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November 25, 2014

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Outside the Box Interview With 'The Middle' Stars

by Neil Busch, posted Dec 7th 2010 7:30PM
Why do 'The Middle' Outside the Box Interview'The Middle' co-stars Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn always get cast as blue-collar characters? The actors sat down with us to answer that question and more submitted by readers for our Outside the Box interview show.

The two sitcom veterans joked that their limited range and acting abilities have typecast them, with Flynn noting that "no one has ever tried to have me play the rich guy in the mansion on the hill. What dictates it I think is my appearance. You can only play what you look like you're supposed to be."

Heaton wryly added, "I'm limited, I can only play moms.'

Jokes aside, they also talked about how personally close they are to their characters and their surprise at how often topics and scenarios mimic their real-life families.

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'The Middle': Brick's Birthday Story (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Nov 4th 2010 8:26AM
'The Middle': Brick's Birthday StoryOn the new episode of 'The Middle' (Wed., 8PM ET on ABC), youngest child Brick Heck learns the true story of his birth ... on his birthday. The horrifying tale has been kept hidden for many years. But now that Brick (Atticus Shaffer) is turning nine years old, he wants to know what really happened.

[Warning: Spoiler alert.]


Brick's birth involved a slight mishap -- just a minor switcheroo. When Frankie and Mike Heck (Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn) arrived at the hospital, they went to the wrong room. The room really belonged to a "Mrs. Ferguson" -- but it was huge and swanky, and even had a flat-screen TV. Frankie pretended to be Mrs. Ferguson in order to keep the place, saying that she wanted to experience "the horrors of childbirth in luxury" for once.

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'The Middle': Teenage Bad Ideas, Making Out, and Throwing Up (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Oct 28th 2010 11:17AM
'The Middle': Teenage Bad Ideas, Making Out, and Throwing UpOh, to be a teenager again! After all, adolescence is the best time to come up with really bad plans that never work. Generally, these plans involve "hottie" girls. And yeah, these plans always fail. But at least they're entertaining.

[Warning: Spoiler alert.]

On 'The Middle' (Wed., 8PM ET on ABC), it's Halloween time! Which equals girls in skimpy costumes. Teen son Axl Heck (Charlie McDermott) has an idea. He and his pals will take some "hottie" girls to a local haunted house. Once they're inside, the ladies will be so overcome with terror that they'll fall gratefully into the boys arms. Then, kissing will happen.

Of course, there are flaws with this plan. One of them: Even the boys are scared of the haunted house, and no one has made it through "without barfing." And barf doesn't generally lead to romance. But Axl shrugs away his friends' objections: "Think about it! [The girls] throw up all over the place, look to us for comfort. Boom! We're making out with them!" Brilliant! The guys high five, overcome by their own genius.

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'The Middle': Welcome to America! (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Oct 21st 2010 1:14AM
'The Middle': Welcome to America!If what you really want is a pet, then you shouldn't get a human being. Animals are fluffier, after all. Plus, you don't really have to talk to animals so much. It's a win-win all around.

On 'The Middle' (Wed., 8PM ET on ABC), youngest son Brick Heck (Atticus Shaffer) really wants a dog. But his mother Frankie (Patricia Heaton) decides to go in a different direction. She adopts a Japanese exchange student instead.

[Warning: Spoiler alert.]

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'The Middle' -- Dealing With the Terror of Adult Diapers (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Oct 7th 2010 12:40AM
'The Middle' -- Dealing With the Terror of Adult DiapersOne sure sign of impending old age is that you have to get fitted for adult diapers. Though actually, the preferred term for "adult diapers" is "briefs" -- since the word diapers is considered a little, well, babyish. Still, whatever you call them, they can't be that much fun. And on 'The Middle' (Wed., 8PM ET on ABC), Frankie Heck must confront the fact that she is old enough to be a candidate for an "adult incontinence product." Yikes.

[Warning: Spoiler alert.]

Frankie (Patricia Heaton) is lounging around at home, when her daughter Sue (Eden Sher) calls on the phone. Sue is off at a babysitting assignment. However, the parents haven't left her any diapers -- and the baby in question is "double-loaded, " which sounds kind of ominous. Sue needs diapers right away, and so Frankie is pressed into service.

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'Everybody Loves Raymond' Stars Reunite on 'The Middle' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Sep 23rd 2010 12:05AM
'Everybody Loves Raymond' Stars Reunite on 'The Middle'Back when Patricia Heaton and Doris Roberts appeared on 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' the pair's characters had a pretty antagonistic relationship. That pattern continued tonight when Doris guest-starred on the season premiere of 'The Middle' (Wed., 8PM ET on ABC). Roberts plays Ms. Rinsky, the new school teacher who has Brick Heck (Atticus Shaffer) in her class.

[Warning: Spoiler alert.]

Brick is the youngest and most precocious child in the Heck family. And so when his parents Frankie and Mike (played by Heaton and Neil Flynn) show up to talk to Ms. Rinsky, they're understandably hopeful that they can get Brick some "special attention." Ms. Rinsky isn't in the mood to humor them, though, and takes specific aim at Frankie. "Every parent thinks their child is 'special',"she tells Frankie. "[But] they can't all be." Okay, that's actually a good point.

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Patricia Heaton & Neil Flynn Talk 'The Middle,' Competing with 'Modern Family' & More

by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 22nd 2010 9:00AM
Even though they didn't get nominated for an Emmy (and win -- ahem, 'Modern Family') or go on tour all summer (ah, 'Glee'), the cast of 'The Middle' is ready for their second season.

