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Joan Cusack joins the cast of Showtime's 'Shameless'

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Showtime announced today that Academy Award-nominated actress Joan Cusack has joined the cast of the network’s new series Shameless, which is based on the long-running U.K. show about a dysfunctional working class family. In the U.S. version (debuting Jan. 9 at 9 p.m.), William H. Macy plays the father of six kids living in Chicago and Cusack will take on the role of an agoraphobic housewife who sparks up a “special” friendship — as the press release says — with Macy’s character. Emmy Rossum also stars as Macy’s eldest child who takes charge of the raucous household.

It seems like a perfect role for Cusack, herself a Chicago native. She may be most recently remembered for her movie work, but the actress has a lengthy resume, too, that includes Saturday Night Live and her short-lived ABC sitcom, What About Joan?

What do you guys think of the casting? Fans of the original Shameless: How do you think the American version will fare once it crosses the pond?

Photo: RD/Scott Kirkland/Retna Ltd