Paul Sarkis/Showtime
Natalie Abrams
January 06, 2018 at 06:08 PM EST

The Gallaghers are going to be sticking around.

While Shameless was renewed for a ninth season back in November, Showtime president and CEO David Nevins is optimistic that the Emmy Rossum and William H. Macy-starring series will be around for years to come.

“I don’t know what the end point of that show is,” he told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour Saturday. “It’s having its strongest year ever by a long shot. It’s up significantly over last year, so it has grown steadily. A lot of people feel like this was one of its best creative years, too, so as long as it keeps doing that, I’m happy to have them for as long as possible. Shows that show the ability to renew themselves get to stay — if I can afford them.”

The season 8 premiere, for instance, was the highest-rated debut since the season 3 opener. Nevins credits Netflix for drawing new viewers to the series.”It’s definitely helped introduce it to another audience, but there’s positives and negatives to that,” he says. “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.”

Shameless airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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