Continuously updating the state of a subprocess

I have written an emulated shell, it takes a command, executes it, waits for it to finish, and prints any output. This all works fine, however i want to be able to run applications with user-interfaces such as irssi; or anything really, like using a telnet-client. Obviously this won't work with the way the emulated shell works at the moment, and I am looking for ideas. I need a portable solution that works in at least both windows and any *nix-os.

This is my current code (Python):

... It's really a backdoor-shell, but it illustrates my problem just fine.
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