In keeping with the tradition of mining our friends across the pond for new television material, the latest series snatched up from Channel 4 is Showtime’s Shameless. As we previously reported, the hourlong dramedy is headlined by the always great William H. Macy, and revolves around a working-class Chicago clan dealing with the recession. Macy plays the alcoholic single-father dealing with a family of six, and is joined by Emmy Rossum (Phantom of the Opera) as the eldest daughter who is tasked with keeping her brothers and sisters in line.
Joan Cusack replaces Allison Janney, who filmed a guest spot in the pilot but could not continue with the rest of the show as her ABC series with Matthew Perry, Mr. Sunshine, was picked up to air as a midseason replacement this year. The project is spearheaded by television uber-producer John Wells (ER, The West Wing) who also wrote the pilot. Judging from the trailer, it actually looks pretty great. It almost seems like a darker, twisted version of Parenthood (the current Jason Katims iteration). To view the trailer, and for a bit more info on the series, hit the jump.
The Channel 4 counterpart of Shameless is a critical success, garnering one win and four nominations at the BAFTAs (British version of the Emmys). Although it’s a shame that Janney is not with the project anymore, I’ll watch anything with Macy and Cusack is downright hilarious in most everything she does. Wells has done some great work in the past (season 5 of The West Wing notwithstanding, but who could really follow in Aaron Sorkin’s footsteps?), and his upcoming feature film debut The Company Men looks promising. Not to mention, Showtime has a pretty good track record with their original series, coming off a spectacular John Lithgow-infused season of Dexter. The first season of Shameless is scheduled to air January 9th, and I’ll definitely be watching.