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‘Shameless’ Team Talks Emmy Rossum’s Exit: ‘It’ll Be Pretty Crazy’

After eight years of holding the Gallagher family together, Emmy Rossum announced in August she was leaving “Shameless.” Her final episode, the Season 9 finale, airs on Mar. 10, and at the Emmys FYC red carpet for “Shameless,” series star Jeremy Allen White said he’s unsure how the family will move on from losing Fiona.

“She’s never going to be replaced; we’re just gonna have to figure out how to work it without her. As sad as I am to lose Emmy as an acting partner, it’s kind of exciting because it’s gonna be a different show; it’ll mix things up,” White, who plays eldest Gallagher son Lip, told Variety. “It’ll be pretty crazy to see how Lip copes without her and how the Gallaghers survive without their matriarch.”

William H. Macy, who plays Frank, the deadbeat patriarch of the Gallagher family, also commented on Rossum leaving the show and paid tribute to her work. “I was completely behind her decisions, but I’m going to miss her,” Macy said. “Emmy has serious acting chops. You can’t buy ’em, you can’t learn ’em, you’ve got to have ’em. It’s going to be brand new territory without her; who knows where it’s going to go?”

However, Macy also expressed his opinion that fans most likely haven’t seen the last of Fiona on the show.

“I think Emmy will come back and make a guest appearance before this thing sets sail. She better, otherwise I’m gonna grab her by the ear and bring her back,” Macy joked.

For veteran showrunner John Wells, who has plenty of experience running mammoth series including “ER” and “The West Wing,” Rossum’s decision to leave was nothing he hadn’t dealt with before. “George Clooney left ‘ER’ in year five, and we managed to do 10 more years,” Wells said. “It’s what people do — they get on with their lives. We hope she’ll come back in at some point and play with everybody again, but she’s got other options.”

Wells added that writing Rossum out of the show was both “sad, in a way” and also gave him “more story to write,” including the opportunity to see how the other characters would react to this big shake-up in the Gallagher family.

Also in attendance at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Westwood, Calif. for the event were Katey Sagal, who joined the show this season as Frank’s psychiatrist-living-with-her-own-mental-illness love interest Ingrid, and Bob Saget, who recently guest starred on the show.

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