William H. Macy to star in Showtime pilot
Wells and the original series' creator, top U.K. TV writer PaulAbbot, penned the adaptation and are executive producing the pilot,which will be shot in December. Warner Bros. TV is producing withJohn Wells Prods.
Inspired by Abbott's childhood growing up in a working-class familywith eight children, the BAFTA-winning original series chronicles adysfunctional family led by alcoholic patriarch Frank Gallagher(David Threlfall).
For the U.S. version, the sprawling Gallagher family has beentransplanted to working-class Chicago during today's recession.With a mother who is AWOL and an alcoholic patriarch (Macy) whousually ends up passed out on the living room floor, 18-year-olddaughter Fiona is left with the task of keeping her five youngerbrothers and sisters on the straight and narrow.
The Company Pictures/Channel 4 original series, which has aired inthe U.S. on BBC America and Sundance Channel, was brought to JWP bythe company's TV president, Andrew Stearn.
At some point, it was set up at NBC with Woody Harrelson rumoredfor the lead, and it was in development at HBO earlier thisyear.
Wells and Abbott are Emmy winners, the former for "The West Wing"and "ER" and the latter for the BBC/HBO film "The Girl in theCafe."
Macy and Wells worked together on the long-running NBC series "ER."Macy co-starred on the Wells-produced medical drama early in itsrun and reprised his role as Dr. David Morgenstern during theshow's final season.
"Shameless" was packaged by CAA.