Shameless (American TV series)

Shameless is an American comedy-drama television series developed by John Wells which debuted on Showtime on January 9, 2011. It is an adaptation of Paul Abbott's British series of the same name and features an ensemble cast led by William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum. The show is set in the South Side of Chicago and filmed throughout the city, as well as Los Angeles.
With the premiere of the ninth season on September 9, 2018, Shameless became the longest-running original scripted series in Showtime's history. In January 2019, the series was renewed for a tenth season, which premiered on November 10, 2019. In January 2020, the series was renewed for its eleventh and final season, which was scheduled to air the following summer but is now being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The series depicts the poor, dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, a single father raising six children. He spends his days drunk or in search of misadventures, and his children learn to take care of themselves. The show's producers sought to distinguish this production from previous American working-class shows by highlighting how Frank's alcoholism affects his family. The show's creator Paul Abbott 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." Showrunner John Wells fought efforts to place the show in the South or in a trailer park. "We have a comedic tradition of making fun of the people in those worlds," he said. "The reality is that these people aren't 'the other'—they're people who live four blocks down from you and two blocks over."


Cast and characters


"Shameless" was adapted from a long-running, award-winning British television drama of the same name. HBO began developing an American version of Shameless after striking a deal with John Wells in January 2009. By October 2009 the development had moved to Showtime. John Wells Productions taped a pilot episode for the cable network in December 2009.
William H. Macy stars in the lead role as Frank Gallagher. Also joining the cast were Emmy Rossum as Fiona and Justin Chatwin as Steve, former co-stars from Dragonball Evolution. Paul Abbott, whose semi-autobiographical telescript was the basis for the UK pilot, is credited as an executive producer on the U.S. version.
In April 2010, Showtime green-lit the series with a 12-episode order.
The Sheila Jackson character, was first portrayed by Allison Janney in a pilot, however in late August 2010, the role was recast and Joan Cusack ended up playing Sheila for the aired episodes. Production began in mid-September.
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.
The series is set in Chicago's Canaryville neighborhood on the South Side.
Most episodes begin with one of the main characters who breaks the fourth wall to berate the viewer about missing previous episodes. Then the show cuts to a recap montage of plot points relevant to the current episode, followed by the opening title sequence.


The series is mostly filmed in the North Lawndale community area of Chicago and Burbank, California, at Warner Bros. Studios.
Initial shooting of the second season began on July 5, 2011 and premiered January 8, 2012. The series was renewed for a third season on February 1, 2012, and initial shooting began June 27, 2012. The third season premiered on January 13, 2013, and two weeks later on January 29, Shameless was renewed for a fourth season. It premiered January 12, 2014.
On February 18, 2014, the series was renewed for a fifth season. Production on the first episode of the fifth season began on July 3, 2014 with the first episode table read, with initial shooting for the season beginning on July 8, 2014.
The series was renewed for a sixth season on January 12, 2015. Shameless was renewed for a 12-episode seventh season on January 12, 2016. Season 7 premiered on October 2, 2016.
In December 2016, it was reported that Emmy Rossum had requested that she be paid more than William H. Macy for future seasons, to make up for previous seasons in which she was paid less than Macy. The pay dispute briefly delayed work on an eighth season of the series, while she and Warner Bros. Television negotiated. The dispute came to an end on December 14, when Rossum confirmed through Twitter that she would continue to work on the series, with production of an eighth season to begin in May 2017. On December 19, 2016, Showtime officially announced that Shameless had been renewed for an eighth season. Just days after the eighth-season premiere, it was announced that the show had been renewed for a ninth, which would bring the show past the 100-episode mark.
In August 2018, Rossum announced her departure from Shameless after nine seasons playing Fiona Gallagher. In October 2018, Cameron Monaghan also announced his departure from the series after playing Ian Gallagher for nine seasons; however, it was later announced Monaghan was expected to return for the tenth season.
On January 13, 2020, it was announced that the series had been renewed for its eleventh and final season, that was scheduled to air Summer 2020, but is now being delayed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and that Macy, White, Cutkosky, Hampton, Howey, Kenney, Monaghan, Fisher, Miner and Isaiah would all be returning for the series' final season.


The theme song for Shameless is "The Luck You Got" by indie rock group The High Strung. The majority of the music featured in the series is from indie rock bands. The pilot episode used music from artists such as Cream, Spoon, Say Hi, 3OH!3 featuring Ke$ha, The Vines, Ace of Spades, The Moog and LMFAO. The show has also featured music from Let's Wrestle, Eels, The Blue Van, Cake, Jimmy Eat World, Alien Crime Syndicate, and Freeplay Music. Music from The High Strung, Soho3, Say Hi, The Record Company and The High Planes Drifters. Capital Cities has been heard on the show with their song "Who's That Dude Pt. 1", as well as Johnny Foreigner with "Absolute Balance", and Bosshouse Music with "Chicago Blues". The songs "Vireo's Eye" and "Inch of Dust" by Synthpop band Future Islands were also used in the first season. The last episode of season one featured two songs by The Diner, with the first being "Indie Dreams" and "Sun and Soil" the second..
In promotion for the second-season premiere, the entire cast sang their own version of a Christmas carol, "except this one dings grandma's holiday turkey and suggests the best route home in case you partake in too much holiday cheer", entitled "Shameless: Christmas Carol". It can also be found on the special features of the season 2 DVD featurette. The singer Marina and the Diamonds has also been referenced on the show, in a text by Debbie Gallagher.


Shameless premiered on January 9, 2011, in the United States, becoming Showtime's highest-rated series debut on record across the network's target demographic. The first episode of the series generated 982,000 unique viewers, and was Showtime's largest audience for a series premiere since Dead Like Me in 2003.
The fourth episode, "Casey Casden", airing January 30, posted 1.45 million total viewers. Shameless was the cable channel's best-performing first-year drama. Defying the usual downward trend following a premiere, the series built on its initial audience, becoming number one in its time slot among adults aged 18 through 49. Subsequent episodes' audiences fluctuated between a million and 1.14 million viewers. The March 27, 2011 season finale, "Father Frank, Full of Grace," drew an audience of 1.157 million.
The third season's premiere episode, "El Gran Cañon", drew 2 million viewers, becoming the show's highest rated episode to date. It has since maintained average ratings of just below a million viewers throughout the remainder of its episodes.


Critical reception

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. Tom O'Neill of the Los Angeles Times reported on the Emmy buzz about Shameless, especially with respect to the performance of Emmy Rossum. He said "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'". BuddyTV ranked Shameless #8 on its list of 2011's best new TV shows. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season a 'fresh' rating of 70% based on 37 reviews, with the critical consensus "Shameless is a dark, urban dramedy that overcomes its leaps of logic thanks to fantastic casting, intriguing ambiance, and shock value." Seasons 2–8 each have an above 90% rating as of April 2020, with the exception of season 7, which has an 88% rating. Seasons 9 and 10 have the lowest ratings with 70% and 40% respectively as of April 2020.


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. The episode airing January 30, "Casey Casden", received 1.45 million total viewers, making Shameless the best performing first-year drama on Showtime.

Awards and nominations

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