It was announced on Monday that Shameless will be ending its run on Showtime after 11 seasons, with the final season to air this summer with 12 episodes. Speaking to Deadline, Showtime co-president of entertainment Gary Levine explained why they decided to end the show now, noting that ending a show is always a balance.
"Shameless has been such a great performer for us, and we just felt like, 11 seasons is a big fat number," Levine said. "[Producer] John [Wells] 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."
He added that Showtime decided to launch Shameless' final season in the summer, as opposed to its traditional fall or winter, to help its other programming.
"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," he explained. "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 confirmed that the current cast of Shameless will return for the final season, though he didn't know whether former series star Emmy Rossum, who left after Season 9, would make a surprise appearance.
"Too early to say. She would be welcomed with open arms but Emmy doesn't owe us anything," he 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."
Shameless' 11-season run will match that of the British series it was based on, which also spanned 11 seasons and ended in 2013.0comments
"I'm unbelievably thankful for all of the years of support from [Showtime Entertainment president] Gary Levine and everyone at Showtime that’s allowed us to make Shameless," Wells said in a statement on Monday," via The Hollywood Reporter. "It's been a fantastic experience and all of us in the cast and crew have had a wonderful time following the lives of the Gallagher family and friends. It's been a pleasure!"
Photo Credit: Showtime