Showtime Confirms Emmy Rossum's Departure From 'Shameless'

Showtime and Shameless executive producer John Wells confirmed Emmy Rossum is leaving the long-running series after season nine.

Rossum, who has played Fiona Gallagher on the show since it began, announced her surprising plan to leave the show in a long statement on Facebook. A couple of hours later, Showtime confirmed the sad news.

"We were saddened when Emmy Rossum let us know that the upcoming ninth season of Shameless would be her last," Showtime Networks President of Programming Gary Levine said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. "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!"

Wells, who developed the series and acts as showrunner, promised a "Gallagher-worthy sendoff" for Fiona and Rossum at the end of the season.

"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," Wells said. "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."

Warner Bros. Television, which produces the series, praised Rossum for her "deeply honest, authentic and unflinching portrayal" of Fiona and wished her the best of luck for her next endeavours.

Rossum abruptly announced her plans to leave her Shameless family behind on Thursday, just days before the ninth season premiere.

"The opportunity to play Fiona has been a gift. There are few characters — female or otherwise — as layered and dynamic. She is a mother lion, fierce, flawed and sexually liberated. She is injured, vulnerable, but will never give up," Rossum wrote. "She is living in an economic depression, but refuses to be depressed. She is resourceful. She is loyal. She is brave. I knew it the second I read the pilot script, this was different, this was special."

Rossum and Showtime were involved in a pay dispute after it surfaced that she was paid less than co-star William H. Macy in 2016, which led to season eight's delay. Eventually, the two sides reached an agreement, with Macy supporting her.

"To have the man counterpart on my show be like, 'Yes, she does deserve this and more; was so validating," Rossum told The Hollywood Reporter in 2017. "And after it became public, it was a quick resolution."

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Shameless season 9 premieres Sunday, Sept. 9 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.

Photo credit: Paul Sarkis/Showtime