‘Shameless’ Showrunner Reveals Why Emmy Rossum Didn't Return, Talks Spinoffs

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Lindsay Cronin

Why didn't Emmy Rossum return for the final season of Shameless on Showtime?

While fans of the long-running series hoped to see the actress before the show officially came to an end, she was, unfortunately, a no-show, which left many viewers disappointed and wanting answers.

During an interview with Deadline earlier this year, showrunner John Wells was asked for an explanation in regard to Rossum's absence.

"You know, she very much wanted to, and we wanted her to. It just hit at just the wrong time with the continuing shutdown," he explained.

Emmy Rossum Was Too Busy for the Show

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"She lives in New York, and you know, we were trying to make it work, but there were quarantine setups that were in there if she came out to LA. We couldn’t figure out how to do it in a way that would work with her schedule," he explained. "So, it was disappointing for everybody, and we would’ve loved to have her back, and she wanted to come back, but it was one of those things that couldn’t get done during the pandemic."

Showtime president Gary Levin also addressed Rossum's absence from the show during a TCA panel, via Deadline.


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Emmy Rossum Addressed the 'Shameless' Finale on Twitter

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"In terms of Emmy, there were no clear understandings but there was always hope that she’d come back. But reality intruded,” Levine said. “She had a deal at Universal and she got a limited series greenlit that she was producing and starring in. We just couldn’t make the schedule work at the end of the day. John Wells tried and nobody’s better at that than John Wells.”

Although Rossum didn't appear on the Shameless finale, she did address the Showtime series' final season on her Twitter page.

Emmy Rossum is 'Proud' to Be a Part of 'Shameless'

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After the official Showtime page tweeted about the episode and mentioned a special panel event that was set to take place after it aired, Rossum quoted the tweet and shared a message of her own, in which she said she was "proud" to be a part of the show.

"I’m so proud of this cast and am immensely honored to have been a part of a show as unique and impactful as Shameless. I will miss you this Sunday!" Rossum wrote at the time.

Could 'Shameless' Return to Television in Spinoff Form?

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Also during his interview with Deadline, Wells addressed the possibility of bringing the Showtime series back in the form of a reunion episode or future spinoff show.

"I would love to be able to do more of something. We wanted to do more years of this. But now that we’ve finished it up and I saw all of the sets in the trash at Warner, I think we’re really done," he said.

He then quickly added, "Well, never say never in the world that we live in now."