‘Shameless’ Producers Still Deciding if Justin Chatwin Will Return as Series Regular

Jimmy/Steve is back, but his role in the fifth season is still being determined

“Shameless” fans were stunned by the return of Justin Chatwin in Sunday’s Season 4 finale, but its not clear if his recent cameo means that he will return to the Showtime series full-time.

Producers on the program will determine what his role in the fifth season will be when they go back into production and begin writing scripts. At that point, Chatwin may once again be granted the series regular status that he lost during the most recent season.

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Chatwin, who played protagonist Fiona Gallagher’s boyfriend, Jimmy, for the Showtime series’ first three seasons, was missing in action for Season 4. His character was presumed dead after being kidnapped and taken aboard a ship by a very angry and deadly mobster.

Jimmy, also named Steve, is a con man and car thief who was forced into a marriage of convenience to the mobster’s daughter, but got into trouble when she got deported. His apparent murder happened off-screen, but show runner John Wells implied in public comments that Chatwin’s character died.

“He has done great work, but that character was coming to an end,” Wells said during a Television Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences panel last June.

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Yet Chatwin popped up right before the credits rolled on the edgy comedy’s fourth season finale. His character was seen idling in a car with a woman, outside the Gallagher clan’s dilapidated house. He ultimately decided not to knock on the door and have a reunion.

Chatwin’s appearance was also a shock to his castmates, who took to social media to share their surprise.

On Twitter, the show’s star Emmy Rossum said: “Got the 411 from @Justingchatwin & our producers. They flew him 2 Chicago & put him in another hotel so noone would know! #sneaky #SHAMELESS.”

Showtime declined to comment and a spokesperson for Chatwin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.