Three days after “Shameless” opened its eighth season to strong ratings, Showtime has picked up the series for a ninth run.
The announcement Wednesday makes “Shameless” the longest-running original series in Showtime’s history. “Dexter” and “Weeds” each ran for eight seasons, and “Homeland” has been picked up through Season 8; of those “Weeds” is the only one to cross 100 episodes.
The pickup also brings “Shameless” closer to the length of the British show on which it’s based. The U.K. “Shameless” ran for 138 episodes (plus one Christmas special) over 11 seasons from 2004-13.
“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 president and CEO David Nevins says 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.”
“Shameless” delivered 1.86 million viewers and a 0.7 rating in adults 18-49 with its Season 8 premiere Sunday — up 50 percent and 40 percent from last season’s debut (1.24 million and 0.5). It’s also the youngest-skewing show on the channel, Showtime says.
The coming season will find Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) attempting to become a productive member of society and Fiona (Emmy Rossum) figuring out how to balance her recent success as a landlord with the knowledge that it might end up hurting others.
Production on Season 9 of “Shameless” will begin next year. The show joins these series that have been renewed for 2018-19 and beyond.