Wells' company has been working on an American version of the drama -- about the alcoholic patriarch of a large, working-class family -- on and off for close to four years. The project is now moving forward with the help of HBO, the showbiz trade papers report.
Warner Bros. TV, where John Wells Productions is based, is also involved, as is Paul Abbott, creator of the British series.
"Shameless," which premiered in 2004, has won BAFTA and Royal Television Society awards for best TV drama -- and also been nominated for a British Comedy Award, which may speak to why it's been tough to get a workable American version of the show up and running. Woody Harrelson was rumored to be attached to a version of the show at NBC a few years back, but that never got off the ground. (The British show has aired on BBC America and the Sundance Channel in the United States.)
Wells and Abbott, whose credits also include "State of Play" and "Touching Evil," are working on the script together, the trades say. There's no word yet on any potential casting.