Showtime has renewed Shameless for season 10. That’s no surprise, although it remains to be seen whether the series can survive much longer after Emmy Rossum’s newly boozy Fiona departs at the end of season 9. The more striking takeaway from Thursday’s announcement is that Cameron Monaghan will return as Ian next season after supposedly leaving the show for good. Indeed, Ian’s storyline was tied up as nicely as a Gallagher could possibly hope for a few episodes ago. Although he departed to endure a two-year prison sentence, he somehow reunited with his true love, Mickey Malkovich, in a moment that greatly pleased fans who yearned for “Gallavich” to see a happy ending.
More importantly, Ian left after putting an end to the Gay Jesus persona that the series drilled into the ground, but now, something is afoot. From the Television Critics Association winter shindig, Variety reports the renewal news with a statement from Showtime Networks President of Entertainment Gary Levine:
“The Gallaghers are a force of nature, and they are coming back. Shameless with its ever-growing fan base, is like no other show on television. We are thrilled it will live on with its unique blend of love and larceny on Showtime.”
TV Line adds more from Executive Producer John Wells, who thanks fans for allowing the series to “tell more wonderful Gallagher stories.” Neither of these execs mention how (or why) they persuaded Monaghan to return as Ian. Also importantly, will Mickey Malkovich leave prison (with actor Noel Fisher coming back as a regular), too? Mickey apparently rolled on a cartel to move from Mexico to a prison near Chicago, or at least, that was his explanation for why he suddenly materialized as Ian’s cell mate. That detail didn’t matter much for the Gallavich fairy-tale ending of sorts but could spur a lot of tenth-season drama if the writers so desire.
One also wonders whether we’ll see any other popular, departed characters return as well. While I’m not holding my breath for Joan Cusack’s gloriously batty Sheila to make a comeback, actor Justin Chatwin attended the 100th episode party last year, so bringing back Steve-Jimmy isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Make it happen!