Academy Award-nominated actress Joan Cusack has joined the cast of Showtime's new one-hour drama series Shameless. Cusack, who will appear in all 12 episodes of the series, will play the role of Sheila, an agoraphobic Chicago housewife with a sexually active teenage daughter who strikes up a special friendship with William H. Macy's character, Frank Gallagher. Production on the first season begins in mid-September, with the series premiering on Showtime, Sunday, January 9th at 9:00 PM ET/PT.

An award-winning Chicago-based actress, Joan Cusack has twice been nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in Working Girl and In & Out. She is a three-time winner of the American Comedy Award as Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture and has appeared in numerous films, including Sixteen Candles, Say Anything, Class, High Fidelity, Cradle Will Rock and Grosse Pointe Blank. Some of her other feature film credits include Broadcast News, Men Don't Leave, My Blue Heaven, Friends with Money and, most recently, she reprised her role as the voice of Jessie in Toy Story 3. Cusack also was a cast member of Saturday Night Live.

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Shameless, a new drama series from Emmy Award winners John Wells (ER, The West Wing, Southland) and Paul Abbott (The Girl in the Cafe, State of Play, Touching Evil), is based on the long-running hit UK series and stars Emmy Award winner and Oscar nominee William H. Macy (Fargo, Pleasantville, The Cooler) and Emmy Rossum (Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, Mystic River). Macy plays a far-from-stellar working-class patriarch of an unconventional Chicago brood of six motley kids whose eldest daughter (Rossum) keeps the home afloat while he's out drinking and carousing. The series also stars Justin Chatwin (War of the Worlds), Ethan Cutkosky (The Unborn), Shanola Hampton (Related), Steve Howey (Reba), Emma Kenney (Three Little Puppets), Cameron Monaghan (Click), Jeremy Allen White and Laura Wiggins (Eleventh Hour).

Shameless is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with John Wells Productions and Warner Bros. Television. John Wells and Paul Abbott are executive producers; Andrew Stearn (The West Wing, Southland) is the co-executive producer.