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Shameless Season 11 - What We Know So Far

Over the course of the past decade, the road to something resembling normalcy has been an abnormally rough one for the fictional Gallagher clan. Ok, at this point it's safe to assume that "normal" will never be a reality for the chaos-addicted Chicagoans at the heart of Showtime's dramedy Shameless. We're also pretty sure that if "normal" were part of their story, Shameless would've been just another intolerably boring family drama about good people trying to do the right thing by the folks they care most about.

As it is, when Shameless made its premiere on Showtime back in 2011, the show's unflinching, unabashedly gritty, and often hilarious look at lower-class life on the fringes of society proved a legit smack in the face to every cookie cutter, do-gooding family drama on TV. In fact, Shameless so devilishly subverted the idea of what a family drama could be that few series on television even tried to match its unbridled narrative insanity. As such, the show has spent the bulk of its run tirelessly trying to outdo itself.

It hasn't always succeeded, but more often than not, Shameless has delivered the goods in terms of both soul-stirring drama and hilariously cringe-worthy side steps. Unfortunately, the end is finally on the horizon for Frank (William H. Macy) and the rest of the Gallaghers. Yes, Shameless fans, after a surprisingly lengthy run on Showtime, the series will officially end after its upcoming 11th season — and while we don't know what the future holds for everyone's favorite South Siders, we're pretty sure things are gonna get messier than ever. Here's everything we know about Shameless season 11.   

What's the release date for Shameless season 11?

Even after the departure of star Emmy Rossum in season 9, Shameless managed to deliver a solid run of episodes with its 10th season. Showtime saw fit to greenlight an 11th season, which will serve to tie up narrative threads left perilously dangling at the end of season 10 and to wrap up the overarching story. While creator John Wells and the Shameless creative team probably have no intention of ending the series by putting a nice, shiny bow over the Gallagher's household, it's nice to know fans get some sort of closure to the family's stories. 

As for when fans can expect to see the series' final episodes, it was originally announced that Shameless season 11 would premiere on Showtime in the summer of 2020. However, that probably won't end up happening.

Shameless actress Emma Kenney, who plays Deborah "Debbie" Gallagher, confirmed in an Instagram post that production on the show's 11th and final season has been delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. She wrote in the caption of a photo uploaded on March 18, 2020, "We were supposed to start production on our 11th and final season today, but unfortunately/fortunately, we have been shut down indefinitely until this health crisis is over. So here's a lil throwback. Missin my Gallaghers." 

Showtime has yet to announce an official premiere date delay, but it's highly unlikely that the season will make its scheduled premiere if it hasn't even begun production yet. Considering how much the pandemic has disrupted other major releases, a two-to-three month delay at the very minimum sounds plausible. Fans are likely looking at a fall 2020 or spring 2021 launch date for Shameless season 11. As of September 2020, multiple outlets are reporting that Shameless has returned to production, so an early 2021 premiere date for the Gallaghers' last outing seems the most likely.

Who's in the cast of Shameless season 11?

We're really hoping that Team Shameless was able to get their final episodes in the can, however, because that season 10 finale left more than a little bit up in the air, we're genuinely concerned for several members of the Gallagher clan. Most importantly, we're wondering what's to become of Debbie (Emma Kenney) and Carl (Ethan Cutkosky), who both found themselves getting involved with the same underage girl, with Debbie actually staring down a trip to the jailhouse courtesy of a statutory rape charge. Kenney, at least, has been spotted on the season 11 set as of early September, 2020, so we know for certain that she'll be back. 

In other news Lip (Jeremy Allen White) and his baby mama Tami (Kate Miner) finally decided to forge ahead as a family, even as Lip tragically slipped off the wagon amid their ongoing turmoil. Season 10 also saw Ian (Cameron Monaghan) and Mickey (Noel Fisher) getting out of jail and tying the knot (much to the chagrin of Mickey's homophobic dad, who actually tried to burn the church down with them inside). Meanwhile, William H. Macy's Frank continued to do his lecherous Frank things, with Kev (Steve Howey) and V (Shanola Hampton) ultimately doing much the same. 

Needless to say, there will be a lot of narrative ground to cover in Shameless' final season. Luckily, the one thing we know for certain about the show's final act is that the curtain call will be met by almost the entirety of Shameless' long-time cast members — and while it hasn't been confirmed, we wouldn't be at all surprised if Rossum turned up at some point for one last cameo as Fiona. Earlier this year, it seemed like Rossum's shooting schedule on her new streaming series, Angelyne, might preclude any appearance on the final season of Shameless. In a strangely fortunate turn, however, all the production delays caused by the industry-wide shutdown might end up allowing Rossum to return in some capacity (via O Magazine). How's that for a silver lining?

According to Wells, Rossum's schedule is the one and only factor that will determine whether or not she pops up in season 11. "I'm very hopeful that her schedule, which is very busy because she's wonderfully talented and doing many things, will align with our being, at least, able to get her back for a little bit," Wells told TV Line." But if not, it won't be because she doesn't love us. It'll just be because she's got too much else that she's committed to, which is exciting and great, and we're all happy for her."

How many episodes will Shameless season 11 be?

Obviously, it's great news that Shameless will close out its 11-season run with the original cast members in tow, because die-hard Shameless fans have literally watched many of them come of age on the series. While we wait for Showtime to announce an official release date for the series' final season, we can all take heart knowing that season 11 of Shameless will almost certainly unfold with the same episode count of prior seasons. Save for the 14-episode season 9 anomaly, every season of Shameless typically clocks in at 12 episodes.

While we'd love to see another 14-episode outlier for Shameless' final season, it's far more likely that season 11 will clock in at the more standard run of 12. Alas, that should be more than enough time to give the Gallagher gang the rapturously calamitous send off they've earned. Per Showtime president Gary Levine, that's exactly what fans can expect of the series finale.

"It will be one last hurrah for the Gallaghers and their unique blend of love and lechery," Levine said in announcing the show's renewal for season 11. "John Wells and his gifted cast promise to take Shameless out [with] a bang, and knowing the Gallaghers as we all do, that is no idle threat" (via Deadline).

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Here's hoping that Shameless' swan song is indeed a big bang to remember.