The MiddleLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 5/30/18 at 2:14PM EDT
The Middle may get an ABC spinoff starring Eden Sher
Sher's Sue Heck character could star in a potential spinoff from The Middle creators. According to Deadline, "The concept for the series is still being honed in, with a couple of other writers from the original series expected to join Heline and Heisler. The project is still in development, with a pilot possibly filming in late October. If picked up to series right away, that would put it in contention for a midseason 2019 launch. ABC also could opt to consider it with the rest of its 2019 pilots for the 2019-20 season."
Posted Thursday 5/24/18 at 4:10AM EDT
The Middle's perfect series finale was rare for a TV show
"Few shows have the chance to go out like The Middle—on their own terms with their ratings still strong, if not spectacular," says Amy Amatangelo. "As Sher said when I interviewed her, since The Middle was never a huge smash hit, the water-cooler show everyone was talking about, it never had the steep decline that befalls so many series. This season has seen the departure of both Scandal and New Girl, but a lot of the appreciations of those shows were about what they once meant to TV. Viewers returned to those series for one last hurrah." ALSO: The ending was absolutely perfect.
Posted Wednesday 5/23/18 at 2:17PM EDT
Roseanne revival finishes its first season with its lowest-rated episode
About 10.3 million tuned in for last night's finale, down from the previous week's 10.7 million. Yet Roseanne was the top show of the night in the demo. The Middle's series finale, meanwhile, attracted 7.1 million viewers.
Posted Tuesday 5/22/18 at 10:30PM EDT
The Middle co-creator: We wanted to go out on top even though we never ran out of stories
"We had a whole board of stories we never got to," Eileen Heisler says of the series finale. "We felt it was a good time to end because we were all still loving it, loving each other, and enjoying ourselves. We never wanted to get to the point where we were retreading old stories, or anyone was feeling restless and wishing they were somewhere else. We wanted to go out while we’re still at the top — (the middle?) — of our game, and to have a year of knowing we were wrapping up so we could write to an ending. We feel very grateful we’ve gotten to do that, and hope we are leaving fans wanting more." ALSO: The Middle was given a dignified send-off.
Posted Tuesday 5/22/18 at 5:47PM EDT
The Middle will cap off nine seasons tonight with a "satisfying" series finale
“The finale really is a very satisfying ending for people who’ve loved the show for all these years. We’re not going to cut to black at the end like The Sopranos," says co-creator Eileen Heisler with a laugh. The Middle premiered one week after Modern Family in 2009, and has always stood in the shadow of its fellow ABC sitcom. “We were always riding their wind,” says Heisler. “Not being as splashy as Modern Family just became part of our narrative. We’re like the kid who is staying up late and the parents don’t know they’re up.” ALSO: Patricia Heaton: ABC wanted to continue The Middle, but we felt nine seasons was enough.
Posted Wednesday 5/09/18 at 1:30PM EDT
With NBC's Abby's pickup, Neil Flynn extends his series regular streak to 17 seasons
Flynn's streak extends from Scrubs to The Middle to the new NBC comedy starring Natalie Morales.
Posted Wednesday 5/02/18 at 10:57PM EDT
The Middle stars prepare to say goodbye after nine seasons
“It’s saying goodbye to an old pal," says Neill Flynn. "The nice green walls of the Heck house … I don’t know if it was always the same, but it was always messy. I guess that’s it. It’s nothing to cry about, right?” He adds: "We’re definitely going to cry.”
Posted Thursday 4/12/18 at 1:02PM EDT
ABC sets season/series finale dates: The Middle gets an hour-long send-off
Roseanne's season finale on May 22 will lead out to The Middle's series finale.
Posted Wednesday 4/11/18 at 5:05AM EDT
Quit making sweeping pronouncements about Roseanne based on a few episodes!
There have been all kinds of sweeping pronouncements about the Roseanne revival -- it's been called pro-Trump, anti-Trump and everything in between. The problem, says Kathryn VanArendonk, is that these arguments hang on a single joke, or episode. "I almost can’t believe I’m going to say this, because I firmly believe that it’s a good and useful thing to consider a single TV episode in a vacuum," she says. "That should be especially true for a sitcom, where episodes are largely stand-alone, and each of them has a cell-like tendency to be representative of the entire DNA of a series. And in many of those responses, especially of the third episode, have been biting, valuable acts of criticism. But in the case of Roseanne, the rush to say that the show is doing or arguing any one particular thing, and the willingness to hang those assertions on a single line in a single episode, is also flattening how we see the show. This is not meant as a defense of Roseanne, but a suggestion that maybe the show’s perceived failures have a lot to do with our incomplete understanding of how a sitcom works."
