Shameless is an American comedy-drama television series developed by John Wells that aired on Showtime from January 9, 2011, to April 11, 2021. 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 on the South Side of Chicago. 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 premiere in mid-2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it instead premiered on December 6, 2020. On December 14, 2020, Showtime announced that they are airing a clip show series during Season 11, Shameless: Hall of Shame, containing new scenes juxtaposed with clips from the show to summarize the characters’ journeys during the prior 10 seasons.
The series depicts the poor, dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher, a neglectful single father of six; Fiona, Phillip, Ian, Debbie, Carl, and Liam. 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 and drug addiction affect 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’¡ªthey’re people who live four blocks down from you and two blocks over.”
Shameless was adapted from a long-running, award-winning British television comedy drama of the same name. HBO began developing an American version of Shameless after striking a deal with John Wells in January 2000. By April 2001, the development had moved to Showtime. John Wells Productions taped a pilot episode for the cable network in December 2003. 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.