With season eight as its strongest rated one yet, according to Showtime president and CEO David Nevins, Shameless is poised to be around for years to come, with Netflix playing a significant role in the show's continued success.
Nevins praised the show for also having one of its best years creatively as well, adding that "shows that show the ability to renew themselves get to stay." According to Entertainment Weekly, the season eight premiere was the highest-rated debut since the show's third season. The network president attributes the growth of new fans to Shameless being available on Netflix. "It’s definitely helped introduce it to another audience, but there’s positives and negatives to that," said Nevins at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. "It’s helped its run on Showtime. Fortunately, this season that is currently running on Showtime won’t be on Netflix for another nine months. There’s a much longer period of our exclusivity, which I think is a good thing for us. The downside is I don’t want people thinking it’s a Netflix show."
Since the rise of streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, a show's success is no longer solely reliant on the traditional rating system from Nielsen, reports Vulture. Instead, shows are being evaluated based on how well they perform on a combination of the network's website and their success on streaming platforms, in addition to the traditional, next-day ratings. This multi-variable scoring system enables shows to build a potentially more niche audience over a longer period of time which can, as is the case with Shameless, create an even larger fan base.
While this new and more intricate system may not be able to keep all of our favourite shows going for years to come, it does allow for show creators to deviate from traditional, network formats and experiment with new ways of telling stories to their viewers. Shameless represents one of many shows that can produce something unique and captivating as a result of this evolution in how people consume television.
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