Emmy Rossum’s Fiona Gallagher may not be appearing in Season 10 of Shameless, but that doesn’t mean that the largely dependable sister has been forgotten. However, since Season 10 is the first time the Gallaghers will be facing new hardships without her, executive producer John Wells has come out to explain how Shameless is handling the family’s drama in Fiona’s absence.
In the Shameless Season 10 premiere, Fiona’s sister, Debbie (Emma Kenney) has taken over responsibility for the Gallagher family finances, while Lip (Jeremy Allen White) and girlfriend Tami (Kate Miner) welcomed a newborn son after a complicated birth. While Fiona had always been there for her siblings in their time of need, John Wells wanted to make clear that Fiona didn’t abandon her family and that’s why her presence was so embedded into the premiere. (A good thing, since Miner has been promoted to series regular, meaning Tami and Lips’ fun is just beginning in full.)
Here’s how John Wells put it:
We’re trying to do something that is realistic to what happens in families where someone who seems central to everything that is going on with the family moves on with their life. Sometimes people get married. Sometimes people move away for a job. Sometimes people have another job opportunity. When that happens, you stay in touch with them but they slowly, over time, you stay less in touch with them than you did at the beginning, no matter how much you love them. We just want to make sure that we’re telling the audience that she is gone but not forgotten by the people on the show.
The way the writers handled everything in the Season 10 premiere was very true to reality. After all, family members don’t have to be extremely nearby to “be there for you” in the bad times. In fact, the core thrust of Season 10 is seeing how the Gallagher family will move on without Fiona, as well as what that means for all of them is at the core of the show this season, John Wells told TV Guide.
Change in family, in the family dynamics. With Fiona gone, it leaves a huge void in who is going to do what and how people are going to do things within the family. This is them having to really face up to it. There’s a tremendous amount of change going on. The children have grown up. They are young adults, having children of their own, having relationships of their own. There’s lots of change with Fiona no longer there to be the big sister and protector for everyone.
Shameless Season 10 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime. For more on what TV shows are new and returning this fall, be sure to check out our complete guide to premiere dates and times through the end of the year.