The newest season of Showtime’s hit series “Shameless” is reportedly in jeopardy, as star Emmy Rossum and the network brass are “locked in a pay standoff that is holding up a possible eighth season of the popular Showtime dramedy,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The outlet reports that Rossum, who quickly emerged as the leading lady of the Showtime series — first launched in 2011 as an American-ized version of the popular UK series of the same name — is not only “seeking salary parity with co-star William H. Macy…she is taking the position she should be paid more per-episode than Macy makes after years of earning much less than her Emmy-nominated co-star.”
In the series, Macy stars as the perpetually drunk and absent Frank Gallagher, while Rossum plays his eldest daughter Fiona, who essentially functions as the matriarch of the rest of the Gallagher clan while Frank gallivants around Chicago. In the UK version of the series, the Fiona character (played by Anne-Marie Duff) was only a regular during the show’s first two seasons, while Rossum has long been the full female lead of the show.
As THR notes, “The cast’s last renegotiation a few years ago gave raises to all the main members of the ensemble. But Macy, who came into ‘Shameless’ with an extensive film resume and an Oscar nomination for his role in ‘Fargo,’ always has been paid more than the rest of the cast.” Additionally, Macy has a number of awards nods under his belt, including three best actor in a comedy series Emmy nominations, a Critics Choice drama actor nomination, a Golden Globe comedy actor nomination and two SAG comedy actor nominations (including one win). Rossum has been nominated for two Critics Choice awards for her work on the show.
Yet Rossum’s dedication to the show is clear and her desire to grow within it made plain. In the current, still-airing seventh season, Rossum made her directorial debut on the episode “I Am A Storm.”
The outlet also shares that “if Rossum closes her deal, producer WBTV then will renegotiate with the remainder of the cast, including Jeremy Allen White (Lip), Cameron Monaghan (Ian) and Steve Howey (Kevin).”
And, in bad news to both Rossum and “Shameless” fans, “if she can’t close a deal, Showtime could choose to renew the show without her or cancel it.”