Shameless (U.S. TV series)

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Shameless 2011 Intertitle.png
Genre Comedy-drama
Black comedy
Created by Paul Abbott
Developed by John Wells
Written by Paul Abbott
John Wells
Nancy M. Pimental
Alex Borstein
Etan Frankel
Mike O'Malley
Cindy Caponera
Starring William H. Macy
Emmy Rossum
Justin Chatwin
Ethan Cutkosky
Shanola Hampton
Steve Howey
Emma Kenney
Cameron Monaghan
Jeremy Allen White
Joan Cusack
Noel Fisher
Emma Greenwell
Jake McDorman
Zach McGowan
Laura Slade Wiggins
Opening theme "The Luck You Got" by The High Strung
Composer(s) iZLER
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 48 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) John Wells
Paul Abbott
Andrew Stearn
Producer(s) Michael Hissrich
Location(s) Chicago, Illinois
Los Angeles, California
Running time 45–55 minutes
Production company(s) Bonanza Productions
John Wells Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Showtime Networks
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original channel Showtime
Original run January 9, 2011 (2011-01-09)  – present
Related shows Shameless (UK)
External links

Shameless is an American comedy-drama television series which began airing on Showtime on January 9, 2011.[1] This remake of the award-winning British series is set in Chicago's Canaryville[2][3][4][5][6] neighborhood on the South Side. Although filmed in Los Angeles, the exterior scenes are shot in Chicago.[7]


The series depicts the dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, a single father of six children. While he spends his days drunk, his kids learn to take care of themselves.

The show's producers sought to distinguish it from previous American working-class shows by highlighting how Frank's alcoholism affects his family.[8] Paul Abbott, creator of the original, said, "It's not My Name Is Earl or Roseanne. It's got a much graver level of poverty attached to it. It's not blue collar; it's no collar."[8] When John Wells, the showrunner, began pitching the show, he had to fight efforts to place the show in the South or in a trailer park. He explained, "We have a comedic tradition of making fun of the people in those worlds. The reality is that these people aren't 'the other' – they're people who live four blocks down from you and two blocks over".[8]

Main cast[edit]

Actor Character Seasons
Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4
William H. Macy Frank Gallagher Main
Emmy Rossum Fiona Gallagher Main
Justin Chatwin Steve Wilton
Jimmy Lishman
Main Cameo
Jeremy Allen White Philip "Lip" Gallagher Main
Cameron Monaghan Ian Gallagher Main
Emma Kenney Debbie Gallagher Main
Ethan Cutkosky Carl Gallagher Main
Brennan Kane Johnson
Blake Alexander Johnson
Liam Gallagher Main
Shanola Hampton Veronica Fisher Main
Steve Howey Kevin Ball Main
Joan Cusack Sheila Jackson Main
Laura Slade Wiggins Karen Jackson Main Recurring
Noel Fisher Mickey Milkovich Recurring Main
Jane Levy (season 1)
Emma Greenwell (season 2–)
Mandy Milkovich Recurring Main
Zach McGowan Jody Silverman Recurring Main
Jake McDorman Mike Pratt Recurring Main
Emily Bergl Sammy Gallagher Recurring

Development and production[edit]

Somehow all the resonances from the original series occur in the remake, but in a different vocabulary.

–Paul Abbott[8]

HBO began developing an American version of Shameless after striking a deal with John Wells in January 2009.[9] By October 2009 the development had moved to Showtime. John Wells Productions filmed a pilot episode for the cable network in December 2009.[10] William H. Macy stars in the lead role as Frank Gallagher.[11] Also joining the cast were former Dragonball Evolution co-stars Emmy Rossum as Fiona and Justin Chatwin as Steve.[12][13] Paul Abbott, whose semi-autobiographical telescript became the pilot episode for the original UK version, is credited as an executive producer on the U.S. version.[8]

In April 2010, Showtime green-lit the series with a twelve-episode order.[14] In late August Joan Cusack was cast as Sheila, a romantic interest for Frank, replacing Allison Janney, who portrayed the role in the pilot.[15] Production began in mid-September.[15]

A preview of the pilot aired on December 12, 2010, after the Season 5 finale of Dexter. The first season officially began airing on Showtime on Sunday, January 9, 2011.[1]

It is filmed in the North Lawndale[16] community area of Chicago[17] and Burbank, California, at Warner Bros. Studios.

A unique presenting trademark is a main character's breaking the fourth wall at episode beginnings, inquiring as to why the viewer supposedly didn't view the previous episode before recap flashbacks with unaired scenes.

