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Shameless, the push-pull of transatlantic fiction format adaptation, and star casting

Knox, S. ORCID: (2018) Shameless, the push-pull of transatlantic fiction format adaptation, and star casting. New Review of Film and Television Studies, 16 (3). pp. 295-323. ISSN 1740-7923

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/17400309.2018.1487130


Fiction format adaptations have scored notable successes in recent years and been attracting increasing scholarly attention. The US version of Shameless has been one of the most conspicuous: based on Paul Abbott’s series (C4 2004-2013), Shameless USA (2011-present) has become a signature series for Showtime. While Shameless USA has attracted a good amount of coverage in critics’ and press discourses, it has, compared to its British progenitor, received scant mention in scholarship. This article provides a detailed examination of Shameless’ transatlantic move, because this offers the opportunity to capture the complex push-pull of textual and contextual factors that impede or facilitate fiction format adaption. The article traces the protracted pre-production process for Shameless USA and considers the ways in which this format adaptation engages with issues concerning the politics of representation, especially in terms of the family and social class. Via a comparative analysis of the presence of actors David Threlfall and William H. Macy in their respective versions, the article furthermore pays attention to star casting. Building on Christopher Hogg’s (2013) discussion of ‘contested cultural space,’ the article argues that star casting is crucial to, yet has thus far received insufficient attention in scholarship on fiction format adaptations.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
ID Code:71997
Uncontrolled Keywords:Shameless; format adaptation; push-pull dynamics; casting; stardom; William. H. Macy; David Threlfall.
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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