The Middle is an American sitcom about a working-class family living in Indiana and facing the day-to-day struggles of home life, work, and raising children. The show premiered September 30, 2009. on the ABC network. The Middle was created by former Roseanne and Murphy Brown writers Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline of Blackie and Blondie Productions. The show is distributed by Warner Bros. Television Distribution and Blackie and Blondie Productions.
The series features Frances "Frankie" Heck (Patricia Heaton), a working class, middle-aged, Midwestern woman and her husband Mike (Neil Flynn), who reside in the small fictional town of Orson in Southwest Indiana. They are the parents of three children, Axl (Charlie McDermott), Sue (Eden Sher), and Brick (Atticus Shaffer).
The series is narrated by Frankie, initially an under-performing salesperson at a used-car dealership and later a dental assistant. Her stoic husband Mike manages a local quarry and serves as a stabilizing influence in the family. The children are quite different from one another: oldest son Axl, a popular but under-motivated and cynical teenager, does well in sports but not in academics; daughter Sue is an enthusiastic young teen but chronically unsuccessful and socially awkward; and youngest son Brick, an intelligent but introverted compulsive reader with quirky behavioral traits. What is so appealing about this show is it is about real people with real story lines that common people can relate to.
The series was originally developed in the 2006–07 development cycle and was to star Ricki Lake as Frankie. Atticus Shaffer was the only actor to retain his role when the show was re-developed. The series was created by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline and the pilot was directed by Julie Anne Robinson. The series is going to be entering its seventh season this fall. That is an amazing lifespan for a television show, let alone a comedy series...