The end is in sight for the hit Showtime series Shameless, as the network has ordered one more season before pulling the plug on the Gallagher family. Currently in the midst of its tenth season, it was revealed Monday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that Showtime has renewed Shameless for an eleventh season which will premiere this summer. However, the news is a bit bittersweet, as Showtime Networks' President of Entertainment Gary Levine says season 11 will also be the final season for the series.

"The characters of Shameless have brought Showtime viewers more laughs and tears and pure enjoyment than any program in our history," Levine says of the show's last season renewal in a statement. He adds: "While we are sad to bid the Gallaghers farewell, we couldn't be more confident in the ability of showrunner John Wells, his writing team and this great cast to bring our series to its appropriately Shameless conclusion."

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For his part, showrunner John Wells is embracing the imminent end of Shameless as the cast and crew prepares for the show's final season. "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. 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!" Wells exclaims in a statement of his own. While many of those involved must be sad to see the end coming soon, it's best to still be grateful for the eleven seasons that we'll ultimately get from the series, just as Wells is doing.

It's not entirely clear why Shameless will end with its eleventh season, but falling viewership likely plays a role in the decision. Since series star Emmy Rossum departed the show for good in season 9, the ratings have been slipping, with season 10 pulling in the show's lowest viewership numbers yet. Since the start of the series, Rossum had shined as the fan favorite character Fiona Gallagher, and perhaps her absence had led to just a bit too many fans walking away from the show.

Even without Rossum, Shameless has always been praised for the outstanding work from each part of its ensemble cast. Other notable cast members include William H. Macy (Frank), Jeremy Allen White (Lip), Emma Kenney (Debbie), Cameron Monaghan (Ian), Kate Miner (Tami), Ethan Cutkosky (Carl), Shanola Hampton (V), and Steve Howey (Kev). Based on the British TV series of the same name, the American version of Shameless has been an incredible success for Showtime, serving as the longest-running scripted series in the network's history.

The truth is that any television series is going to struggle to maintain viewership after airing for nine or ten seasons, and even the most beloved shows can't stay massively popular forever. Even with no changes to its core cast, Shameless would have likely already been eyeing its curtain call by this time. Still, eleven seasons is an incredible run, and maybe it's better to bring it to a close while the series still has some strength so it doesn't go out with a dull whimper. This news comes to us from TVLine.

Jeremy Dick at TVweb
Jeremy Dick