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August 30, 2014

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Patricia Heaton on Spending Mother's Day in 'The Middle'

by Joel Keller, posted May 5th 2010 9:01AM
Patricia Heaton in 'The Middle' - 'Mother's Day'As the first season of ABC's Wednesday comedy 'The Middle' comes to a close, viewers are starting to catch on to the show's easygoing comedy and family-friendly vibe. Much of that vibe has to do with the show's star, Patricia Heaton.

As the harried but loving Indiana mom Frankie Heck, Heaton has reminded audiences that a show can be funny without being mean. At the same time, she's broken away from the image people had of her for nine years, as high-strung Long Island housewife Debra Barone on 'Everybody Loves Raymond.'

Heaton spoke with me last week about how the first season has gone, how the word "security" doesn't exist in show biz and about the Japanese exchange student that came to live with her family. She also talked about the latest episode, 'Mother's Day,' and what it's like to work with Marsha Mason, who guests as Frankie's mother in the episode.

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ABC Has Plans for 'Old Christine' ... Maybe 'Ghost Whisperer,' Too

by Allison Waldman, posted May 3rd 2010 12:03PM
cbs_the_new_adventures_of_old_christine_julia_louis_dreyfusFor the past two years, ABC has expressed interest in picking up 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' if CBS decided to drop it. This year is no different. According to Deadline.com, if CBS cancels 'The New Adventures of Old Christine,' ABC will snap it up. The network even has a plan for where to program the Julia Louis Dreyfus sitcom. It'll be paired with Patricia Heaton's 'The Middle,' leading in to 'Modern Family' and 'Cougar Town.'

That would make for a very solid night of comedy, likely Wednesday again, which is what worked so well this season for ABC -- with the exception of Kelsey Grammer's woeful 'Hank,' which was mercifully axed by ABC last November.

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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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Amy Sedaris on 'The Middle': 'Move Some Metal!' (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Mar 25th 2010 1:30AM
The Middle, Amy SedarisAmy Sedaris guest-starred as a motivational consultant on 'The Middle' (Wed., 8:30PM ET on ABC), but came off as more of a drill sergeant when she told Frankie to "get your feet off that desk and move some metal!"

Someone's going to be fired, and it's probably going to be either Frankie or Bob, since Pete's the top seller. And Bob sleeping with the consultant may not help his case at all. How about just fire the consultant and keep all the sales people? Just sayin'...

Watch the video after the jump.

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Betty White News of the Day: She's Going to Be on 'The Middle'

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 12th 2010 4:03PM
Betty WhiteIt seems like there's a new piece of Betty White news every day, doesn't it? Either someone has created a Facebook page to get White to host 'Saturday Night Live' or she's in a Super Bowl commercial or has actually signed a deal to host 'Saturday Night Live.' That's not a bad thing at all. I'd rather see daily news about White than about what celebrity is going to be on 'Dancing with the Stars' or which actor is sleeping with which actress.

Here's the latest from everyone's favorite veteran TV star: she's going to guest star on an upcoming episode of ABC's 'The Middle.'

White will guest star on my favorite ABC comedy as a librarian who goes after Brick because he has a lot of overdue library books. I assume she'll butt heads with Frankie or Mike too. This episode will be the season finale of the show (it has been renewed for a second season).

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'The Middle' - 'The Bee' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 4th 2010 2:30AM
Eden Sher, 'The Middle'(S01E16) The Hecks went on their first road trip, as we found out something that Brick is really good at, and something that happens more often than families would like to admit. I've had my birthday forgotten more than once by my busy family, and it made me feel about as small as Sue did.

However, I was never given the level of power Frankie gave her over the family trip to Chicago. Guilt is certainly a powerful agent in making potentially poor decisions.

As for Brick, it shouldn't come as a real surprise that he's a great speller. With his nose constantly in books his parents probably couldn't even read, how could he not be?

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'The Middle' - 'Valentine's Day' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 11th 2010 2:42AM
Patricia Heaton & Neil Flynn, 'The Middle'(S01E15) Parents can certainly relate to Mike and Frankie simply wanting to have a night to themselves on Valentine's Day for the first time in 16 years. And too many of them can also relate to that simply never working out the way you expect it to.

