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Malcolm in the Middle aired from January 2000 until August 2006 on FOX.
Television's first hit sitcom of the 21st Century, Malcolm in the Middle told the story of a young boy and his dysfunctional family.
In the premiere episode of this family sitcom, 11-year-old Malcolm ( Frankie Muniz)scored 165 on an IQ test and, despite his objections was put in a program for gifted children at school. His parents were thrilled but Malcolm, who just wanted to be one of the guys, didn't want to be stigmatized as a nerd. Lois ( Jane Kaczmarek), his mom, one of the loudest, strictest and most exasperated moms in TV history, reveled in exacting punishment on her squabbling sons.. Outspoken and independent , she worked at a local Lucky Alde supermarket, where fellow worker Craig ( david Anthony Higgins)had the hots for her, even though he knew she was married. Hal ( Bryan Cranston), Malcolm's bumbling, ineffectual dad, meant well but never seemed to get anthing right. Hal was subservient to his overbearing wife, but they did have a great sex life.He had a job, though what it was was never mentioned. Malcolm had three brothers. Francis ( Christopher Kennedy Masterson), the oldest had been sent away to Marlin Academy, a military school in Alabama, after destroying the family car.Reese ( Justin Berfield) was a lazy scam artist who was always getting into trouble and fought constantly with Malcolm, while wide-eyed younger brother Dewey ( Erik Per Sullivan) was the quietest of the bunch. Malcolm's best friend, asthmatic, wheel-chair- bound Stevie ( Craig Lamar Taylor)was in the gifted program as were Lloyd and Dabney ( Evan Matthew Cohen, Kyle Sullivan).
Malcolm provided an overview of what was going on, frequently talking directly to the viewing audience, and most episodes alternated between what was going on at home and what was happening to Francis, wherever he was. In the fall of 2000 he found a lawyer who got him legally emancipated so he could drop out of military school and get a job in Alaska.He thought his friend Eric(Eric Nenninger) had a logging job for him but, when he got there, Francis was relegated to being a busboy at a restaurant run by tough Lavernia ( Brenda Wehle). While in Alaska Francis married Piama ( Emy Coligado), a no-nonsense Native American, and, after the restaurant went out of business, they took a cross-country trip in search of their fortune.
At the start of the 2002-2003 season Malcolm started high school and was determined to cast off the nerdy curse, but with little success.Francis secured the unlikely job as foreman for a dude ranch owned by Otto and Gretchen ( Kenneth Mars, Meagan Fay). Otto a cheery ingenuous German knew even less about horses and running a ranch than he did. To keep busy, Piama got a job at an art gallery. In February, Lois announced that she was pregnant, which both thrilled and terrified Hal. in May she gave birth to another boy, Jaime ( James & Lukas Rodriguez).
In the fall of 2003 Francis was falling behind in his duties at the Grotto dude ranch and realized Otto wasn't as big a pushover as he thought. Stevie's parents had gotten divorced and his father, Abe ( Gary Anthony Williams) spent some time commiserating with Hal. After Thanksgiving Malcolm went to work part-time at the Lucy Aide loading dock. In the spring Hal was falsely charged in a crime involving his company and Lois got fired at Lucky Aide for giving a customer $2,ooo change for a $20 bill-but she got her job back.Malcolm was able to establish Hal's innocence -he pointed out that all the criminal activities had taken place on Fridays and Hal hadn't worked on a single Friday in more than 15 years. Meanwhile, Reese left home to join the army and was sent to Afghanastan. When he realized he couldn't cope, reese deserted. Lois traveled to Kabul to find him and bring him home.
During the last two seasons Francis only appeared occasionally, initially to let his parents know he had been fired from the dude ranch. Unlike previous seasons, there were no scenes with him at work in other places. In November, after several months out of work, Hal got a job with a new company working in "Systems Management." When Los' nasty mother, Ida ( Cloris Leachman)came to visit in March she lost a leg while saving Dewey from a moving truck and spent several weeks with them convalescing. Francis, who was home at the time, had to take care of his cranky, stubburn grandmother.
At the beginning of the 2005-2006 season Lois was upset with Reese because he was not trying to find a job and Francis was contemplating trying to find a real job and start a career. In January Reese ran away to Las Vegas to wed immigrant Raduca ( Rheagan Wallace), who only married him because he could help her get a work permit. When they came back they moved into the family's garage, but they broke up shortly thereafter. In the series finale, Malcolm gave the valedictorian address to his graduating class and headed off to Harvard; Reese got a job as assistant janitor at the high school; Francis finally found a job he liked, doing data entry for a big company; and Lois found out she was pregnant again.
