'Shameless' Star Cameron Monaghan Says He's Leaving the Showtime Series

The news arrives as leading lady Emmy Rossum is also poised to exit during its current ninth season.
Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME
Cameron Monaghan on 'Shameless'

Another Gallagher is leaving Showtime's Shameless.

Star Cameron Monaghan, who has been a regular as the middle Gallagher sibling Ian since the pilot on the John Wells-produced dramedy, said Monday that he is departing the series this season.

"The next episode will be my last," Monaghan wrote Monday on his verified Instagram account. "I have known since last year, but I didn't want to give it away too early as I wanted this season to be a surprise for the audience, allowing them to experience Ian’s unsure journey with his character. This role has been a joy to inhabit, a wild and special ride, and I’d like to thank #Shameless as well as you, the viewers, for being there with him. Goodbye, Ian Clayton Gallagher. We’ll meet again?"

Representatives for Showtime and producers Warner Bros. TV did not immediately respond to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment. (This story will be updated when/if they respond.)  

In the current ninth season of Shameless, Monaghan's Ian — who like his mother, is bipolar — most recently entered an insanity plea as he fights for his freedom as he faces 10 to 15 years in jail after leading a religious uprising in which he was known as "Gay Jesus." His character's fate is slated to be revealed in the Oct. 14 installment of the series.

Monaghan becomes the second series regular to leave Shameless this season, joining Emmy Rossum (who plays eldest Gallagher, Fiona). Monaghan's statement implies that he'd be open to returning to the show, which is something Wells hopes Rossum will do at some point as well.

For his part, showrunner Wells had to adjust episodes 13 and 14 of season nine to address Rossum's exit, which had been something the actress had been debating for a while. While Showtime has yet to announce a 10th season renewal for Shameless, Wells has said that there are "a lot more Gallagher stories to tell" as he hopes the series continues for multiple seasons to come.  

"There's no end of stories about maturing in your own family and the pull that families have on us. Placing that within the structure of people who are struggling economically and who have to depend upon each other to survive provides endless story material. It's always a question of how long a cast is prepared to keep playing the characters. I could write this for another 10 years. The satirical underpinnings of this notion that there really is class in America is something that we could write about forever. Every day you pick up the paper and there are 10 other stories you could tell," Wells told THR in an interview pegged to the show's 100th episode.

Meanwhile, star William H. Macy (Gallagher patriarch Frank) told THR in the same interview that he envisions another 10 years of stories but sees his time with Shameless also coming to an end sooner rather than later: "I know I want to do another season or two, and after that we shall see."

Shameless is a hugely important show for Showtime. The dramedy, from creator and showrunner Wells, is the premium cable network's highest-rated scripted original, with Rossum playing Fiona, the eldest child and mother figure of the dysfunctional Gallagher family. Rossum exiting Shameless deals the series a huge blow at a time when it is increasingly valuable to Showtime, which next year will bid farewell to the signature drama Homeland as well as The Affair.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I have been a series regular on this show for roughly ten years. I was the tender age of fifteen when we shot the pilot, and I came of age in so many ways, both legally and personally. I was very lucky to mature and grow with this show. Experiencing so many firsts, maturing as an actor, a professional, and a human. In the process gaining friends, family, and the best coworkers a very lucky actor could ask for, and for this I can be nothing but gracious. All good things come to an end. An old cliche, but one that rings true with a sincerity and clarity especially in moments like these. Everything ends. The next episode will be my last. I have known since last year, but I didn’t want to give it away too early as I wanted this season to be a surprise for the audience, allowing them to experience Ian’s unsure journey with his character. This role has been a joy to inhabit, a wild and special ride, and I’d like to thank #Shameless as well as you, the viewers, for being there with him. Goodbye, Ian Clayton Gallagher. We’ll meet again?

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