Showtime renews ‘Shameless,’ two comedies

Ratings for drama, 'Lies,' 'Californication' up from last season

Showtime has given renewals to drama “Shameless” as well as comedies “House of Lies” and “Californication.”

Pay cabler launched the current season of all three on Jan. 13, and each is up vs. the previous season for the first two weeks. Across all platforms, “Shameless” has increased 22% from last year. Series drew 2.53 million in the third episode that aired Sunday.

“House of Lies” is up 10%, and “Californication” has seen a 21% uptick.

Of the three shows renewed, “Californication” is the veteran. Exec produced by star David Duchovny and Tom Kapinos, series is in its sixth season and has now been renewed for a seventh.

Production costs can steadily increase as a show ages. That wasn’t a factor, however, in the decision to renew “Californication,” entertainment president David Nevins told Variety. “We try hard to be have our costs not accelerate year after year, and here you have a show that is still going up and having its best season ever. It wasn’t that hard of a decision,” Nevins said. “We always wanted to pick it up for another year. Both David and Tom were eager for it. I’ve already heard some of the creative ideas for next year.”

As for a possible eighth season, Nevins was noncommittal but certainly didn’t rule it out.

“It could, but there is no reason to make that decision now,” he said.

Warner Bros.-produced “Shameless” is the Brit import of Paul Abbott’s U.K. series and exec produced by John Wells, Andrew Stearn and Mark Mylod.

While Nevins said both “House of Lies” and “Shameless” are doing well in the ratings, he felt their buzz factor was not at the level it should be compared to other pay cable comedies such as HBO’s “Girls.”

“It feels like the press, or for that matter the Hollywood community, hasn’t fully realized yet what hits ‘Shameless’ and ‘House of Lies’ actually are,” Nevins said. “Don (Cheadle’s) Emmy nomination and Golden Globe win seems like the beginning of the breakthrough.”

Nevins said he was confident Emmy voters will eventually get onboard for “Shameless” in particular.

“The work that is being consistently done will get noticed,” he said.

On the series front, Showtime will launch two new dramas in 2014: “Ray Donovan,” with Liev Schreiber, debuts June 30 and follows the “Dexter” premiere. “Masters of Sex,” with Michael Sheen and Lizzie Caplan, launches Sept. 29 after the “Homeland” opener.