Showtime may not boast the sexy vampires of HBO or the characters with recognizably human traits of AMC, but it continues to lead the pay-cable pack when it comes to stunt casting: The network has just added Eddie Izzard to The United States Of Tara, giving the occasional transvestite comedian his first U.S. series role since FX’s only-sorta-good The Riches. Izzard will play Tara’s “brilliant psychology professor” who explores her Dissociative Identity Disorder, and who will presumably add the grounding influence of his dry British wit. (Unless they’re forcing him to adopt an awkward American accent again.)

Meanwhile, Deadline also reports that Joan Cusack has joined the cast of Showtime’s upcoming drama series Shameless, playing a key role as “an agoraphobic Chicago housewife with a sexually active teenage daughter.” Somewhere along the way she begins a “special friendship” with star William H. Macy, who plays the blue-collar, alcoholic, womanizing patriarch to a family of “six motley kids.” It’s all based on a U.K. series we haven’t seen, so for now we can only assume that this show will be just like the Kenny Rogers film Six Pack, minus the NASCAR.

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