1. Malcolm in the middle is based in california
2. The creator of Malcolm in the middle is Linwood Boomer who grew up in vancouver, Canada
3. Malcolm's last name is Wilkerson. His last name is never mentioned on the show though.
4. Malcolm is not really in the middle of his family, he's the second youngest of four!
5. Malcolm's real name is Frankie Muniz or Francisco Muniz IV
6. Malcolm has a cat named Pumpkin, and a puppy named cadillac. HE is also in charitys for abused animals!
7. Frankie is a big fan of the NBA (especially the "LA CLIPPERS") and he is said a very good player
8. when Frankie was in the 1st grade, he was actually doing 4th grade work! but he claims "I am not a genius though" and "I am smart but not as smart as my charater Malcolm"
9. Frankies b-day is December 5, 1985.
10. justins b-day is February 25,1986
# Frankie's Hobbies include: Golf (he's been playing since he was five), baseball, skateboarding, and shooting hoops with friends.
# Frankie's fav Musical Instruments: The drums.
# Frankie's Favorite Meal: Hamburgers and French fries (Frankie swears he chows down on fast food five days a week!).
# Frankie and Justin are both involved in charitys such, as the ronald mcdonald and The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
# Frankie's favorite old shows are I love Lucy, and Chips
# Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes are going to be in a upcoming movie "pay or play"
# There is talk that Frankie Muniz will star in the "Malcolm in the Middle" movie coming out in 2002.
# Justin Berfield will be in the upcoming movies "Who's Your Daddy" and "Keeble." "Who's Your Daddy" has an "American Pie" feel to it.
# Frankie Muniz has a Rat named Mouser!
# Christopher Kennedy Masterson's birthday is the 21/1/80
A Review from Variety
Posted: Wed., Jan. 5, 2000, 11:00pm PT
Malcolm in the Middle
(Family Sitcom -- Fox; Sun. Jan.9, 8:30 p.m.)
By Ramin Zahed
Produced by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp, Regency Entertainment and Monarchy B.V.; exec producer, Linwood Boomer; producer, Gordon Wolf; associate producers, Toti Levine, Robb Idels; director, Todd Hollanda; writer, Linwood Boomer.
Lois - Jane Kaczmarek Hal - Bryan Cranston Francis - Christopher Kennedy Masterson Rees - Justin Berfield Dewey - Erik Per Sullivan Caroline - Catherine Lloyd Burns Malcolm - Frankie Muniz With Craig Lamar Traylor, Vincent Berry, Martin Spanjers, Landry Allbright, Dylan Kasch, Austin Stout.
Imagine if "The Simpsons" were a live-action family, and their son had an I.Q. of 165. The result would be Fox Network's wonderfully irreverent, fresh Valentine to dysfunctional clans everywhere, "Malcolm in the Middle." Paired wisely with the veteran toon "Simpsons" on Sunday nights, Linwood Boomer's creation can also make a suitable partner with the network's other good-natured chronicler of youth angst, "That '70s Show."
The pilot episode plunges viewers straight into Malcolm's world, a surreal place where Dad (Bryan Cranston) gets his back shaved naked in the middle of the living room, and Mom (Jane Kaczmarek) is so frazzled with juggling her duties that she answers the door topless. In the pilot, young Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) discovers that he's smarter than the rest of the oddball characters in his class and is sent to a special school for gifted students.
Although Malcolm has the annoying habit of talking to the camera -- there should be a ban on the most overused cliche of this TV season -- his trials and tribulations, which include dodging bullies at school and avoiding the slings and arrows of his older brother, are a hoot to watch. Tyke thesp Muniz has an appealing quality and he's able to project intelligence without looking like your stereotypical egghead.
Also very strong in the pilot and the two following episodes are Malcolm's parents. Jane Kaczmarek and Bryan Cranston, familiar faces as guest spots in primetime shows, finally get a chance to exercise their comic skills. Kaczmarek, in particular, is able to bring a sweet poignancy in a scene where she explains to Malcolm that he should value his gifts because "life doesn't give you a lot of chances to move up in the world." Of course, this is the same politically incorrect woman who says, "You're going to be friends with that cripple boy, and you're gonna like it!"
As Dewey, the adorable youngest kid in the family, Erik Per Sullivan is another cast standout. Whether he's asking naive questions like "Mom, is Malcolm a robot?" or just being tormented by his older brothers, his gentle presence is the perfect antidote to the household mayhem.
One reason that viewers may get attached to this family is the undercurrent of love and gentle support that runs through the show. Like its counterparts in "The Simpsons" and the tortured souls on NBC's "Freaks and Geeks," the show is not afraid to stop the madness every once in a while to show a sentimental side.
Also noteworthy is the sitcom's offbeat visual look: the camera whiplashes from one scene to the next, and there are frequent wide-angle and extreme close-up shots, a throwback to the wacky days of "Parker Lewis Can't Lose." Popular alternative band They Might Be Giants provides the show's catchy theme song, which features the immortal lines, "You're not the boss of me now," and "You're not so big ... life is unfair" -- a sentiment shared by Malcolm, and all the underdog heroes of the world, who never get the chance to talk to the camera.
