William H. Macy Gets ‘Shameless’ For Showtime

Published 5 years ago by

william h macy showtime shameless William H. Macy Gets Shameless For Showtime

Showtime, looking to continue the trend of Americanizing popular British programming, has found its series for conversion in the longtime running Channel 4 hit drama, Shameless. Hopefully, having John Wells heading up the remake with William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum in the staring roles, Showtime will be able to break the accompanying tradition of low ratings and immediate cancellation that have burdened all the previous Anlgo-remakes (sans The Office).

The series, based on the life of British television writer Paul Abbot, revolves around the Gallagher family, a working-class Chicago family, trying to survive. With the mother gone, Macy will be taking the lead as Frank Gallagher, an alcoholic who “usually ends up passed out on the living-room floor,” while Rossum will play the eldest Gallagher child, Fiona, who serves as the interim mother “keeping her five younger brothers and sisters on the straight and narrow.”

While Abbot obviously didn’t grow up in Chicago, everything else from the original series is being transferred, including the character names. One reason for such a faithful adaptation is that Abbott, along with Wells, wrote the pilot and will stay on as executive producer.

Although, with the British version of the series entering its seventh season, Abbott won’t have much of an input with the American version, but Wells will serve as showrunner and if anyone will be able to make this show work, John Wells will.

shameless uk original cast William H. Macy Gets Shameless For ShowtimeThe Original UK Cast

Showtime entertainment president Robert Greenblatt said, “It was a phenomenally good pilot.” How phenomenal? Well, Showtime has put in a 13 episode order. So, something must have struck a cord with the cable network, but will the American audience agree?

Shameless marks the fourth new series picked up by Showtime this year and will join the all-star lineup of Laura Linney’s The Big C, Matt LeBlanc’s Episodes and Jeremy Irons’ The Borgias.

Being a self-described Anglophile, I can’t get enough of British programming, but I’m fed up with watching my favorite UK shows make the jump across the pond only to get butchered by American producers that can’t leave well enough alone.

That being said, I’m surprised I haven’t heard of Shameless before, especially since the British version has aired on BBC America and the Sundance Channel. While I completely trust John Wells and can’t get enough of William H. Macy after seeing him in ABC’s short running series, Sports Night, I’m going to have to wait and see on this one; I’ve been burned one too many times to get my hopes up.

…and why wait when I’ve got 7 seasons of the British version ready for my viewing pleasure.

uk frank gallagher William H. Macy Gets Shameless For ShowtimeDavid Threlfall as the original Frank Gallagher

What do you think of another Americanized British television series? Do you think this one will be the exception to the rule? Will you be tuning in? What’s the worst Americanized British series ever to make it to air (Hint: Life on Mars)?

Catch Shameless this fall on Showtime

Follow me on Twitter @anthonyocasio

Source: THR

TAGS: Shameless
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  1. Personally…all of the British shows are best as British shows. I love that they get imported over here via BBC channels and fans, but that's all they should remain: imports. I would NEVER watch a US version of “Spaced,” “Red Dwarf,” “Fawlty Towers,” or “Posh Nosh” (among others).

    • I absolutely, completely, and totally agree. I think William H Macy is an outstanding actor, but I do not watch US versions of British tv shows. The only one that was ever better than the original was All In the Family. Between PBS and BBC America, as well as the DVD rentals, it’s not all that hard to find most of the British originals.

  2. I adore Shameless! I rank it in my top 5 favourite shows of all time

    this will be horrible!
    I am so sick of americans adapting and bastardizing good british shows. You just know it wont be as good and will inevitably be dumbed down and will in no way reflect the brilliance of the channel 4 version. just look at the office and red dwarf… both great shows but the US remakes are appauling compared to the uk version… and as the article mentions Life on Mars…. shocking

    Why cant the americans just leave good shows as they are, maybe air them on their own networks?

    you dont see us in australia remaking lost or prisonbreak

    idiots, leave good shows alone… the british make the best shows.. just accept defeat and enjoy superior television from the UK

    • I am an American and even I agree. Sometimes I watch these U.S. versions of a show (not knowing that a British Version even existed) and when I discover the British version, I usually say “Wow, this one was so much better. Why did they remake it instead of just importing it?”. Now, that is not to say that the British are superior to the U.S. (because you still owe us for saving your asses after the blitz), but I will give you a one up for superior originality when it comes to sitcom television.


