×

Shameless” opens its fifth season on Sunday night around the same time that star William H. Macy could be making a trip to the stage on NBC’s telecast of the Golden Globe Awards.

“Shameless” has been a solid performer for Showtime since its 2011 debut but it hasn’t generated the same level of pop culture sizzle as Showtime’s signature series such as “Dexter” and “Homeland.”

But awards traction for star Macy in the Globes contest and in last year’s Emmy race has helped bring attention to the show, which made an audacious shift of categories from drama to comedy last year in an effort to grab the kudos spotlight. The show has also amped up the plot twists to add urgency for viewers.

Macy said he’s ready for the fans to react to an eventful season. One of the big changes in the storyline about a highly dysfunctional family headed by an inveterate alcoholic is that Macy’s Frank Gallagher has to lay off the liquor in season five.

“I [have] a great storyline this year. It was pretty stunning,” Macy said. “I had a great acting turn. My character’s been drunk for four years, and [this] season, he’s pretty clear-eyed because he can’t drink because of his liver, and it’s a whole different ball game when it comes to acting and I loved it.”

He added, “When I say he was clear-eyed, take that with a grain of salt. I think he probably smokes a little reefer once in a while. But it was a lovely season, and I finish big. I just love what they did. The season before this, I was in bed and dying of liver failure the whole season.”

Macy directed episode seven this season and tells Variety he would like to direct more in the future. He admits that Emmy Rossum’s Fiona has a rough season ahead. Rossum says, “I just want her to get her sh-t together.”

Although his character flirts with sobriety this year, Macy promises there will be plenty of drama for Frank this year.

“The one thing you’ll know about ‘Shameless,’ it’s just like Chicago weather,” Macy says. “It’s going to change so don’t get used to it.”