Joan Cusack joins Showtime's 'Shameless'

Will play agoraphobic housewife on drama debuting in Jan.

NEW YORK -- Joan Cusack has joined the cast of the new Showtime one-hour drama series "Shameless."

She will appear in all 12 episodes of the show and play Sheila, described as "an agoraphobic Chicago housewife with a sexually active teenage daughter" who strikes up a special friendship with William H. Macy's character, Frank Gallagher.

Allison Janney had played the role in the series' pilot.

Production on the first season begins in mid-September with the premiere set for Sunday, Jan. 9 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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