'Shameless' Creator Talks Fiona's Departure, The Show's Fate, After Emmy Rossum's Exit

Shameless Season 9 is set to begin airing next Sunday, and fans are still reeling over the news that actress Emmy Rossum has decided to leave the hit Showtime series.

According to an August 30 report by TVLine, Emmy Rossum shockingly announced her departure from the show, revealing that Season 9 would be the last for her character, Fiona Gallagher. Now, the show's creator, John Wells, is opening up about Fiona's exit, and whether or not the show will return for Season 10 without Rossum.

Wells says that Emmy will always be apart of the show's little "family," and that she has been so important to the series' success with fans. The creator also claims that they are currently cultivating the Season 9 finale, in which Fiona Gallagher will say her goodbyes, and that she would always be welcomed back in the future.

"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, Wells stated.

"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," he added.

As for the future of Shameless without the oldest Gallagher sibling, John Wells says that he looks forward to "continuing the stories" of the insane and entertaining Gallagher family for future seasons, despite Emmy Rossum's exit from the series.

As many fans know, Shameless has a large ensemble cast. Although Fiona may no longer be a part of future seasons, there are many other characters that could pick up the slack, such as fan favorite Lip, played by Jeremy Allen White.

Lip has been through the ringer over the years dealing with everything from heartbreak to addiction. His younger brother, Ian, portrayed by Cameron Monaghan, has proven to be a loose cannon at times, and his relationship drama has often been the heart and soul of many episodes. His struggles with mental health have also struck a chord in many viewers.

Meanwhile, Emma Kenney's character, Debbie, is also becoming a strong female lead, and Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) is always entertaining to watch. Not to mention Carl (Ethan Cutkosky), Kevin (Steve Howey), and Vee (Shanola Hampton), who have all proven that they can keep viewers engaged with their own storylines.

Shameless Season 9 is set to debut on Showtime on Sunday, September 9.