While it seems like a no-brainer that Emmy-nominated Showtime series Shameless would be returning for an eighth season, there was some speculation that it might not following star Emmy Rossum’s public disputes over equal pay. Now the show has, indeed, been officially renewed for season 8, reports Variety.
There will be an additional 12 episodes of the comedy/drama, which follows the dysfunctional Gallagher family that includes troubled father Frank (William H. Macy) and Rossum as Fiona, the eldest daughter of six. With Frank’s ongoing battles with drug addiction and alcoholism, Fiona is often left to take care of the family.
There haven’t been any public details as to how the network settled things with Rossum, but it’s clear that she’s happy with the deal given the official renewal and her return to the show, which she confirmed in a Tweet on December 14.
Playing Fiona Gallagher has been one of the great privileges of my life. I’m so happy to continue w my SHAMELESS family!Back to work in May!
— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) December 14, 2016
Rossum was reportedly asking for more pay than Macy, while the network was, according to Variety sources, offering parity with the actor. While Macy is the better-known star of the show, with a career in acting that spans nearly 40 years, two Emmys to his name, and an Academy Award nomination, those who agreed with Rossum’s request argue that she has had more screen time than Macy on the show, and is just as integral to the show’s plotlines as he is. Macy was nominated for his role at the 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards, while Rossum received a People’s Choice Award nomination this year for the series.
Whatever the deal ended up being, it was clear Showtime did not want to lose the show: Shameless has been the network’s top series, and even saw a ratings rise in season 7 to 1.24 million viewers. The second-to-last episode of season 7 drew 1.6 million viewers. The sixth-season “Tomatometer” score from Rotten Tomatoes was a perfect 100 percent, with a still impressive 71 percent audience score.
The season 7 finale aired on December 18, and season 8 is scheduled to air next year. Shameless is based on the original U.K. version of the show.