John Wells, the creator of Showtime’s long-running dramedy, Shameless, shares his thoughts on the series’ future in the wake of Emmy Rossum’s announcement season 9 will be her last. The news came as a surprise when Rossum took to Facebook to share that her time as Fiona Gallagher was at an end. Though an ensemble series, Rossum and her character are an integral part of the show’s story and its success. A Gallagher family without Fiona, and a season of Shameless without Rossum, seems unthinkable, yet so far, there’s been more talk of what’s to come than of the series coming to an end.
The ninth season of Shameless is set to premiere in just over a week’s time, and, according to Wells, the show is still in the process of creating an appropriate send-off for Fiona, one that will apparently keep the door open for her return. However, with the ninth season still yet to air, a decision from Showtime on the show's future hasn’t been officially announced, though it’s not too difficult to imagine behind the scenes discussions have begun following news of Rossum’s departure.
At present, though, and as reported by TVLine, Wells is focused first on making sure Fiona’s final episode is a memorable one. He also feels there are stories yet to be told about the Gallagher clan, with or without its eldest child and ostensible family matriarch. Wells said:
“We are hard at work now creating a Season 9 finale … 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.”
Wells’s comments echo a portion of Rossum’s own statement, in which she said, “There is much more Gallagher story to be told.” Both comments are in tune with a statement made by William H. Macy in 2017 during an interview with TVInsider, in which he speculated the series might call it a day after 10 seasons. Macy’s comments came long before Rossum announced her departure from the series, throwing a wrench in the speculative 10-season plan. It would be an odd thing to continue the series for one final season without one of its most important characters and actors. Perhaps, then, the farewell to Fiona that Wells is planning will also serve as a sendoff for the series itself.
Shameless season 9 premieres Sunday, September 9 @10pm on Showtime.