The Gallaghers have come a long way since we first met them in 2011 but one thing remains: Everyone’s favorite Southside Chicago family is still unabashedly Shameless.
If you’re an OG fan, you’ve been with the Gallaghers through it all — from deaths in the family to unplanned pregnancies and abortions, from polyamorous marriages to literally digging up a dead body — Shameless captivates fans with its outrageous storylines and most importantly, its unique family dynamic. Luckily, that’s not going away anytime soon. While Fiona, Frank, Lip, Carl, Ian, Debbie, and Liam are currently on their eighth season, fans can rest assured that Showtime has already picked up the series for Season 9.
With Season 9 now a definite reality, not even Showtime president and CEO David Nevins can predict how long the Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy-led series will continue. As long as it’s successful — and we know it will be! — there could be several more seasons of the Gallaghers.
“I don’t know what the end point of that show is,” David told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s having its strongest year ever by a long shot. It’s up significantly over last year, so it has grown steadily.”
“A lot of people feel like this was one of its best creative years, too, so as long as [the show] keeps doing that, I’m happy to have them for as long as possible. Shows that show the ability to renew themselves get to stay — if I can afford them,” David added.
Since the show’s US adaptation began in 2011, much has changed for the Gallaghers — though alcoholism and an outlandish family dynamic are two themes that still ring true for the show today. Keep reading to find out how much has changed for the series since its first season!
Shameless Cast Season 1: Where It All Began
Now, seven years later, car thief Jimmy/Steve is finally out of the picture — with Fiona moving on thanks to a string of relationships, Tinder one-night stands, and even a drug-infused marriage. But Fiona’s relationship status isn’t the only thing that’s changed since 2011: Debs became a single mother at 15, then planned to marry a disabled man for his money (and his apartment). And V and Kevin — the show’s unshakable couple — became the parents of twin girls and added a third partner to their relationship, Svetlana — who was once only known as the Russian prostitute Mickey’s father used to force heterosexuality on his son.
Ian, who once experienced a bipolar episode so intense, it caused him to kidnap Mickey and Svetlana’s baby, actually ends up helping Mickey escape to Mexico and begins a new relationship with a transgender man named Trevor. Carl, who delved deep into the drug-dealing scene and eventually wound up in a juvenile correctional facility by Season 5, became reformed in Season 7 after joining the military.
Carl Gallagher entering the corrections facility in Season 5.
Even little Liam has come a long way since accidentally overdosing on Fiona’s cocaine in Season 4. In Season 7, Frank’s efforts to score Liam a spot in private school succeed and in Season 8, a now elementary-school-age Liam starts his private education.
Season 7 brought another huge change for V, Kevin, and the state of their three-tier relationship. Svetlana, who was responsible for the couples’ paperwork and financial decisions, stole The Alibi Room from her two co-parents and lovers, leaving the state of their relationship in shambles.
With seven years of Shameless under their belts, some members of the cast have quite literally grown up before our eyes. Cameron Monaghan, who plays Ian, was just 18 when the show started and now he’s 24. Emma Kenney — who plays Debbie — was just 12 years old when she was cast in the Showtime series. Similarly, Ethan Cutkosky was also just 12 when he began portraying Carl.
The Shameless cast in Season 1 vs. Season 8.
But they’re not the timid almost-teenagers they once were on set. Now that these cast members have grown up alongside their other co-stars, it’s crazy to take a look back at just how far everyone has come in the near decade Shameless has been on television.
Keep scrolling to see the cast of Shameless — then and now!
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