When Shameless concluded its 11-season run earlier this year, it was without the show's female lead, Emmy Rossum.
Rossum had exited at the end of Shameless Season 9, forever changing the dynamic of the series, but there was a hope fans would check back in with Fiona during the series finale.
“In terms of Emmy, there were no clear understandings but there was always hope that she’d come back. But reality intruded,” Gary Levine explained via Deadline.
“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.”
He added, “Emmy was wonderful when she was in it but I think the show thrived afterwards as well. It was a great 11 seasons and I miss it too.”
Rossum is currently attached to star in and executive produce Angelyne, a new series centered on the model, which has been in the works at Peacock for some time.
Wells previously opened up to Entertainment Weekly about not having Emmy back.
"Emmy and I had a lot of conversations about it, trying to make it work. She's been in New York with [husband] Sam [Esmail], where they live, and right about the time where we were talking about putting it all together was when the additional lockdowns kind of hit again, and it just didn't feel safe or practical for her to come back," Wells explained, adding:
"So I think it's with a great deal of regret that we couldn't do it but it's just more minor casualty of our year of COVID."
Production was reportedly impacted due to COVID-19, which could also hint at why Rossum stayed away from the final episodes of Shameless.
It would have probably been tough to bring the character back because of COVID-19 protocols on Shameless, which forced Showtime to air a retrospective special some weeks because the episodes of the final season were not ready to air.
In the end, the Shameless series finale concluded with a lack of closure for any of the characters. Everything was purposefully left open-ended as Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) passed away due to complications from COVID-19.
The ending left many with the sense that the series could return in some capacity down the line, perhaps with a spinoff or a movie.
Showtime has brought many shows back several years after their series finales, but only time will tell.
What are your thoughts on the lack of Emmy Rossum?
Do you think the actress should have been a part of the final episodes?
Hit the comments below.
Remember you can watch Shameless online right here via TV Fanatic.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.