Where was Shameless filmed?
Los Angeles, Chicago
Diners/Coffee, Studios, Beach/Oceanview
Beachfront, Dated/Retro, Hollywood
John Wells developed the hit comedy-drama “Shameless,” which is an American adaptation of the same-titled British series created by Paul Abbott. Featuring an ensemble cast, the premise surrounds a struggling-class, dysfunctional family of seven.
Viewers are taken on a dizzying journey as each family member navigates the harsh realities of life while celebrating tiny triumphs and living through jarring tragedies. William H. Macy portrays Frank Gallagher who is an absentee father despite being physically present in his children’s life. His days are spent in a drunken stupor, caught up in various misadventures, or selfishly chasing after the next high.
As the eldest Gallagher child, Fiona (Emmy Rossum) has to take care of her five siblings as well as the responsibilities around the household. Presented in an unapologetically raw, dark, and honest format, the show features the underlying subtexts of poverty, identity, and crime.
Jeremy Allen White portrays Philip “Lip,” the eldest Gallagher son who trades sexual favors around the neighborhood in exchange for his tutoring services. Ian (Cameron Monaghan) is the middle Gallagher son who faces stigma for being gay.
Debbie (Emma Kenney) is the youngest daughter who has taken to stealing. Despite being only ten years old, Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) starts displaying the markers of being an arsonist and sociopath. Liam (Christian Isaiah) is the toddler in the family, and he might actually be African American but no one is really sure.
Abbott explained that the show takes on a graver level of poverty unlike what is seen in other sitcoms. Wells added that they fought off ideas to have the show set in a trailer park or somewhere in the South.
The well-loved series concluded its run after the eleventh season aired in 2021. That hasn’t stopped fans from going down memory lane to revisit where the action happened.
The Gallaghers are said to live in Southside Chicago but the bulk of the filming took place in Los Angeles. Chicago provided some locations for certain scenes of the series.
During the show’s ten-year-long run, the cast members reportedly traveled to Chicago about three times each year. They’d stay in the city for week-long periods to film various scenes. The windy city mainly was used to record the exterior scenes.
One of the unforgettable Shameless action scenes, where Mickey Milkovich jumped from a moving bus, was shot in South Chicago. However, stuntman Marcus Prado did the heavy-lifting on behalf of Noel Fisher for the Season 10 episode.
Several other outdoor scenes, including the Gallagher home and school, were filmed on location around Chicago. The Warner Brothers Studio located in Burbank, California served as the backdrop for other Shameless scenes.
There are plenty of exciting places on the list of Shameless locations which you might want to check out. Here’s a rundown of some of the show’s most memorable scenes alongside details about where they were filmed in real life. Some spoilers are included but the focus is on the production locations.
The “Shameless” producers didn’t think that Emmy Rossum could pull off the role of Fiona Gallagher. Her work prior to landing the role involved personifying clean-cut and overly glamorous characters. They didn’t even want her to audition on that account. Rossum didn’t bow down and insisted on sending in her audition tapes. Taking no for an answer was “very Fiona” and she ended up changing the producers’ minds and ultimately landing the role.
Meet the Gallaghers scene in Shameless
2119 South Homan Ave, Chicago, IL, 60623
The show's pilot episode did a great job at introducing the Gallaghers and revealing snippets of their individualities. Off the bat, viewers know that they are in for a ride that’s both humorous and downright shocking.
In a montage, Frank, whose idea of expenses includes “alcohol and drugs,” introduces us to each Gallagher family member. Viewers then get an insight into what a typical morning is like at the Gallagher household, and we get the first glimpse of the exterior when they all flood out of the house to go about their day.
The house itself stands as a character in the show, and several epic things happen there, particularly on the front porch. 2119 South Homan Ave is the location where the exterior scenes of the Gallaghers’ house were filmed.
There’s even a foursquare location alongside plenty of tags and photos showcasing the real-life residence. An article published on Distractify reveals that the owner welcomes Shameless fans to step inside the gate and take photos on the famous porch.
A sign at the front of the house asks kind folks who drop by to also leave donations, which isn’t too much to ask given how kind the owner is to keep welcoming fans more than a decade later.
Bus 52, 157, or 21 will get you to the Shameless filming location as well as the Pink Line and the BNSF train.
Frank clears his bill at The Alibi scene in Shameless
Warner Bros. Backlot, Burbank CA
Frank is by all depictions a deadbeat whose main concern is getting high at his children’s expense. He cheats the system at any given chance for a quick buck and even shakes down his kids for some money.
His kids quickly pick up on his underhand ways, and as Fiona said “A con artist raised me, so I know one when I see one.” Frank also isn’t someone who is quick to part with his ill-gained cash.
In the fifth episode of season 7, he surprisingly clears his $223.75 debt at the Alibi Room Bar. The Alibi is his favorite watering hole and he often racks up a high bill which he then has to find ways to clear.
The scenes at the Alibi were recorded at the Warner Bros. Backlot in Burbank, California. In fact, most indoor scenes were filmed in custom Shameless film sets located at the Burbank lot.
