Alumnus Sherman Payne '10 Writes for Showtime Hit 'Shameless'

BY Felix van Kann, February 12, 2020

Alumnus Sherman Payne '10 wrote two episodes of the 10th season of the Golden Globe nominated and Emmy-winning Showtime show Shameless. The episodes, titled “Adios Gringos” and “Now Leaving Illinois”, premiered in December and January respectively and marked the season’s sixth and tenth installment. 


Commenting on his accomplishment, Payne said: “Working on such a prestigious, well-established show is an honor, of course. It's been on the air for 10 seasons and we're already writing the 11th. It's a lot of responsibility to write for a cast of characters that fans have lived with for so long. People really feel like the Gallaghers are their family, so I definitely don't want to let them down. During my time at Columbia, I learned how to craft narrative by putting characters first. Whether it's TV, like Shameless, or film or whatever, I feel like I can walk into any room in Hollywood and be totally confident that I can discuss story in a way that will resonate with people. Columbia did that.”  


In Shameless, Chicagoan Frank Gallagher (Oscar-nominated William H. Macy) is the proud single dad of six smart, industrious, independent kids, who without him would be...perhaps better off. When Frank's not at the bar spending what little money they have, he's passed out on the floor. But the kids have found ways to grow up in spite of him. They may not be a “regular” family, but they make no apologies for being exactly who they are.


Payne also recently made waves with his screenplay for the film Charm City Kings, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, taking home the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Ensemble Cast.


Sherman Payne is a writer and director, known for Charm City Kings (2020), Shameless (2011), and Legacies (2018).