I think we can all agree that the Cusack’s (John, Joan AND Ann) possess some kind of universal likability. They’re sweet and funny and lovably awkward in all the right ways. Though all three have gone through happily active and sadly inactive periods in their respective careers, I always look forward to seeing them resurface. John gets most of the love from movie studios and film producers these days and Ann, though usually working, is the most obscure of the lot, but Joan is as relevant as ever after reprising her voice role this year in the billion dollar hit Toy Story 3. Now, she’s set to work on a new Showtime series called Shameless, says Deadline.
The series, which is an American redo of the long-running hit UK program, stars William H. Macy as a far-from-competent working-class patriarch of an unconventional Chicago brood of six motley kids whose eldest daughter (played by Emmy Rossum) keeps the home afloat while he’s out drinking and carousing. Justin Chatwin, Ethan Cutkosky, Shanola Hampton, Steve Howey, Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan, Jeremy Allen White and Laura Slade Wiggins will co-star.
Cusack will play will play the role of Sheila, an agoraphobic Chicago housewife with a sexually active teenage daughter who strikes up a special friendship with Macy’s character, Frank Gallagher. She replaces Allison Janney (Juno), who was forced to drop out due to her commitment to ABC’s Mr. Sunshine after the producers of Shameless decided to beef up the role and include Sheila in all 12 episodes of the season, which will premiere on January 9th.
I’ve always liked Janney and I think that she would’ve played up the agoraphobic side of the character very well, but Cusack can turn in a cynical and comedic performance that could quite possibly steal the spotlight from Macy’s deplorable leading man. If the producers of Shameless don’t pull any punches, this could be good for more than a couple of laughs come January. Cusack also appears in Disney’s Mars Needs Moms! on March 11th 2011.