After close to eight years playing Fiona Gallagher in the comedy-drama series Shameless, actress Emmy Rossum has decided to leave.
“The opportunity to play Fiona has been a gift. […] Quite simply, the last eight years have been the best of my life,” Rossum posted in an emotional Facebook post.
“I can say for certain that this cast and crew, who I’ve been have truly honored to work alongside, are world class. 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.”
Showtime and Warner Bros. TV confirmed Rossum’s exit, which will come after the ninth season.
“Emmy Rossum will forever be part of the Shameless family. She has been integral to the show’s success, from her wonderful portrayal of Fiona to her leadership role on set, as well as directing multiple episodes of the series,” executive producer and showrunner John Wells said in a statement.
“We are hard at work now creating a season nine finale for Shameless 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 and all of us on Shameless will miss Emmy and her wonderful Fiona.”
Added Showtime Networks President of Programming Gary Levine: “We were saddened when Emmy Rossum let us know that the upcoming ninth season of Shameless would be her last. 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!”
Rossum held up the season 8 renewal of Shameless when she took part in a stand-off with Showtime to receive equal – and even more – pay to series lead actor William H. Macy. She got a deal for a higher salary to take her into season 9, which will mark her final run.
The ninth season of Shameless will premiere on Showtime on September 9.