in the fall or in January. The final installment will not follow that pattern and air in the summer, making for a very quick turnaround as Season 10 is still airing.
“We had such a strong fourth quarter (with Shameless and Ray Donovan). Traditionally our shows slide towards the end of the year just because of production and everything else,” Levine said, explaining the rationale behind the scheduling decision. “We really wanted the summer to be strong, we wanted to be able to use Shameless as a lead-in for Of Becoming a God in Central Florida, which is a show we really love. Shameless feels like a compatible lead-in and brings a big and compatible audience to it.”
Levine admitted that ending a series is a always tricky. It is even trickier when the series remains your most popular show ten seasons in.
“Shameless has been such a great performer for us, and we just felt like, 11 seasons is a big fat number,” Levine said. “John and his people refresh it each year, and it still gets a huge audience for us as well as for that streaming services that runs our reruns (Netflix). We just felt it was time, and we also liked the idea of giving John and Co. a chance to end it well, to be able to aim for that landing.”
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