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Hit Showtime series 'Shameless' filmed right in our backyard

By Samantha Douglas
On February 13, 2012


John Wells (executive producer) and Paul Abbott (creator) were able to attract a record-breaking 982,000 viewers from the first episode of their Showtime series "Shameless."

The U.S. adaptation from the U.K. original has since drawn in as many as 1.58 million viewers in a single episode. William H. Macy, Joan Cusack, Emmy Rossom and Justin Chatwin ("The Chumscrubber") are a few of the burgeoning series' stars, who it was recently announced, we will be seeing for a third season of Gallagher troubles in Canaryville, Chicago.

The family's struggles stem from an absent mother and parasitic, "narcissistic, alcoholic" father Frank (Macy) who have left their six children to fend for themselves.

The seamlessly chosen cast fills their roles as though these were their own experiences, and with the chemistry that would make you think they'd been through it together.

Fiona (Rossom) is the oldest and has been forced to sacrifice the carefree lifestyle of a typical 21-year-old to become a pseudo-mom (though her age, of course, occasionally shows through).

The two next oldest, still in their teen years, are Lip and Ian. Lip has found himself in a complicated kind of love with a promiscuous "friend," and Ian, a member of the ROTC, was recently forced to announce to his family that he's gay.

The youngest three include 12-year-old Debbie who is struggling with the transition into womanhood, the particularly violent Carl who seems to have been the most affected by their situation and Liam, still in his diaper-years, whose Gallagher blood is questionable.

Along with the Gallaghers come their notoriously sexual best friends and neighbors, Kevin and Veronica, and Sheila (Cusack), a loveable, intense agoraphobic.

The family's lives are said to take place in Canaryville, referencing such areas as Halsted and 43rd St., but all exterior scenes were actually shot in Lawndale—about an hour ride on the red line, then pink line from Lincoln Park.

The Gallagher house (two doors down from Kevin and Veronica) is located at 2110 S. Homan Ave. and Sheila's house with its trademark white picket fence is at 1937 S. Spaulding. Other notable scenes were filmed at Hotel 71, 115 Dempster St. in Evanston (Steve's house), and 3303 W. Ogden Ave (where Lip and Ian are put in jail.)

All of these locations are can be seen on Google Street View as well as others listed at

If you're interested in getting to know the Gallaghers or just want a peak of Chicago on TV, "Shameless" can be seen every Sunday at 8 p.m. on Showtime.

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