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Shameless transfers to Chicago as NBC snaps up UK comedy hit

LONDON - Channel 4's 'Shameless' is set to follow in the footsteps of UK comedy hits 'Coupling' and 'The Office', with a US version of the show to be created.

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The series writer and creator Paul Abbott is working on a version where the show's Manchester housing estate family, the Gallaghers, are transferred to Chicago.

It is understood the show has been snapped up by the NBC network, which already screens the US version of 'The Office'.

NBC is also home to Channel 4 comedy imports including 'My Name is Earl', 'Scrubs', 'West Wing' and 'Will & Grace'.

Speaking to journalists after 'Shameless' won this year's British Comedy Award for best comedy drama, Abbott said the life of the Gallagher's is universal and can apply globally.

A spokeswoman for Shameless production firm Company Pictures confirmed that Abbott was working on a US version.

Meanwhile, the show's third series in the UK is to begin on Channel 4 in January. The first episode will be 90 minutes long and centres on one of the younger Gallagher characters, Debbie, pretending one of her brothers has leukaemia by shaving his head and painting him yellow.

While 'The Office' has successfully transferred to the US market, other UK comedy shows have been less successful, most notably the US version of BBC's 'Coupling', which was cancelled by NBC within its first series.

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