Showtime viewers will get to learn more about the fate of "Pucks" and the ongoing struggles of the Gallaghers, as the premium cable network has renewed both "Episodes" and "Shameless."
 
The Monday (Feb. 28) pick-up release announces a 12-episode second season for "Shameless" and a yet-to-be-determined number of installments for "Episodes," which both shows returning in 2012.
 
"The viewer loyalty and critical acclaim that has met both 'Shameless' and 'Episodes' since their January debuts makes it clear that these two brash and sophisticated series are burgeoning hits," states Showtime Entertainment President David Nevins. "John Wells is carving out a tone that is truly unique in the television landscape—equal parts drama and comedy.  And 'Episodes' marks the universally embraced and hilarious return to television of an inspired comedy triumvirate: Matt LeBlanc, and creators Jeffrey Klarik and David Crane. We are thrilled with the response to both series and eager to start planning for their second seasons."
 
[Not to quibble with Nevins' use of the word "universally," but you can check out dissenting "Episodes" reviews from HitFix's Alan Sepinwall and Daniel Fienberg.]
 
"Episodes" premiered in January and averaged nearly two million viewers weekly, a number that includes premiere airings, all subsequent reairings and all OnDemand plays. The comedy finished its shortened first season two Sundays ago with a finale that left many dramatic (or comedic) balls (or pucks) in the air for a second season.
 
"To have the opportunity to make another series of this show with David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik and then to make that show for both Showtime and the BBC, whose combined portfolios of comedy are second to none, is both a thrill and a great privilege,” states executive producer Jimmy Mulville.  "At the end of the first series the writers have placed our three protagonists in the middle of comedy hell. Like the rest of the audience I can't wait to see what is going to happen to them!"
 
"Shameless" has been averaged nearly four million viewers, factoring the same various watching options. That would make it the network's second-highest rated drama series behind only "Dexter." 
 
And guess what? There's a Showtime release quote from people involved with "Shameless" as well.
 
"We're delighted that our wonderful partners at Showtime are giving us the opportunity to make additional episodes of 'Shameless,'" states executive producer John Wells. "We're having an unbelievably good time making the show and look forward to bringing more of the humor, pathos, and wild sexuality of the dysfunctional Gallagher family to a shocked American audience."