Here’s the Reason Emmy Rossum Is Leaving ‘Shameless’

Emmy Rossum attends the 2017 Vulture Festival at Milk Studios on May 21, 2017 in New York City.

Emmy Rossum | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Vulture Festival

Emmy Rossum shocked Shameless fans on Thursday by announcing that she would be leaving the long-running show after playing Fiona Gallagher for nine seasons. Now, we’re beginning to learn more about what went into that decision.

According to a new report from E! News, Rossum decided to leave Shameless because she wanted to take on new roles that would challenge her as an actress, particularly film roles. A source said that Rossum made this decision fairly recently; she was not planning to leave before the end of Shameless‘ run, but she also did not expect the series to last for so many seasons.

Rossum made this announcement in a Facebook post on Thursday, which made clear that there is no ill-will between her and her Shameless colleagues.

“I can say for certain that this cast and crew, who I’ve been have truly honored to work alongside, are world class,” she said. “I am proud and I’m filled with gratitude. 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.”

Shameless will begin airing its ninth season in September. Rossum will appear in this upcoming season as Fiona, but these will be her last set of episodes. Showtime has not actually renewed Shameless for Season 10, but the network was expected to, as the series is its highest-rated original show.

Fiona Gallagher sitting on a bed in Shameless

Shameless | Showtime

Thankfully, it appears that Fiona’s exit won’t be an abrupt one. Showrunner John Wells explained this week that they’re working on the Season 9 finale now and will give Fiona a proper goodbye in it. Wells also left the door open for Rossum to return.

“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,” Wells said, according to TV Line. “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 also suggested that he expects the series to get a tenth season, saying, ‘“I look forward to continuing the stories of this wildly unpredictable family.”

A long-running TV series losing a member of its cast because they want to move on with their career, of course, is a tale as old as time. To name just two examples, it happened with Cheers, which lost Diane Chambers after five seasons, and with The Office, which lost Michael Scott after seven seasons. In most of these cases where the actor does not leave on bad terms, they’ll usually at least return for the series finale, and it sounds like Wells hopes that will be the case with Rossum.

Shameless will return for its ninth season on September 9th. The first half of the season will air until October 21st, with the second half picking up in January and running until March.