Acclaimed character actor William H. Macy – who received an Oscar nomination for his performance as the hapless Jerry Lundegaard in the Coen Brothers’ Fargo – is the unshaven, unemployed, and often unconscious (from drinking) patriarch of the family in Showtime’s new TV series, Shameless.

A trailer is now out for the first season of Shameless, which was originally a successful British comedy show before it got the American makeover from producer powerhouse John Wells (ER, The West Wing).

Macy stars in Shameless as Frank Gallagher, an alcoholic single father who lives with his six children in working-class Chicago and struggles to make ends meet in the wake of the U.S. economic recession. The cast of the show is otherwise populated by unknowns, with the exceptions of Emmy Rossum (Christine Daaé in Phantom of the Opera) as Frank’s eldest daughter, Fiona, and Joan Cusack as Sheila Jackson, the Gallagher clan’s agoraphobic neighbor.

Shameless features a more darkly comedic and adult perspective on the experiences of modern-day family life. It’s quite appropriate then that the show will premiere on the same cable channel responsible for the dysfunctional family dramedy Weeds and the twisted take on marriage and fatherhood presented on Dexter. Could Shameless be one Americanized take on a hit Brit TV series that works (besides the upcoming Being Human)?

Check out the trailer for Shameless below and decide for yourselves (NOTE: There’s no explicit content or language in this preview, but it not-so-subtly alludes to some NSFW material, so be careful about where you watch it):

This new version of Shameless could be worthwhile and it looks to mix some deliciously macabre bits of humor and innuendo with true-to-life family issues and drama. Macy has arguably never turned in a bad performance (though not even he could save Jurassic Park 3) and should lend an empathetic air to his portrayal of Frank, while still portraying the character’s drug problems and irresponsible nature in a realistic fashion. Color us intrigued for now.

Showtime will air the pilot episode for Shameless on January 9th, 2011.