Director of photography, Victor Hammer; production designer, Donald Lee Harris; editor, Nancy Morrison; theme and score by They Might Be Giants; music supervisor, Julie Glaze Houlihan; costume designer, Heidi Kaczenski; art director, Beala B. Neel; casting, Mary V. Buck, C.S.A and Susan Edelman, C.S.A. 30 MINS.
A REview of Malcolm in the Middle
Malcolm in the Middle: The Kid Is All Right
Malcolm in the Middle
FOX, Sundays, 8:30 to 9 p.m. ET
By Christine Champagne
"You want to know what the best thing about childhood is? At some point, it stops."
That bit of wisdom is shared by Malcolm, the central figure of Fox's new series, Malcolm in the Middle, in the show's pilot. And while I understand the kid's desire to be an adult, I'm hoping Malcolm will never grow up. It's too much fun watching this boy trying to survive the rigors of being a kid.
As the show opens, we're introduced to Malcolm (whose age is not revealed, but he looks to be 11 or so) and his family, which includes his mom, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), and dad, Hal (Bryan Cranston); his older brother, Francis (Christopher Kennedy Masterson, real-life brother of That '70s Show's Danny Masterson); another older brother, Reese (Justin Berfield); and the baby of the bunch, the adorable Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan).
They're an odd bunch. As the boys eat breakfast, their naked and extremely hairy father stands next to the kitchen table reading a newspaper while mom shaves him.
Another scene finds mom running around the house topless, trying to get ready for work and see that her kids have something to eat for lunch. When the doorbell rings, mom opens it and gives one of Malcolm's teachers an eyeful.
Sounds like an awful lot of nudity. But rest assured that we really don't see anything, and mom and dad are by no means exhibitionists.
In fact, aside from a few eccentricities, Lois and Hal are not that different from other parents. Like many, it's obvious judging by their messy house and unmowed lawn that they have a tough time balancing work with raising their boys and keeping up a home.
But they love their sons. Especially Malcolm.
It's hard to resist Malcolm. He is a refreshingly regular kid. He is embarrassed to hold his little brother Dewey's hand when he walks him to school. He lives in fear of the school bully, Dave Spath (Vincent Berry). And he is mortified when his mother arranges a play date for him and Stevie (Craig Lamar Traylor), a wheelchair-bound kid who wears thick glasses and has trouble catching his breath.
Malcolm is also a bright kid. And when the school determines that the boy is a genius (with an IQ of 165), he is placed in a special class for advanced students.
The boy is mortified. In the advanced class, Malcolm is stuck with the geekiest of the geeks, including Stevie. And being gifted gives the school bully all the more reason to pick on him.
You can't help but feel for Malcolm. I found myself wishing he could team up with the geeks from NBC's Freaks and Geeks to fight off Spath during one lunchtime showdown. But, thankfully, a surprising ally comes to Malcolm's aid.
Malcolm in the Middle is no Leave It to Beaver. But it's no Get Real either. Rather, it's a realistic kid-centered series that adults will likely enjoy more than the young 'uns.
One thing's for sure: Watching Malcolm in the Middle will make you glad that your childhood is over.
An Article from The New York Times
The 'Malcolm' Sensibility; New Sitcom's Early Success May Spawn Host of Imitators
By BERNARD WEINRAUB
Published: January 24, 2000
Only a few months ago, the situation comedy was a fading genre on television. Television executives groaned about low ratings, derivative shows, lazy comedy writing, the rise of hipper cable-channel programs and the same old tired format set in an apartment or workplace.
Then came ''Malcolm in the Middle.''
A surprise success in its first two weeks, the new half-hour Fox comedy, about a dizzy family whose middle son is a genius, has not only resuscitated the troubled network but revived hopes for the genre. It was almost as if the coffin was being lowered when someone noticed the corpse was breathing.
''Malcolm in the Middle,'' which has received the best reviews of any comedy in years, has tied for No. 2, after ''E.R.,'' among viewers in the 18-to-49 age group coveted by networks and advertisers. In its first week, ''Malcolm'' was seen by 22.4 million viewers over all. In its second week, the show's audience increased to 23.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched comedy on television.
Whether ''Malcolm in the Middle'' actually restores the status of sitcoms -- like ABC's ''Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'' did for game shows -- or merely results in poor imitations, will not be known for a while. But the impact on the networks has been swift.
''One thing you can be certain of is that every comedy pitch will include the pitch, 'a ''Malcolm in the Middle' kind of sensibility,'' said David Kissinger, president of Studios USA Television, an arm of USA Networks. ''I've already begun to hear that.''
