Showtime broke the bad news to “Shameless” fans on Monday that the show will come to an end after its 11th season, which is set to air over 12 episodes this summer. Now, Showtime co-president of entertainment Gary Levine is revealing to Deadline why the network decided now was the right time to end the series.
“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.”
Typically, “Shameless” has aired towards the end of the year, but Levine said the network wanted to use it to help bolster another new series that is coming to Showtime this summer.
“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.”
He also said it isn’t out of the question for the show’s original star, Emmy Rossum, to make a return for the final season. She left the show after season 9 to pursue other projects.
“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.”
Wells, the show’s producer, expressed how grateful he is to the network on Monday.
“I’m unbelievably thankful for all of the years of support from Gary Levine and everyone at Showtime that’s allowed us to make Shameless,” Wells said in a statement on Monday. “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!”