When Emma Kenney gave a tour of the show’s set in 2016, she gave us a sneak peek of the Gallaghers’ house set as well as the Alibi. Going on a Warner Bros. Studio Tour allows you to explore the film sets up close which have hosted several other critically-acclaimed productions.
Get to the WB Studios via the Pink, 222, or 501 bus. The B Line (Red) subway will also get you there.
Carl selling drugs scene in Shameless
S. Trumbull Ave and Cermak Rd, Chicago IL
Carl is the sibling who is always in trouble and he displays tendencies of being a psychopath quite early. He does have a soft spot for his dad but it wanes as the story progresses.
In Season 5, Carl starts dealing drugs and it isn’t surprising given that he has a dad who says things like “get hard drugs. Make daddy proud.” He even drags Chuckie Slott (Kellen Michael) into it.
When Chuckie is eventually arrested, Sammi Slott (Emily Bergl) isn’t too happy about it and she also has Carl arrested. The ninth episode titled “Carl’s Preliminary Sentencing” features several scenes where Fiona preps Carl for his preliminary sentencing hearing.
Carl refuses to sell out his dealer and ends up getting sentenced to a one-year term at a juvenile correctional facility. S. Trumbull Ave and Cermak Rd, Chicago IL is the location where they filmed the fourth episode scenes where Carl is seen selling drugs.
He isn’t the only Gallagher to end up behind bars, and the scenes where Fiona leaves jail were filmed at 3015 South California Boulevard. Ian and Lip’s jail scenes were filmed at 3303 W. Ogden Ave.
Bus 322 and the BNSF can get you to Cermak Rd. S. Trumbull Ave is about a seven-minute walk away from Cermak Rd.
Ian gets a job at Patsy’s Pie scene in Shameless
Golden House Restaurant & Pancake House
After getting off house arrest, Fiona goes back to working at the Golden House diner which has since been renamed Patsy’s Pie. Dermot Mulroney portrays Sean Pierce, who manages the diner from Season 5 before Fiona takes over the mantle in Season 7.
Sean is big on giving second chances, and he hires several ex-convicts to work at the diner. Alongside Fiona, he also hires Carl, Lip, and Ian to work at the diner at various points.
In the ninth episode, Ian lands a job at Patsy’s as a dishwasher after getting back on his meds. Up until that point, he was in denial about being bipolar reflected by his former words “sometimes we get so wrapped up in getting what we want, that we forget to ask ourselves why we wanted it in the first place.”
Mickey Milkovich (Noel Fisher) convinces him to get back on track, and things start looking up for him again. The Golden House Restaurant & Pancake House located at 4744 N. Broadway St. was the set used to film the Patsy’s Pie scenes.
It’s an old-school classic diner located next to the Riviera Theatre. Bus 225 as well as the A and E trains will get you to the Golden House Restaurant.
Kevin and V check out a daycare scene in Shameless
2030 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles CA
In the second episode of Season 9, Kevin “Kev” Ball (Steve Howey) and Veronica “Vee” Ball (Shanola Hampton) are searching for a preschool for their twins. The two are the Gallaghers’ neighbors who have a passionate and tumultuous relationship.
In fact, Kev’s words best described it when he said “she once tried to beat me to death with a frozen fish because I asked if there was more broccoli.”
The pair share several highs and lows through the series, and their battle conceiving during the third season was one such instance. Her mother even offered to be their surrogate but Vee miraculously gets pregnant.
They learn that she’s expecting triplets, the joy is short-lived after finding out that one isn’t viable. The couple eventually welcomes twin girls, and the ninth season sees them trying to find a perfect and affordable preschool for their daughters.
They checked out a daycare which in real-life is located at 2030 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles CA. Get to the Shameless film set via the Dash or 180 bus.
Frank has some choice words for God scene in Shameless
North Avenue Beach, Chicago IL
The finale episode of the fourth season is hailed as one of the show’s best episodes. Episode 12 tied several story arcs while still also sparking enough chaos to form the premise for Season 5.
Frank, who had a transplant, wakes up hospitalized and in a state of delirium. He finds out that the transplant medication comes with several side effects, and worse still, he can’t drink alcohol.
He eventually escapes the hospital with Carl’s help and the two end up making a pit stop at Lake Michigan. While taking his first drink since the operation, Frank leaves his wheelchair and takes in the scenic view.
That’s when he decides to duke it out with the big man. He shouts at the top of his lungs, “Is that all you got, that’s it? I’m still here you f––er! Frank Gallagher, I’m alive.”
The scene was filmed at North Avenue Beach located at 1601 N Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable. You can also visit the Shameless production location to have a word of your own with the man upstairs. There are designated grilling areas and swimming is allowed when there are lifeguards on duty.
Get to North Avenue Beach via the 36, 73, 151, 22, or 156 bus. The ME train as well as the Chicago ‘L’ Red Line, Brown Line, and Purple Line can also get you to the beach.
Consider adding these Shameless locations to your itinerary the next time you are visiting Chicago or Los Angeles. Some of the other places that were featured on the show include a house on 2113 S Homan Ave which was used to film the Kevin and Veronica house scenes.
Milkovich’s house was located at 1955 S Trumbull Ave, and you’ll find Sheila Jackson’s house at 1937 S Spaulding Ave.