Showtime Chiefs Talk Moving Up ‘Shameless’ Final Season, Why They Had No Interest in a ‘Weeds’ Sequel

TCA 2020: Gary Levine says it’ll be a “pleasant surprise” if Emmy Rossum appears in final season of Gallagher Family comedy

Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

“Shameless” fans will get a double serving of the Gallagher family in 2020. The long-running Showtime comedy will air its 11th and final season this summer, just a handful of months after its 10th season, which still has a few weeks left, will wrap.

Showtime’s entertainment president Gary Levine explained why they made such a quick call on “Shameless” and the decision to move it up to the summer. They wanted it to air alongside “On Becoming a God in Central Florida.”

“We wanted it on earlier, because we wanted to strengthen our summer and we also wanted to provide a great lead-in for ‘On Becoming a God’ in its second season,” Levine told TheWrap on Monday during the Television Critics Association press tour. “It just feels like a strong compatible lead-in.” He added that he’s not sure if Emmy Rossum, who starred on the series for its first nine seasons, will return for the finale.

“When you have a John Wells series you can relax and let John Wells handle these things,” he said. “We will have the full cast from this season returning, and in the final season, you never know what surprises might occur.” Levine continued to say that any potential appearance from Rossum’s Fiona Gallagher would be a “pleasant surprise.”

With both “Shameless” and “Homeland” ending their lengthy runs this year — “Homeland” returns for its eighth and final season in February — TheWrap asked Levine about the fate of two other long-running series for Showtime in “Billions” and “Ray Donovan.”

“Billions is still in the middle of its lifespan,” Levine said. “I think ‘Ray Donovan’ is nearing the end of its lifespan. We always talked about seven or eight seasons. This is the seventh season.” He added that they’re “in the middle of discussions” for the Liev Schreiber-led drama and that it “should be resolved within the next few weeks.”

In November, Lionsgate announced that it was developing a sequel to the former Showtime comedy “Weeds,” but for rival pay cable network Starz (Lionsgate owns Starz). The potential series would pick up with the Botwin family 10 years after the end of the show during the era of marijuana legalization.

Levine said that, though star Mary Louise-Parker is set to return as well as executive produce, the fact that its creator Jenji Kohan is not involved made it a no-go for them. “The two integral elements of ‘Weeds’ were Mary Louise Parker, but most importantly, Jenji Kohan. Our understanding is the sequel will not involve Jenji. That does not make it interesting to us.”