I sat down with stars Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn to hear what they have in store for their little engine that could sophomore show, including an 'Everybody Loves Raymond' blast from the past for Patricia in the season premiere (Wed., Sept. 22, 8PM ET on ABC). They also take stabs at what art-imitating-life stories we might see, including Japanese exchange students and Harlem Globe Trotters.


And when talking about 'Modern Family' -- part of their same ABC comedy block -- and the fact that they've already gotten to do a big Hawaii vacation episode, these comedy pros take it all in stride: "Well, they seem like nice people." Gotta love that attitude.

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Neil Flynn on 'The Middle,' 'Scrubs' and Why He Never Wants His Own Show

by Piet Levy, posted Jun 20th 2010 12:00PM
Neil Flynn"Hey this is Neil," Neil Flynn's answering machine said. "Leave me a message and I'll call you back in two days."

Fortunately for a writer on deadline, this was a lie, and Flynn called back in less than five minutes. It's also a joke, a pretty simple and silly one on paper. But thanks to Flynn's delicious, deadpan delivery, it made me laugh out loud.

Flynn tells a lot of jokes, makes a living of it, as Mike Heck on 'The Middle,' ABC's popular 'Malcolm in the Middle'-esque comedy about a sweet-natured, blue collar family living in small town Indiana that was picked up for a second season. Flynn's character's the quiet patriarch, a blue collar dad who works as a manager of a quarry, and often the straight man to wife Frankie (Patricia Heaton) and three misfit kids. It's a step up to a bigger role for the 49-year-old actor who first found a national audience playing the sarcastic, nameless janitor on 'Scrubs' for eight seasons.

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Betty White Gets Pissed Off on 'The Middle' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted May 19th 2010 11:45PM
Betty White Gets Pissed Off on 'The Middle'Everything's coming up Betty White these days. First, the comedienne got to host 'Saturday Night Live.' And now, she's a guest star on 'The Middle' (Wed., 8:30PM ET on ABC).

[Spoiler alert.]

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Being Social on 'The Middle' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted May 13th 2010 12:10AM
Being Social on 'The Middle'Spring is in the air, and it's time for the annual Heck family BBQ on 'The Middle' (Wed., 8:30PM ET on ABC). This time around, Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) wants her husband Mike (Neil Flynn) to be a little more social and outgoing at the party. But unfortunately, being "social" can sometimes have unintended consequences.

[Spoiler alert.]

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Mother's Day on 'The Middle' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted May 5th 2010 10:45PM
Mother's Day on 'The Middle'How much love is too much love? That's the question facing Frankie (Patricia Heaton) on 'The Middle' (Wed., 8:30PM ET on ABC). Frankie is surrounded by her husband and three kids on Mother's Day -- but their affection seems a little excessive, and also a little annoying.

The kids give her breakfast in bed, presents and Mother's Day cards. Then, one of them manages to spill the breakfast in bed all over Frankie. After that, her husband Mike (Neil Flynn) suggests a mad rush to the drug store to get even more presents. "We got twenty minutes to hit the [store] and get your mom something she'll treasure forever!" he says. It all might be too much love for one woman to handle.

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An Angry Fantasy on 'The Middle' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Apr 29th 2010 12:10AM
An Angry Fantasy on 'The Middle'On 'The Middle' (Wed., 8:30PM ET on ABC), a mother encounters her son's girlfriend, and is less than pleased. Morgan (Alexa Vega) is the on-again, off-again girlfriend of Axl (played by Charlie McDermott). But Axl's mom has a few problems with their relationship. One of these problems is that she can't stand listening to Morgan talk.

Watch the video after the jump.

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Trying to Save Money on 'The Middle' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Apr 15th 2010 12:10AM
Trying to Save Money on 'The Middle'On the latest episode of 'The Middle' (Wed., 8:30PM ET on ABC), the Heck family decides that it's time to economize. So Mike (Neil Flynn) and Frankie (Patricia Heaton) go to see a financial adviser. Granted, the two of them only reach this decision after failing to pay their electric bill and having their power turned off -- but hey, whatever. Got to start economizing sometime.

Watch the video after the jump.

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'The Middle' - 'The Final Four' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 1st 2010 5:50AM
'The Middle'(S01E19) So I asked my wife the equivalent question to what Mike and Frankie spent most of the episode fighting over, and by her answer she sided with Mike ... which makes me incredibly suspicious. I think she's just being nice to me because nothing like that is really happening.

When given an amazing opportunity, Mike was forced to choose between something he really wanted to do and something he probably really should do. It's a much harder decision when the something wanted is an incredibly rare opportunity. It's not like he's being offered an opportunity to be Tiger Woods' next mistress (ba-dump ching!).

Actually, the fighting in the episode left me a little uncomfortable. It was a lot more real than it was funny. While I applaud 'The Middle' for being so authentic in married life with Frankie and Mike, it can make you a little squirmy from time to time.

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'The Middle' - 'The Fun House' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 25th 2010 4:53AM
Amy Sedaris(S01E18) I had no idea Amy Sedaris was going to show up on 'The Middle' this week. They did a pretty good job of keeping her true purpose a secret, too. We got to see two sides of Sedaris in the episode, both of which were a little disconcerting, but awesome at the same time.

While Frankie was dealing with new stresses at work, Mike was finding out that it's not all it's cracked up to be when you're the cool house on the block. It's expensive, a lot of work, and most distressingly, it fills your house with kids you don't know. I have nice stuff in my house. I sure as hell don't want strangers walking in and out of it.

That said, I wouldn't mind stopping by the Heck house for a quick game before we go any further in this.

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