9 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘The Middle’

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The Middle is arguably one of the most underrated comedies on television. Starring Patricia Heaton, it has been described as a cross between Roseanne and Malcom in the Middle with an average of approximately seven million viewers every week! The Middle has been around for an incredible eight seasons and will be returning for its ninth and final season this fall. Ahead of the last season, here’s a look at 9 things you probably didn’t know about the show!

9. Pilot Episode

The original pilot episode of The Middle had almost an entirely different cast. Back in 2006, ABC shot an unaired pilot with Ricki Lake as lead character Frankie Heck, not Patricia Heaton. There was Brenna O’Brien as Sue Heck, Michael Mitchell as Elvis Heck, and Lex Medlin as Mike Heck. The only actor who wasn’t replaced after that production was Atticus Shaffer who plays the character of Brick Heaton. “We had done the pilot and the strike happened, they held on to my option for another six to eight months, then they revamped it a year later with [Patricia Heaton],” said talk show host Ricki Lake.

Richard Foreman / © ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

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8. Charlie was Cut During First Auditions

As previously mentioned, when ABC first shot the pilot for The Middle, it was entirely different cast. Back then Charlie McDermott auditioned for the role of Axl Heck, the role he’s held for the past nine seasons, but was cut after two auditions. “The [Axl] character was named Elvis back then. I went in and made it two auditions in before I got cut,” said McDermott. Producers instead cast Michael Mitchell who was a more recognizable name from his appearances in Veronica Mars and the series Phil of the Future. When the pilot never went to air and they revamped the cast, Charlie auditioned once again. “It was the exact same audition — except the character name was scratched out. I still had the scenes memorized because I only had two or three lines in the pilot. I went to five auditions over a couple of months and got it.”

Michael Ansell/©ABC/courtesy Everett Collection

Thanks to: TV – Fame10

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