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Shameless
Shamelogo.png
Screenshot from the Shameless opening titles
Genre Comedy-drama
Created by Paul Abbott
Written by Paul Abbott
Danny Brocklehurst
Directed by David Threlfall
Starring David Threlfall
Gerard Kearns
Elliott Tittensor
Johnny Bennett
Rebecca Atkinson
Sean Gilder
Tina Malone
Ciaran Griffiths
Joanna Higson
Aaron McCusker
Nicky Evans
Alice Barry
Sally Carman
Ben Batt
Theme music composer Murray Gold
Country of origin  United Kingdom
Language(s) English
No. of series 7
No. of episodes 74 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Paul Abbott,
George Faber,
Charles Pattinson,
David Threlfall
Location(s) Wythenshawe, Manchester, England
Cinematography Andy McDonnell
Running time 49–77 minutes
Production company(s) Company Pictures
Broadcast
Original channel Channel 4
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Original run 13 January 2004 – Present
Status Returning series
External links
Official website
Production website

Shameless is a BAFTA award-winning British comedy drama television series set in the fictional Chatsworth council Estate, Manchester, England. Produced by Company Pictures for Channel 4, the first seven-episode series aired weekly on Tuesday nights at 10pm from 13 January 2004. The comedy drama, centred on UK underclass and working class culture, has been accorded critical acclaim by various sections of the British media, including The Sun newspaper and Newsnight Review on BBC Two. Shameless is one of the most successful recent British TV programmes.

The programme was created and, at least initially, mainly written by Paul Abbott, who is also the programme's executive producer. Much of the series is based on Abbott's own experiences growing up in Burnley in a situation similar to that of the Gallagher children.

For the fifth series a 66,000 sq. ft (6,100 m2) exterior and interior set was built on an industrial estate in Wythenshawe, Manchester.[1]

The seventh series started on 26 January 2010.[2]

Contents

Plot

The opening credits have always featured a monologue from the central character of the series, Frank Gallagher. The series charts the lives of the dysfunctional Gallagher family, comprising Frank and his six children, widening the scope to other occupants of the estate as the series progresses. Central characters in the Gallagher family include eldest daughter Fiona (1.1 - 2.10), eldest son Lip (Phillip) (1.1 - 5.1), plus younger children Ian, Carl, Debbie (1.1 - 6.16) and Liam who grow up as the series continues.

Other characters featured in earlier series include Fiona's boyfriend Steve, a middle-class car thief (series 1.1 - 2.10); Kev and Veronica (series 1.1 - 4.1), the Gallaghers' neighbours; Kash, the owner of the local shop, and his wife Yvonne; agoraphobic Sheila (series 1.1 - 4.3) and her daughter Karen; Lip's girlfriend Mandy Maguire; the policemen Tony and Stan, along with various regular background characters. The cast was expanded for the series 2, with Carol and Marty, Veronica's mother and brother, becoming regular characters after guest roles in the first series. In series 3, Mandy's family, led by her drug-dealing parents Mimi Maguire and Paddy Maguire, became key characters. In series 4 we also meet three of the Maguire parents' sons: Shane Maguire, who is determined to show his parents and the estate that he is a hard man and a good worker, and Mickey Maguire, who is gay and similarly determined to prove himself. We also meet Jamie Maguire, who has been in prison for 10 years for murder. In the last episode of series 6, the show killed off one of its main characters Mandy Maguire. The death was the climax in a storyline which appeared to show the repercussions of heroin addiction come back to haunt her drug dealing parents.

The Gallagher family reside at 2 Windsor Gardens on the fictional Chatsworth Estate, a council estate in Stretford, Greater Manchester. Originally the show was filmed on location on a council estate in West Gorton and in the Pie Factory Studios in Salford. From series 5 onwards the show has been filmed from a purpose built set on the Roundthorn Industrial Estate in South Manchester on the site of an old Kodak warehouse, and around Wythenshawe and Sale, Greater Manchester.

Critical acclaim

In April 2005, the programme's first series won the Best Drama Series category at the British Academy Television Awards, the most prestigious awards given in the British television industry. It was also nominated for 'Best British Drama' at the 'National Television Awards 2007', but lost out to Doctor Who. Also Shameless won an award at the 'Royal Television Awards Society North West Awards 2007' where it beat Coronation Street to the 'Best Continuing Drama Award'.

