'Shameless': Justin Chatwin will not return as a regular because Jimmy is dead

"Shameless" is officially losing a character before Season 4. Justin Chatwin, who has appeared as Jimmy (formerly Steve) on the darkly comedic Showtime drama, will not return as a series regular when the show returns. The reason? Jimmy died at the end of Season 3.

At a Television Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences event on Tuesday (June 4), "Shameless" showrunner John Wells confirmed Chatwin's departure. "He has done great work," Wells explained. "But that character was coming to an end." Emmy Rossum -- the show's star and Jimmy's most-of-the-time girlfriend -- added that she "shed a couple of tears in my trailer" after hearing the news.

This is actually the first confirmation that Chatwin's character did in fact die. Throughout Season 3, Jimmy had been balancing a double life with both the Gallagher family and with his secret wife, Estefania, the daughter of a Brazilian drug lord. After Estefania was deported, the audience last saw Jimmy boarding a yacht.

Thanks to an expired filming permit, "Shameless" didn't explicitly show Jimmy's death. The show may, as a result, bring back Chatwin for a few episodes, probably to show the death or other events in flashback.

Photo/Video credit: Showtime