COVID-19 prevented Emmy Rossum’s comeback on Shameless. After Showtime’s long-running drama ended, creator John Wells explained to The Hollywood Reporter why plans to bring back Emmy Rossum’s Fiona Gallagher were scrapped due to the pandemic.
Last Call Shameless Showrunner Says Goodbye To The Gallaghers
After nine seasons, Rossum exited the show in 2018. She remarked at the time that her position was “a gift,” calling it “the happiest eight years of my life.”
Wells told THR that he and Rossum wanted her to come back, but that they “caught it at the wrong moment.”
“We were trying to get Emmy—and Emmy wanted to come back. We wanted her to return and had some scenarios about her coming back and she wanted to do it,” he stated. Because of the pandemic at the time we were plotting, quarantines were re-established between New York (where Rossum lives) and Los Angeles (where Shameless is filmed), making it difficult to bring her back to the show.
“Not being able to work it out” was the “greatest disappointment” for Wells in the series finale, he said, because “we all wanted that to happen.” He described the situation as “a very minor but terrible repercussion of everything that’s transpired in the pandemic.”
Wells claimed that the writers “had approximately 20” possibilities for bringing Rossum back to the show. Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) was diagnosed with drunken dementia, and all of the plot points revolved around Fiona’s return home. Frank died in the series finale from complications related to his illness and COVID-19.
Wells explained that once Frank’s dementia was identified, the plan was for her to return at some point to help the family decide what to do with the house and other belongings. We put it up on the writers’ room board and pulled it down a few times since the travel was so chaotic that we never got to the point of my really writing it.
Although Rossum did not appear in the series finale of Shameless, Wells does know where Fiona is.
I heard that she moved to Florida and that he joked that she got a job at Epcot Center at Disney World because she could never work on the good side of the park. She would have a life and be pursuing her own things; that is how individuals progress in their lives.