The programme has been sold overseas, where it airs on channels such as SBS (Australia), Acht (Belgium), Showcase Television (Canada), Virgin 17 (France), Nederland 3 (The Netherlands), YLE FST5 (Finland), SIC Radical (Portugal), RTÉ Two (Ireland), BBC America (only aired the first series) and Sundance Channel (United States), yes+ (Israel), iSat (Latin America), and Jimmy (Italy)

Production

From 2004-2007, the show's exterior shots were filmed on location at a real estate in Greater Manchester. But from 2008 onwards, a 22,000 m2 (237,000 sq. ft) exterior and interior set was built on an industrial estate in Wythenshawe, Manchester. All current shots are filmed at an industrial estate in Wythenshawe, Manchester. Previously, exterior shots of settings such as 'The Jockey' were of a real pub called 'The Wellington Inn' which can be located in West Gorton.

Style

Shameless is noted for having a style very different from other British comedies. A "moving camera" shooting technique (employing few masks or filters) is employed. The show’s interiors are filmed on staged sets and occasionally on location. The music is composed by Murray Gold.

Each episode begins and ends with a narrative voice-over by one of the characters highlighting the themes of the episode. The opening and closing voiceovers are often humorous in nature, as the point of the episode has already been shown. The commentator of each episode is normally the one on whom the plot focuses. This was much more prominent in the first two series, where a plot revolving around one character would normally prevent any other prominent sub-plots involving other characters; in series three, co-abiding plots revolving around different characters are more common. However, unlike many shows, these plots are not entirely separate and the plots always support each other to the episodes' conclusions.[citation needed]

Episodes

Series 1 consisted of seven episodes. Series 2 started with a Christmas special (23 December 2004) followed by a longer run of ten episodes (4 January – 8 March 2005). Channel 4 introduced 'First Look' to ther scheduling of Shameless from Series 2 onwards, enabling viewers to see all but the first episode a week early on their sister channel E4. The preview screening immediately following the Channel 4 episode, allowing two consecutive episodes to be watched in quick succesion.

A New Year Special (3 January 2006) commenced Series 3 with seven further episodes (10 January – 21 February 2006) completing the run. Series 4 comprised eight episodes (9 January – 27 February 2007), but it was also announced that Series 5 would see the series expanded to sixteen episodes (1 January – 15 April 2008). Series 6 continued the lengthened sixteen-episode format (27 January – 12 May 2009).[3]

Series 7 began on 26 January 2010, with Pauline McLynn and Valerie Lilley having already made guest appearances.[4] It will again consist of sixteen episodes.[5][6]

Series 8 was announced on 3 December 2009. Scheduled for early 2011, it will be the longest run to date, with 22 episodes planned.[7]

Cast

The role of Frank was originally given to Sean Gallagher, but then it was thought he was too young to play the character. It cost makers Company Pictures £100,000 to re-shoot the scenes already filmed with David Threlfall as a replacement. In 2007, it was revealed that Matt Lucas and Bill Nighy asked for cameo parts in Shameless, but creator Paul Abbott said the show would lose its realistic charms if they brought in celebrities to play parts.

American adaptation

HBO began developing an American version of Shameless after striking a deal with John Wells, the writer and producer behind ER and The West Wing. The development deal follows years of negotiations over a U.S. version by Shameless's creator Paul Abbott, with NBC previously linked to the project. The UK version has aired on BBC America and the Sundance Channel in the U.S.. Wells, whose production company, John Wells Productions, is based at the Warner Bros. studio in California, is also producing new NBC police drama similar to Robbery Homicide Division.[8]

By October 2009, the development had moved to Showtime. John Wells Productions will film a pilot episode for the cable network in December 2009. It will star William H. Macy in the Frank Gallagher role.[9] Allison Janney has been cast as a romantic interest for Frank. Also joining the pilot are Emmy Rossum as Frank's sensible and feisty eldest daughter, and Justin Chatwin as a car thief who falls for her. [10]

DVD Video releases

Shameless: Series One
Set Details Special Features
  • 7 Episodes
  • 2 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meet the Cast
  • An interview with Paul Abbott
Release Dates
 United Kingdom,