- Roseanne delivered its best revival episode yet -- but what happened to the politics?
- Lecy Goranson says she isn't a Trump fan, "but does that mean I’m furious about the woman who plays my mother on a TV show? No."
- Roseanne and The Middle are finally together, at least temporarily
- Roseanne is the new Hillbilly Elegy -- one family narrative being made to stand for so much more
- Carrie Fisher, Joss Whedon and Amy Sherman-Palladino all have written for Roseanne
- Roseanne pays tribute to the late Glenn Quinn, who played Becky Conner's boyfriend and, later, husband
Posted Friday 4/06/18 at 10:24PM EDT
It's simply not true that Roseanne is a rare comedy that tackles politics and the working class
ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey, in explaining last week why Roseanne in the wake of Trump's victory, said "we had not been thinking nearly enough about economic diversity and some of the other cultural divisions within our own country.” To which Vox's Caroline Framke and Todd VanDerWerff respond: "This falls in line with how some people, and especially conservatives, have been talking about the Roseanne revival. The way this logic goes, Roseanne is one of the only shows on TV that dares talk about 'economic diversity' and 'cultural divisions,' political correctness or whatever be damned. The weird thing about that line of reasoning, however, is that it’s not true. While Roseanne’s original run was indeed groundbreaking, in the years since, countless politically and socially relevant sitcoms have followed in its footsteps. Many of them are on the air right now; some are even already airing on ABC." In fact, Vox has a list of 11 shows that tackle politics and the working class, from One Day at a Time to The Middle.
- Roseanne isn't the only "real" working class sitcom: What about Mom and Superstore?
- What about black working-class shows?: It's "frankly ludicrous" to say Roseanne represents the working-class voters who elected Trump
- Former Fresh Off the Boat writer Kourtney Kang explains her problem with this week's Roseanne slam
- Why the whole Black-ish-Fresh Off the Boat controversy is dumb: Roseanne is supposed to be a modern Archie Bunker!
- Is Roseanne's gender nonconforming grandson designed to appease "anti-trans feminists"?
Posted Thursday 2/22/18 at 2:24PM EST
The Middle's final script is complete
Co-creator DeAnn Heline posted a pic last night of the final script with the words "END OF SHOW/END OF SEASON END OF SERIES."
Posted Sunday 1/07/18 at 3:33AM EST
Coach star Jerry Van Dyke dies at 86
Van Dyke emerged from his older brother Dick Van Dyke’s shadow to earn four Emmy nominations for his role on the long-running ABC sitcom Coach. “Everybody talks about me making a comeback,” he told Entertainment Tonight in 1990, one year after Coach premiered. “I say: ‘Comeback from what? This is as good as it’s ever been.’” Van Dyke also played his brother’s brother on a two-part episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show. In recent years, Van Dyke appeared on eight episodes of The Middle, playing the father of Patricia Heaton’s character. “I am incredibly sad to hear of Jerry’s passing,” said Coach star Craig T. Nelson. “He was such a brilliant comedian and we had a great time working together on Coach. It is just devastating news.” Heaton tweeted: “Jerry, you were hilarious and terrifically talented - what an honor to be able to watch up close as you and your brother create your special magic.” And The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss noted that he had “the pleasure of working with him on my very first TV show back in ‘93. What a kind man…”
Posted Tuesday 12/05/17 at 9:36PM EST
The Middle hits 200 episodes
“We’ve just been the little engine that could,” Patricia Heaton says on the occasion of tonight’s milestone. “We just kept chugging along, and then they started using us to launch new shows, and it became this great thing.” ALSO: Revisiting The Middle’s pilot.
Posted Tuesday 11/14/17 at 10:11PM EST
The Middle’s Eden Sher wishes the show would at least acknowledge real-world politics
“We’re in a unique position of being this one show that really appeals to everyone regardless of your political beliefs,” says Sher. “I think it would’ve been good, at least in a subtle way, to hint at some kind of political change. A way to make some kind of statement of, ‘We don’t think this. We don’t think that.’ A simple way to get through to people.” But she adds that The Middle “exists in its own world and you can’t look at it as a reflection on the actual issues that are happening…I have to accept that The Middle is a different beast.”
Posted Friday 11/03/17 at 6:18PM EDT
The Middle’s final season expanded by two episodes
The ABC comedy will get to say goodbye over 24 episodes instead of 22 this season.