“There is much more Gallagher
story to be told. I will always be
rooting for my family.”
— Emmy Rossum
Emmy Rossum who plays Fiona Gallagher on Showtime’s hit series, Shameless, announced that the upcoming season nine will be her last. This first appeared on her Facebook page as a post last month.
Rossum has been the female lead on the popular Warner Bros. television-produced dramedy since its premiere on January 9, 2011. The series, which is set to return for its ninth season Sept. 9, is currently in production in Chicago and on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank. Season nine recently received an increased order for 14 episodes as Showtime will split its run in two, with the second returning in January.
“I know you will continue on without me, for now. There is much more Gallagher story to be told. I will always be rooting for my family. Try not to think of me as gone, just think of me as moving down the block,” the actress wrote Thursday morning in a lengthy and emotional post on her Facebook page. Read Rossum’s full post below:
Showrunner and series developer, John Wells (ER), had this to say about Rossum’s departure:
“Emmy Rossum will forever be part of the Shameless family. She has been integral to the show’s success, from her wonderful portrayal of Fiona to her leadership role on set, as well as directing multiple episodes of the series. We are hard at work now creating a season nine finale for Shameless which we hope will provide a Gallagher-worthy sendoff for Fiona that honors the great work Emmy has done. It is always bittersweet when an ensemble member decides to move out of the proverbial house, but our door will always remain open for Fiona to return home for a visit, or to move back in. I look forward to continuing the stories of this wildly unpredictable family and all of us on Shameless will miss Emmy and her wonderful Fiona.”
Shameless is one of the crown jewels of Showtime’s slate of series. It is currently the premium cable channel’s highest rated scripted series. Rossum exiting the series could deal a huge blow at a time when it is increasingly valuable to Showtime, which next year will bid farewell to the signature dramas Homeland and The Affair.
Showtime President of Programming Gary Levine had this to say in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter:
“We were saddened when Emmy Rossum let us know that the upcoming ninth season of Shameless would be her last. But we are filled with an overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude for Emmy’s inspired work on our series, of course in front of the camera but also behind it. Fiona Gallagher will always be one of Showtime’s iconic characters, and we applaud Emmy for bringing this character to life in such a natural, touching and fearless performance. On behalf of everyone at Showtime and her millions of fans, we thank you Emmy!”
In 2016, Rossum delayed the season eight renewal as she fought for — and received — pay equality with male lead Emmy-nominated William H. Macy (Frank Gallagher). The actress had sought salary parity — and more — to compensate for the years of being paid less than Macy. She received parity but not more, sources said at the time.
With Fiona as the matriarch of the Gallaghers, it’s almost impossible to imagine Shameless continuing without Fiona, and the Reel360 team is not convinced it should. Hopefully it will in a natural way as Shameless does bring not only to entertainment to Chicago, but valuable production dollars.