On the heels of the strong Season 8 premiere of Shameless on Sunday, Showtime has renewed its longest-running and top-rated series for a ninth season. The entire cast, led by William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, is set to return.

On Sunday, Shameless drew 1.86 million Live+Same Day viewers to its 9 PM premiere episode, up 50% from the Season 7 premiere. It ranked as Shameless’ second highest-rated premiere ever, only behind S3, and the best overall Shameless telecast since Season 5. The total night, which included three airings, drew 2.17 million viewers, up 27% vs. the Season 7 premiere night.

Last year, Shameless averaged 6.5 million viewers. The veteran series starring Macy and Rossum, ranks as Showtime’s most watched and highest rated series and attracts the youngest-skewing audience of any Showtime show.

“As challenging as it can be for any show simply to maintain viewers in the current TV landscape, Shameless is adding them in droves,” Showtime Networks president and CEO David Nevins said. “But it’s no mystery why. The series’ reputation for rich and resonant characters and for deep – and deeply twisted – comedy has drawn not only faithful longtime viewers, but a steadily growing audience. And creatively, the season that kicked off this past Sunday is stronger than ever.”

Shameless, created by Paul Abbott, is produced by Bonanza Productions in association with John Wells Productions and Warner Bros Television. Wells developed the U.S. series from the UK original; he showruns wand executive produces with Nancy M. Pimental and Sheila Callaghan.

“We are so grateful to Showtime for giving us the opportunity to continue making Shameless,” Wells said. “It’s a labor of love (and a blast) for all of us.”

Showtime yesterday had no comment on the recent DUI arrest for Shameless series regular Ethan Cutkosky, which will no impact on Season 8 as it has wrapped production. Any possible Season 9 implication is unclear. As part of the cast, he is currently set to come back.