Showtime entertainment co-president Gary Levine announced this morning that the network’s flagship series, Shameless, which will end after another season, will air this summer. Shameless has been refreshed for its 11th and final season, matching the 11-season streak of the original British series created by Paul Abbott on which it is based. The US adaptation was developed by John Wells, who directed the television series during its run.
In an interview with Deadline, Levine shed some light on the decision to end Shameless, sharing details about the final season, and revealing who will (and might) return.
Levine said that, like most seasons of Shameless, the upcoming season 11 will consist of 12 episodes. The show’s current cast, led by star William H. Macy, will return.
He said: “All of this year’s participants will be back next season, and then you never know what surprises in the final season might be.
Could those surprises include the return of Emmy Rossum, who left after Season 9 of Shameless?
“It is too early to tell. She will be welcomed with open arms but Emmy doesn’t owe us anything,” Levine said. “She did a great job for the show because the show did so well for her, and it was a very friendly farewell. So if she surprises us, it will be adorable.
All seasons of Shameless’ to date have either come out in the fall or in January. The final season won’t follow that pattern and will air over 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 at the end of the year just because of production and everything else,” said Levine, explaining the reasoning behind the decision to schedule. “We really wanted the summer to be strong, we wanted to be able to use Shameless as the prelude to Of Become a God in Central Florida, which is a show that we really love. Shameless is like a compatible lead and brings in a large audience that is compatible with it.
Levine admits that ending a series is always a difficult thing. It gets even more complicated when the series remains your most popular show for ten seasons.
“Shameless has been a great performance for us and we just feel that 11 seasons is a big number,” Levine said. “John and his guys refresh it every year and it still attracts a huge audience for us and for the streaming services that run our replays (Netflix). We just felt the time was right, and we also liked the idea of giving John and Company the chance to wrap up, to be able to aim for that landing.”