This episode did throw a little surprise for us, showing all three children hanging out with friends, and at least two of them doing so in a way that proves they're growing up, which wasn't such great news for Mike when it came to Sue. Brick, on the other hand, actually found a kid who may be even weirder than he is.

Sue was out again with Carly, whom we first met in 'The Neighbor' when she tried to have a choreographed fight alongside Sue, but we met Brick's strange new friend, and two of Axl's buddies. All three are characters I wouldn't mind seeing again.

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Review: 'The Middle' - 'The Yelling'

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 4th 2010 2:45AM
Patricia Heaton, Chris Kattan - 'The Middle'(S01E14) I kind of like the relationship developing between Bob and Mike. When Mike threw him out of the house a few weeks back, I was actually a bit taken aback. Sure, Bob's a bit -- okay, a lot awkward, but he has a good heart and he's a decent guy. And he's good friends with Frankie.

It's made the writing seem a little uneven, as there are times Mike hasn't seemed nearly as bothered by Bob as he was that day. This week, we found out for certain why Mike gets annoyed by Bob. In fact, I'll take it one step further and say that we were right there with him. Good lord, how does Frankie even handle him? Oh, that's right. She's so fixated on her own messed up life, she hardly pays any attention to him. Mike should try that.

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Review: The Middle - The Interview

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 14th 2010 1:46PM
The Middle
(S01E13)
It looks like the dinosaurs are going to play havoc with the Heck way of life for the next four months. It gave us a brilliant opportunity to look at the current state of the job market. When Mike was laid off after his discovery of a dinosaur bone at the quarry led to a shut down while the rest of it was dug up, he found himself unemployed and looking for work alongside Axl.

The job search process has changed a lot since Mike was out there, and probably for a lot of Americans who are finding themselves looking now. The interview process has changed as well. I can say from first-hand experience that some of those goofy questions Mike was facing are really out there, and it really is a dancing game to figure out what the recruiter wants to hear, because it's almost never the truth.

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Review: The Middle - The Neighbor

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 7th 2010 12:38PM
Brooke Shields, The Middle: The Neighbor(S01E12) It's a good thing The Middle had another episode air tonight, as something went wrong in the writing room when they tried to figure out how to work guest star Brooke Shields into the Hecks' life. Not only was it an abrupt intrusion of what we'd come to understand about the family and their neighborhood, it was a departure from the sense of realism the show had won me over with.

Slightly over the top for comedic effect is one thing, but things were taken to the point of absurdism by the time we were done learning about neighbor Rita Glossner (Shields) and her four hellacious children. It's as if the writers came up with an intriguing concept of what to do with Shields, and then weren't really sure how to write for it.

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Review: The Middle - The Jeans

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 7th 2010 11:20AM
The Middle: The Jeans
(S01E11)
Oh good lord, the kids and their need to fit in. As a parent to someone who's not a teenager, this show is starting to make me think I might need to sell him off to foreign interests sooner rather than later. Maybe that's because mine already acts more like Brick than I'd care to imagine, and I can only imagine how much of a handful he'll turn out to be.

Mike and Frankie already seem overwhelmed by Axl and Sue. It was a refreshing, if nefarious, change to see Axl dressed, smiling and helpful. But like his parents, I was a little too slow on the draw to see what he was truly up to. As for Sue, well her scenario was far more classic teenager.

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The Twelve Days of Festivus: Eight stars a shinin'

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 16th 2009 10:02AM
jane_lynch_gleeOn the eighth day of Festivus, TV gave to me ... eight stars a shinin'!

There are a lot more than eight wonderful stars shining in the TV pantheon for 2009, but these eight are a remarkable bunch who have been exemplary this past year. They've left us with memories that'll last long after this Festivus has ended. So, in no special order, here are the eight stars a shining from the year gone by.

1. Jane Lynch. If the Emmy doesn't already have Jane Lynch's name engraved in a statuette for Glee, it will by the time the awards are handed out. Lynch has been the perfect villain, the villain you love to hate. But if she were just a one-note nasty, it wouldn't work. Lynch has shown the other side of Sue Sylvester. Her "swing" date showed Sue in love, and her visit to her sister Jean was a soft earthquake emotion. Jane delivers week in and week out. Her star is glowing.

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