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Showtime Series ‘Shameless’ and ‘Episodes’ Get Second Season Pick-Ups

Showtime announced today that “Shameless,’ starring William H. Macy and Emmy Rossum, and “Episodes,’ in which former “Friends’ star Matt LeBlanc stars as a fictional version of himself, will both be back for second seasons.

“Shameless,’ an hour-long family drama, received a 12-episode order for its second season, with the number of episodes for LeBlanc’s half-hour comedy series still to be determined, according to David Nevins, Showtime’s president of Entertainment.

Both series premiered on Jan. 9, with “Shameless’ becoming Showtime’s best-performing freshman drama ever, according to the network.

Production on both series will begin later this year.

“The viewer loyalty and critical acclaim that has met both `Shameless’ and `Episodes’ since their January debuts makes it clear that these two brash and sophisticated series are burgeoning hits,” Nevins said.

“John Wells is carving out a tone that is truly unique in the television landscape — equal parts drama and comedy,’ he said. “And `Episodes’ marks the universally embraced and hilarious return to television of an inspired comedy triumvirate: Matt LeBlanc, and creators Jeffrey Klarik and David Crane. We are thrilled with the response to both series and eager to start planning for their second seasons.”

“Shameless,’ based on a long-running U.K. series, has Macy playing a working-class patriarch of an unconventional Chicago brood of six kids headed by the eldest sibling (Rossum), who keep the home afloat while their dad is out drinking and carousing.

Wells, one of the show’s three executive producers, is known for his work on “ER,’ “The West Wing’ and “Southland.’

“We’re having an unbelievably good time making the show and look forward to bringing more of the humor, pathos and wild sexuality of the dysfunctional Gallagher family to a shocked American audience,” he said.

“Episodes’ is a co-production between Showtime Networks in the U.S. and the BBC in the United Kingdom, written and executive produced by veteran comedy writers David Crane (“Friends’) and Jeffrey Klarik (“Mad About You’).

The comedy series centers around a husband and wife producing team who are forced to navigate the many pitfalls of the Hollywood television business when their successful British show is brought to America, and the U.S. network insists on making the show more audience-friendly by replacing their venerable thespian lead with Matt LeBlanc.

Copyright © 2011 City News Service

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