Cameron Monaghan has portrayed Ian Gallagher since Shameless premiered in 2011, and after nearly a decade, Monaghan decided to leave the award-winning show during its ninth season - but his exit didn't last long. Monaghan has chosen to return to Shameless not long after he decided to exit the series. But why is he back so soon?
Ian is one of the middle children within the Gallagher family. He shared a house with his five siblings and was primarily raised by his older sister, Fiona (Emmy Rossum). Technically, Frank (William H. Macy) was not Ian's father as was the case for his brothers and sisters. Ian was the product of an affair between his mother and Frank's brother, Clayton. Despite that, Ian was always considered to be a brother to Fiona, Lip (Jeremy Allen White), Debbie (Emma Kenney), Carl (Ethan Cutkosky), and Liam (Christian Isaiah). Over the course of the series, Ian went through many struggles with his family. On a more personal level, Ian dealt with his sexuality and his bipolar disorder. He has had his fair share of legal troubles which will continue in Shameless season 10.
At the start of Shameless season 9, Ian faced the consequences of his Gay Jesus stunt. He grew a large following but his acts of arson caused him to face criminal charges. Ian contemplated fleeing to avoid jail time but he decided against the idea and, instead, confessed to being bipolar. He was sentenced to two years in jail and disappeared from Shameless. Monaghan planned to leave Shameless in 2017, but the exit wasn't revealed until season 9. The actor was only 15 years old when he worked on the pilot and felt that his time on the series had come to an end. In an interview with THR, Monaghan credited his exit to business and creative reasons. At the time of his decision, Monaghan was also working on the Fox series Gotham in a recurring role.
Monaghan returned for a brief appearance in the Shameless season 9 finale so that Ian could say his goodbyes to Fiona since Rossum was also exiting from the show. Unlike Rossum, Monaghan's exit wasn't permanent. Just mere months after his exit announcement, Shameless revealed that Monaghan was returning in season 10 as a series regular. The actor renewed his contract for another full-year which will include season 10 in its entirety. After some convincing from showrunner John Wells, Monaghan agreed to return as long as his romance with Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher) was in focus, and he got his wish.
Shameless season 10 will mark a turning point for the series as their leading lady, and the Gallagher caretaker, won't be around. The rest of the family will have to step up to fill the void left by Fiona's absence. Ian, on the other hand, will focus on his time in jail with his cellmate and boyfriend, Mickey. Even though Ian and Mickey are stuck in the small confines of prison, they will surely find themselves mixed up in plenty of drama. They will also have the time to finally discuss the future of their complicated romance. There's no word yet if Shameless will continue beyond season 10 so this could be the last for everyone's favorite dysfunctional family.
Shameless season 10 debuts November 3 on Showtime.