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The Popular Shameless Character Fans Want The Show To Bring Back

In case you hadn't heard, the longest-running scripted series in the history of Showtime is about to come to an end. That series is the extended cable network's raucous "family" dramedy, Shameless. The beloved series aired its 10th run of episodes in 2019 and, just prior to its finale, Showtime officially announced it was bringing Shameless back for an 11th and final season. While the finality of that news has certainly served as a bit of a downer for both Shameless' cast and its devoted fanbase, it's also sort of a welcome surprise, as many assumed season 10 would likely serve as its swan song.

Now, Shameless fans are gearing up for another twisted turn through South Side of Chicago with merry trickster Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) and his wily band of offspring. Given the uncertainties hanging over much of the Gallagher household at the end of Shameless' 10th season, you can expect some real fireworks throughout season 11. 

As the end is officially nigh for Shameless, long-time fans have started wondering which of the show's dearly departed characters might make a surprise return to South Side madness in the final season. While there's little doubt those fans are eager to see former series star Emmy Rossum make an appearance in Shameless' final season, there's actually a lengthy list of fan favorites who may or may not float back into the Gallagher's orbit for season 11; so many, in fact, that a Reddit poll was conducted by Shameless fans to see which character they'd most like to see make a return. Over 200 votes were cast and, once the poll was closed, many were likely surprised to find the name of Joan Cusack's Sheila at the top of the list.     

Joan Cusack's Sheila is a true Shameless fan favorite

Before you get all worked up about Emmy Rossum's Fiona Gallagher not topping the list, we'll tell you she wasn't actually part of the poll, because any Shameless fan worth their salt would love to see her back, at least for the series finale. Cusack's Sheila is a bit of a surprise winner, though, if only because she hasn't appeared on the show since early in season 5, and ultimately beat out a couple of Shameless icons in Justin Chatwin's Jimmy/Steve and Emma Greenwell's Mandy Malkovich. 

Greenwell's Mandy was actually Cusack's closest competition, coming in just 10 votes shy of Sheila. After leaving the series at the end of season 5, Greenwell has already made a return to Shameless via a heartbreaking season 6 guest appearance that left her own fate very much up in the air. As for Cusack's sex-toy loving Sheila, she played a central role in Shameless' first five seasons, even sharing a passionate love/hate relationship with Macy's Frank. When last we saw her, she'd sold her South Side home, bought an RV, and was making a dramatic exit from Chicago, heading West with her brain-damaged daughter, Karen (Laura Wiggins), Karen's adorable special needs baby, and her younger lover, Jody (Zach McGowan) in tow.

To be honest, Sheila's exit from Shameless really was one for the ages, and we're not entirely sure what the series would accomplish by bringing her back in the final season, other than indulging in some unabashed nostalgia. That being said, we'd never turn down a chance to see Joan Cusack on-screen, because, well, she's Joan Cusack, and she's great in pretty much everything she does. And yes, she was absolutely brilliant as Sheila over the first five seasons of Shameless.

Truth is, we' be pretty happy if Shameless brought either of these talented ladies back in season 11, so long as they never, ever ever bring back Sammi.