Emmy Rossum is officially leaving Showtime’s Shameless.
“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,” the actress wrote Thursday morning in a lengthy and emotional post on her Facebook page.
Rossum has been the female lead on the Warner Bros. Television-produced dramedy since the pilot. The series, which is set to return for its ninth season Sept. 9, is currently in production. Season nine recently received an increased order for 14 episodes as Showtime will split its run in two, with the second returning in January.
“Emmy Rossum will forever be part of the Shameless family,” showrunner John Wells said Thursday afternoon in a statement. “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. 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.”
The dramedy, from creator and showrunner Wells, is the premium cable network’s highest-rated scripted original, with Rossum playing Fiona, the eldest child and mother figure of the dysfunctional Gallagher family. Rossum exiting Shameless deals the series a huge blow at a time when it is increasingly valuable to Showtime, which next year will bid farewell to the signature drama Homeland as well as The Affair.