In two seasons, Showtime subscribers have watched the Gallagher children learn to survive in downtrodden Chicago, despite not having competent parents to support them, despite not having high levels of education, and despite lacking in resources. Even when Shameless has shown its characters in the lowest of the lowest lights, the drama has been compelling. Which is why it is no surprise the show has been growing in popularity in its second season.

Last night’s episode of Shameless was no more overly dramatic than past episodes have been, even though it involved a death in an unlikely moment. What was different about Sunday's Shameless episode was its ratings, which broke multiple records last night. According to Deadline the freshman run of last night’s episode, “Parenthood,” brought in more viewers than any other in the show’s two season run, bringing in 1.6 million viewers. Later in the evening, when the show re-ran, it brought in even more viewers, putting the total for the night at 2.12 million viewers.

While the numbers may not be high when compared to say, network TV, for Showtime, Shameless’ ratings are creeping up to equal those of the network’s highest rated freshman drama, Homeland, which brought in 1.71 million for its Season 1 finale. Increased interest such as this can only mean good things for original programming on Showtime in the future, and it really does say a lot about the probability of keeping the Gallagher family on air for a while longer.

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