Key dates[edit]

Initial shooting of the second season began on July 5, 2011[18] and premiered January 8, 2012.[19] Third season renewal was on February 1, 2012,[20] and initial shooting began June 27, 2012[21] and premiering on January 13, 2013.[22] Fourth season renewal was on January 29, 2013,[23] and premiering January 12, 2014. Fifth season renewal was on February 18, 2014.[24] Production on the first episode began on July 3, 2014 with the first episode table read,[25] with initial shooting for the season beginning on July 8, 2014.[26][27] and premiering on January 11, 2015. [28]




The first episode of the series, "Pilot", was watched by 982,000 viewers, making it the network's biggest turnout for a series premiere since Dead Like Me in 2003.[29] The episode airing January 30, "Casey Casden", received 1.45 million total viewers, making Shameless the best performing first-year drama on Showtime.[30]


Critical reaction to the series has been mostly positive. Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter said that "Shameless is excellent, compelling television from the first moment. As long as it stays true to the roots of the original, it's going to be essential viewing". The show's first season score on Metacritic is a 66 of 100, which is a generally favorable review. The second season score on Metacritic is a 76 of 100, indicating increasingly favorable reviews.[31] Tom O'Neill of the Los Angeles Times acknowledged the Emmy buzz around Shameless, especially the performance of Emmy Rossum, stating "she didn't have much Emmy buzz after Shameless debuted in January, but that changed after she gave powerhouse turns in such episodes as 'But at Last Came a Knock'".[32] BuddyTV ranked Shameless #8 on its list of 2011's best new TV shows.[33]


Year Association Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2011 Artios Award Outstanding Achievement in Casting
Television Pilot - Drama
John Frank Levey Nominated [34]
2011 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actor in a Drama Series William H. Macy Nominated [35]
2011 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Joan Cusack Nominated [36]
2011 Satellite Award Best Actor - Television Series Drama William H. Macy Nominated [37]
2012 Critics' Choice Television Award Best Actress in a Drama Series Emmy Rossum Nominated [38]
2012 GLAAD Media Award Outstanding Drama Series Showtime Nominated [39]
2012 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Joan Cusack Nominated [40]
2012 Prism Award Comedy Series - Substance Use Prism Award Shameless Won [41]
Best Performance in a Comedy Series William H. Macy Won
Best Performance in a Comedy Series Emmy Rossum Nominated [42]
2013 BMI Film & TV Award BMI Cable Television Music Award Fil Eisler (as iZler) Won [43]
2013 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Joan Cusack Nominated [44]
2013 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Series
Recurring Young Actor
Nicky Korba Nominated [45]
2014 GLAAD Media Award Outstanding Drama Series Showtime Nominated [46]
2014 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Series
Guest Starring Young Actor 14-16
C.J. Berdahl Nominated [47]
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series William H. Macy Nominated [48]
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Joan Cusack Nominated

Worldwide release[edit]

Country Network Premiere date
 Argentina I.Sat Argentina 2011 – present
 Australia SoHo December 2011 – present
Austria Austria FOX Channel January 23, 2012 – present
ORF eins November 4, 2013 – present
Brazil Brazil I.Sat Brazil 2011 – present
Bulgaria Bulgaria bTV, bTV Cinema July 28, 2012 – present[49]
 Canada The Movie Network January 2011 – present
City April 2012 – present
Addik TV February 2012 – present
 Chile I-sat 2011 – present
 Croatia Doma TV August 2012 – present
Finland Finland Canal+ March 2011 – present
Sub April 2013
France France Canal + September 2011 – present
Germany Germany FOX Channel January 23, 2012 – present
Hungary Hungary Viasat3 March 2012 – present
 Japan WOWOW December 2011 – present
 Italy Mya October 10, 2011 – present
 Ireland RTÉ Two January 27, 2011 – present
Israel Israel Hot Network November 2011 – present
Lithuania Lithuania TV1 November 2012 – present
New Zealand New Zealand TV2 November 2011 – present
Netherlands Netherlands TNT Benelux (nl) 2012 – present
Norway Norway Canal+ March 2011 – present
VOX Premiering in April[50]
Peru Peru I.Sat 2011 – present
Poland Poland nPremium HD / Seriale+ September 2011 – present
Portugal Portugal RTP2 July 2011 – present
FOX June 2012 – present
Russia Russia Amedia Premium July 2013 – present
Slovenia Slovenia POP Brio December 2011 – present
 South Africa M-Net December 2011 – present
M-Net HD December 2011 – present
Sweden Sweden Canal+ March 2011 – present
 Turkey CNBC-e 2011 – present
e2 March 15, 2011 – present[51]
 United Kingdom More4 April 2011 – present
 United States Showtime January 2011 – present
Spain Spain Canal+ March 2011 – present
FDF July 2013 – present
Thailand Thailand True series January 2011 – present


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  3. ^ Cora, Casey (January 11, 2013). "'Shameless' in Canaryville? Not Exactly". Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  4. ^ Stahler, Kelsey (January 8, 2012). "'Shameless' Season Premiere Recap: Summertime". Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
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  17. ^ Anonymous. "Shameless". Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  18. ^ Emmy Rossum (2011-07-03). "@emmyrossum on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2011-07-18. "Crazy week getting ready for season two. Tuesday july 5 is day 1 of shooting. Read thru Thursday was great. We have a lot of fun in store!" 
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  33. ^ "The 11 Best New TV Shows of 2011". BuddyTV. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
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  41. ^ "16th PRISM Awards Winners". Prism Awards. April 19, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 
  42. ^ Tim Baysinger (February 9, 2012). "EIC Announces TV Nominees for 16th Annual Prism Awards". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
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  47. ^ "35th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved April 14, 2014. 
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  49. ^ [1]
  50. ^ Shameless – Shameless – VOX
  51. ^ e2

External links[edit]