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About The Middle from ABC.com
Forget about athletes, movie stars and politicians. Parents are the real heroes—but we think Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton), must be some kind of superhero. A loving wife and mother of three, she’s middle class in the middle of the country and is rapidly approaching middle age.Frankie and her husband, Mike (Neil Flynn), have lived in Orson, Indiana, their whole lives. A man of few words (every one a zinger), Mike is a manager at the town quarry and Frankie is the third-best used car salesman (out of the three) at the local dealership. She may not be a high-powered career woman, but when it comes to her family, she’ll go to just about any length. And with kids like these, she had better. There’s Axl (Charlie McDermott), her semi-nudist teenage son conceived while under the influence of Guns N’ Roses; Sue (Eden Sher), the awkward teenage daughter who fails at everything… but with the utmost of gusto; and their seven-year-old son Brick(Atticus Shaffer), whose best friend is his backpack.Sometimes it seems like everyone is trying to get to the top, or struggling not to hit bottom, but we think Frankie and her family will find a lot of love, and a lot of laughs, somewhere in The Middle.
The Middle on ABC
Just last week I was walking around on the set of The Middle (I know, right?). Set decorator, Julie Fanton took us on a tour of the set and it was phenomenal! She may just have the best job ever. I mean, she gets to shop and shop and then shop some more for these great props. Boy, this set has a ton of props. It actually reminded me of my house because there is so much stuff everywhere! Mail on the side table, more papers on the dining room table and that laundry room (gasp!). The laundry room does look worse than mine, though. 😉
Julie said she shops at Kohl’s, Target, and thrift stores to get just the right props for the Heck family. I’d have to agree that it looks exactly like the typical American household, although a little more disorganized for TV.
Before we even stepped foot on the set, we screened the episode that airs tonight, entitled “The Walk,” in which Frankie and Mike discover that they are more fun and charming with other people than with each other, Sue ends up with multiple dates to the prom, and Brick asks Axl to help him prepare an “outside the box” book report. Whew! You’ll definitely want to tune in and see this episode. It is hilarious and this is one time that it pays to have too many dates.
After watching the preview screening we actually sat down with Executive Producers and Show Creators Eileen Heisler (@EileenHeisler) and DeAnne Heline (@DeAnnHeline).
They stated that they are always ahead on the show, try to shoot ahead and not get behind. Both Eileen and DeAnne say they write about a month in advance. As for their process, they sit down with all nine of their writers and decide in detail who they want to focus on and takes 3-5 days to come up with a story and assign to a specific writer who will take those notes and work on a first draft and then bring it back to the other writers and work back and forth with rewrites until they get it the way they want then do a table read with the actors. Whew! You really don’t think about how much goes into making a weekly tv show! Write the draft, then the rewrites, then the read through, then the acting and filming. It feels like an art form.
Eileen and DeAnne talked about the fact that there isn’t much improve, everything is written out to the last “and” and “um.”
We asked if they had any prom horror stories. Only one horror story of going with someone that they didn’t really want to go with but couldn’t come up with an excuse fast enough to say no. We’ve all been there, right? They were also asked if they use any of their personal stories in the show, and of course if it is going on at home it will probably end up on the show one way or another.
Clip of The Middle
Okay, back to the set!! While we’re all [the bloggers] walking around and taking pictures on the set, who walks in? Charlie McDermott “Axl” (@charliemcdrmott) and Neil Flynn “Mike” both showed up to answer some questions and take a few pictures.
They were both so very nice, but what I noticed was that Charlie is a lot quieter than he is as his character, “Axl.” They were both so very nice to talk with us and give us a few minutes of their time. Then Jack McBrayer “Dr. Ted Goodwin” even stopped by, but he was in a hurry and didn’t stay long.
Here’s a picture of all the bloggers with Atticus Shaffer.
Want to see what the set looked like up close?
And finally, I was sitting at the table with Dawn from Blogging Mom of 4, just having a drink and conversation.
The Middle airs on ABC Wednesdays 8|7c
Disclosure: This was included as part of an all expense paid press trip. I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are completely my own.