    • I’ve seen the pre-views for the US version of Shameless and, I’ll stick with the UK. I just hope they don’t pull it off the air here, if they do I will have to get a dvd player that plays all regions.
      Make the poverty histoy, cheapper drugs now!

    • You know know what I find “appauling”? The fact that you can’t spell and apparently don’t use spellcheck. It’s “appalling”. That being said, I both agree and disagree. I agree that the best shows usually come from Britain and Hollywood needs to be original for once and come up with a show on their own. However, I actually like the US Office way more than the UK original, I could not stand the actors from the original series.

  3. I hate when they try to make British shows in America. The British have their own unique humor and can get away with things on TV that just don't fly in America. I laughed when they tried to remake Coupling and watched one episode of the American version of The Office and never went back. I LOVE Shameless and I firmly believe there is no way they can make this work in America.

  4. I live in California. I discovered it on the Sundance channel but now I watch it online. This is one stupidass idea!! Its perfect the way it is……. leave it alone!!!

  5. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can't recreate the beauty of the British Shameless. I lived in Glasgow for six months and absolutely loved Shameless to make it Americanized is ironically shame-ful

  6. It doesn’t bode well. I have never seen an American version of a British series that really and truly worked. The humour just doesn’t translate that well and for the most part, the actors just don’t have the same ability. British actors have a subtlety that the American ones just don’t have. One mistake that often seems to be made is using the same original scripts almost down to the same dialogue and that really falls apart because, as I said, the American actors just don’t have the same delivery. Life on Mars was a good example of this. When they started doing original scripts, it wasn’t half bad though the ending really was awfully contrived.

    Since this version of Shameless is on cable, perhaps they can include the same level of profanity, politically incorrectness and “naughtiness” but I doubt it. I’ve no doubt of the abilities of William Macy, he’s an excellent actor and quite possibly can pull off a Frank Gallager but he needs to be himself, not try to emulate the UK Frank.

  7. I like William H. Macy and will definitely give it a try. I love the way British folks ridicule American television (and in some to many cases, rightfully so), but pretty much borrow everything under the sun from us. That includes PUNK, Hip Hop, most of these white British singers stole their entire sound from MOTOWN (including the Beatles, the Stones, Led Zepplin, Lily Whatever, Duff, Jamiriquai, Josh Stone, etc…) and the list goes on and one. Don’t try to act superior just because you have more originality with sitcom televsion, which I happily give you credit for before reading some of these stuck up posts that attack my country.

    Everyone borrows from everyone and many steal, so shut it. Such is the nature of man.


    • Well said.

  8. I am an American who grew up watching English T.V So i always try to stay up with the best of whats coming from across the pond. My favorite U.K shows have been Shameless, Skins, and Torchwood.
    I know that most Americans might not have an ear for the accents, but due to the success of such clever sexy shows as Californication, True Blood, and Dexter, We definitely can get the humor.
    The fact that the American Remake of Shameless is on Showtime means that it won’t pull punches.(And Frank gets punched alot.) William H. Macey has always been a first rate actor, and Paul Abbot is still involved.
    I actually have high hopes for this remake.

  9. I think Showtime must be a bit thick. This will be a catastrophic failure. William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher? What idiot cast that!?

  10. Just watches the first episode of American Shameless. I was actually looking forward to it but was hugely disappointed. I will give it a chance. Hopefully they might try and create some original storylines or characters and not just make a weak carbon copy.

  11. I know you may live in a different country, but you really shouldn’t talk trash about another country when you don’t live there and generalize things saying “all” Brittish product that has been “americanized” is trash. I think its a really biased opinion since you obviously haven’t seen all the work of both countries. What makes Anglo so much better than American? Why would it be ANY different from American in fact?

    Just some thought from over the waters.

  12. “Being a self-described Anglophile, I can’t get enough of British programming, but I’m fed up with watching my favorite UK shows make the jump across the pond only to get butchered by American producers that can’t leave well enough alone.”

    To ALL Anglophiles:
    So how about moving your Sorry rear back to MOLDY OLD england! If you hate American so much!