Shameless to return for longer

The eighth season of Channel Four drama Shameless, due to air in 2011, will run for 22 episodes instead of 16 episodes.

ShamelessChannel Four has bumped up the number of orders for the 8th season of Shameless which is due to air in 2011. The broadcaster has ordered 22 episodes of the drama instead of the usual 16 – 22 brings the series more in line with the typical number of episodes in an American drama series. Over the past two seasons 16 episodes have aired per season although earlier seasons had far less episodes.

There was some speculation that the 7th series, due to start next year on Channel Four, would be cut down to 8 episodes because of budget cut backs at Channel Four. However, it will air the usual 16 episodes when it returns in January. Joining the cast for the 7th season will be Pauline McLynn who is best known for her roles in Father Ted and Jam and Jerusalem and actress Valerie Lilley who has previously appeared in Doctors and Grange Hill. The Sun tabloid reported in November that actress Rebecca Ryan, who plays Debbie Gallagher, had quit the drama and would not be appearing in the 7th series.