Why Emmy Rossum left “Shameless” after Season 9

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Shameless is a cheeky comedy that aired on Showtime for 11 seasons, starring Emmy Rossum as an overworked Fiona Gallagher. In the last two seasons of Shameless, which ended very recently, in 2021, there was no integral character. Fiona quickly proved herself to be the main character and a balanced defender of the rest of the Gallagher family from the very beginning of the series. When Fiona was introduced, she was shown as a babysitter for her five siblings and alcoholic father Frank (William H. Macy’s). It seemed that Shameless would potentially struggle without Rossum and Fiona, but there were reasons for this major change.

At the end of season 9 of Shameless, Fiona decided that she had done everything she could for her family and left. This exit seemed inappropriate in many ways due to the fact that Fiona was such an important character in the series. She was able to get $100,000 after she was repurchased through investments, which allowed her to contribute half of this amount to the permanent care of her family, but it still seemed that this dysfunctional family needed her older sister, as always. So why did Rossum and Fiona leave the show when there were only two seasons left before the series finale?

The most common answer to this question is that Fiona took her course throughout the time spent by the character in Shameless. By the time Fiona left, most of the Gallagher siblings were adults, able to take care of themselves and each other. With her business savvy constantly demonstrated by examples of managing her own apartment building and selling these investments, she will be able to move on to bigger and better things as much as possible. There was always tension around whether Fiona would leave her family. The first season of Shameless ended with Fiona almost going to Brazil with Jimmy (Justin Chatwin) when he had to flee the country, but in the end she decided that being with her family was more important.

Another reason for Fiona’s departure from Shameless after season 9 was the schedule of actress Emmy Rossum and her desire to pursue other projects. Her last appearance in Shameless was in the season 9 finale of Found, which aired in 2019. It was also the year Rossum started working as the star and executive producer of Angelin’s Peacock miniseries. Taking on double duties in this miniseries probably meant that there would be scheduling conflicts with Shameless, and after nine seasons, it’s clear that Rossum would want to spread her wings and take on new projects to prove herself as an actress.

Even with these reasons for Rossum’s departure, would she like to return to the series finale at the end of the 11th season of Shameless? This was the original plan of the show, but unfortunately the last season was filmed in 2020. This was at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant that the cast and crew had to go through a mandatory quarantine period before they could work on set. Due to scheduling conflicts and lack of time, it was simply impossible for Rossum’s production and schedule, so Fiona was unable to return for the “Shameless” finale.

There were several factors influencing the departure of Emmy Rossum from Shameless. Fortunately, she was able to host the show for nine seasons before passing the baton to her very capable co-stars on the set. Despite the fact that the series finale seemed unfinished without Fiona’s presence, the show still managed to last the last two seasons.