 Ireland

 Australia  United States
27 December 2004 22 September 2005 24 April 2007
Shameless: Series Two Plus Christmas Special
Set Details Special Features
  • 11 Episodes
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Feature Length Christmas Special
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
Release Dates
 United Kingdom,  Ireland
31 October 2005
Shameless: Series Two
Set Details Special Features
  • 10 Episodes
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
Release Dates
 United Kingdom,  Ireland
16 January 2006
Shameless: Series Three Plus New Year Special
Set Details Special Features
  • 8 Episodes
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Feature Length New Year Special
  • Mockumentary: Being Alice Barry (Lillian Unpeeled)
Release Dates
 United Kingdom.  Ireland
30 October 2006
Shameless: Series One, Two and Three Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 26 Episodes
  • 8 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meet the Cast
  • An interview with Paul Abbott
  • Feature Length Christmas Special
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
  • Feature Length New Year Special
  • Mockumentary: Being Alice Barry (Lillian Unpeeled)
Release Dates
 United Kingdom,  Ireland
30 October 2006
Shameless: Series Four
Set Details Special Features
  • 8 Episodes
  • 3 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Take That Sequence Directors Cut
  • The Missing Scenes
  • Full Unedited Frank Rant
  • Outtakes
Release Dates
 United Kingdom,  Ireland
29 October 2007
Shameless: Series One, Two, Three and Four Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 34 Episodes
  • 11 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meet the Cast
  • An interview with Paul Abbott
  • Feature Length Christmas Special
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
  • Feature Length New Year Special
  • Mockumentary: Being Alice Barry (Lillian Unpeeled)
  • Take That Sequence Directors Cut
  • The Missing Scenes
  • Full Unedited Frank Rant
  • Outtakes
Release Dates
 United Kingdom,  Ireland
29 October 2007
Shameless: Series Five
Set Details Special Features
  • 16 Episodes
  • 5 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Behind-The Scenes
  • Exclusives Audio Commentaries on Episode 9 & 11
  • Building The Set
  • Outtakes
  • Deleted Scenes
Release Dates
 United Kingdom,  Ireland
21 April 2008
Shameless: Series One, Two, Three, Four and Five Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 50 Episodes
  • 16 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meet the Cast
  • An interview with Paul Abbott
  • Feature Length Christmas Special
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
  • Feature Length New Year Special
  • Mockumentary: Being Alice Barry (Lillian Unpeeled)
  • Take That Sequence Directors Cut
  • The Missing Scenes
  • Full Unedited Frank Rant
  • Outtakes From Series 4 And 5
  • Behind-The Scenes Exclusives
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Building The Set
Release Dates
 United Kingdom,  Ireland
21 April 2008
Shameless: Series Six
Set Details Special Features
  • 16 Episodes
  • 5 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meeting Danny
  • Meeting Carl & Maxine
  • Frank's Alternative Titles
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Audio Commentary - Episodes 7&12
  • Her name was Maxine his name was Carl
  • Jockey Drinking Game (Alphabet Males)
Release Dates
 United Kingdom,  Ireland
18 May 2009
Shameless: Series One, Two, Three, Four, Five and Six Boxset
Set Details Special Features
  • 66 Episodes
  • 21 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
  • Meet the Cast
  • An interview with Paul Abbott
  • Feature Length Christmas Special
  • Audio Commentary (Episode 4) Featuring Paul Abbott, Dearbhla Walsh & Matt Jones
  • Feature Length New Year Special
  • Mockumentary: Being Alice Barry (Lillian Unpeeled)
  • Take That Sequence Directors Cut
  • The Missing Scenes
  • Full Unedited Frank Rant
  • Outtakes From Series 4-6
  • Behind-The Scenes Exclusives
  • Audio Commentaries
  • Building The Set
  • Meeting Danny
  • Meeting Carl & Maxine
  • Frank's Alternative Titles
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Audio Commentary - Episodes 7&12
  • Her name was Maxine his name was Carl
  • Jockey Drinking Game (Alphabet Males)
Release Dates
 United Kingdom,  Ireland
18 May 2009
Shameless: Series Seven
Set Details Special Features
  • 16 Episodes
  • 5 Disc Set
  • 16:9 Aspect Ratio
  • Subtitles: yes (English)
  • English (Stereo)
Release Dates
 United Kingdom,  Ireland
17 May 2010

See also

Further reading

  • Munt, Sally R. (2007). "Shameless in Queer Street". Queer Attachments: The Cultural Politics of Shame. London: Ashgate Publishing. pp. 133–159. ISBN 0754649210. 
  • Walters, James (2006). "Saving Face: Inflections of Character Role-play in Shameless". Journal of British Cinema and Television (Edinburgh University Press) 3 (1): 95–106. doi:10.3366/JBCTV.2006.3.1.95. 

References

External links

Preceded by
Buried
British Academy Television Awards
Best Drama Series

2005
Succeeded by
Doctor Who

Simple English

Shameless is a BAFTA award-winning British comedy drama television series set in the fictional Chatsworth Estate in Manchester, United Kingdom. Produced by Company Pictures for Channel 4, the first seven-episode series aired weekly on Tuesday nights at 10pm from 13 January 2004. The dramedy which deals with issues related to chav culture in the UK has been accorded critical acclaim by various sections of the British media, including The Sun newspaper and Newsnight Review on BBC Two.








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