The show is unusual in several ways. For one thing, it is more expensive than other sitcoms. It costs almost $1.2 million for each episode, in contrast to the traditional sitcom, which in its first year may cost $800,000 to $900,000 an episode. That's because ''Malcolm'' is not made on a stage, with three or four cameras, before a studio audience whose laughter is often heightened by a laugh track. This process goes back to ''I Love Lucy,'' first broadcast in 1951.
Instead ''Malcolm'' is made like a movie, with a single camera, on an indoor set as well as outdoors, without an audience or a laugh track. Another show using the same technique is HBO's ''Sex and the City.'' This single-camera method, rarely used on sitcoms, gives the show a far more realistic look.
An Article about Malcolm in the Middle
In the Middle of Things
Malcolm in the Middle
Fox, Sundays, 8:30 to 9 p.m. ET
By Jenny Higgons
When it comes to reaching great heights in this life, Malcolm in the Middle's Frankie Muniz doesn't hold out much hope for himself. "My dad's 5-foot-7 and my mom's 5-foot-3," says the 5-foot-1 15-year-old, whose upward expansion is increasingly becoming the focus of interest. "I don't think I'm going to grow that much more. I wish I could be at least 6 feet, but I know that's out of the picture."
Muniz has sprouted quite a few inches since the Fox show's January 2000 debut, and that's not his only ongoing transformation: His voice is changing as well. "We finish editing a show about five weeks after shooting it," explains Malcolm creator/executive producer Linwood Boomer, "and when Frankie comes in to [rerecord parts of his voice track], we have to electronically tweak his voice to get it back to where it was [a few] weeks ago."
Offbeat and free of canned laughter, Malcolm follows the unconventional and dysfunctional Wilkerson family: parents Hal and Lois (Bryan Cranston and Jane Kaczmarek) and their kids, Francis (Christopher Kennedy Masterson), Reese (Justin Berfield), Malcolm (Muniz) and Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan). Hailed by critics and viewers alike, the show has been nominated for five Emmys (with two wins, for writing and directing) and three Golden Globes. One of the Globe nominations was to Muniz for Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy Series. "I don't know what they were thinking," Muniz says with a laugh.
Muniz, who divides his time between L.A. and his home in New Jersey, says his Malcolm fame is "awesome but a little weird. Everywhere I go people always ask me for pictures and an autograph, which I love. But a lot of times my mom will ask me if I want to go with her to the store. If don't feel like being in a crowd, I just stay home. But a lot of times I want to go out, because it really shows me how many people are watching the show."
Muniz, who grew up in North Carolina and New Jersey, started his career at age 8 in local theater, performing in such classics as A Christmas Carol, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz and Our Town. "I actually got asked to do Broadway a couple of years ago," he says, "but I wanted to do TV and movies first because you get to do something different every day. It's not just the same run for eight shows a week for four months." Muniz's pre-Malcolm resume includes a Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie and the starring role in the popular feature My Dog Skip. He's made four films since Malcolm started, including the upcoming Martin Scorsese-directed Deuces Wild.
Because of Muniz's unusual lifestyle, he's been home-schooled for several years. Now that he's in the ninth grade, does he regret not attending a regular high school? "I only miss being on the basketball team," he says, adding, "I'm the only kid at the Sherman Oaks [CA] park who the adults a lot who don't know me from the show let play with them because I'm pretty decent. I'm fast, a good three-point shooter, and I can get around everyone for the layups."
Though Muniz isn't too far from adulthood, he doesn't want people to start calling him the more mature-sounding "Frank." Muniz, born Francisco James Muniz IV, asserts, "I like 'Frankie.' 'Frank' makes me sound so old. I think I'll always want to be called Frankie." He then stops to reconsider. "But maybe in a couple of years I'll change that. I'll wait and see."
An Article from The New York daily News
PLAYING TO THE 'MIDDLE'
BY RICHARD HUFF DAILY NEWS TV EDITOR
Tuesday, November 13, 2001
Fox executives are handing off the primo slot after February's Super Bowl telecast to "Malcolm in the Middle."
In doing so, network programmers are putting the critically acclaimed sitcom into the highest- profile position on any network's annual schedule.
"It's a wonderful show," said Fox entertainment president Gail Berman. "We wanted to do a one-hour show after the Super Bowl and we wanted to a comedy. We felt this was a perfect family hour post-Super Bowl."
Berman said the producers of "Malcolm in the Middle" had a concept ready that would fit the hour format.
"We felt it was extremely compatible with the football audience," she said. "It was really no more complex than that."
By airing after the game, usually seen (at least in part) by more than 100 million people, "Malcolm in the Middle" will likely be exposed to an exponentially larger viewership.
"It makes sense," said Steve Sternberg, a senior vice president with ad-buyer Magna Global. "Fox doesn't have any new shows that they really want to promote."
The Emmy-nominated show is a family comedy built around teenager Frankie Muniz in the title role. The show airs Sundays at 8:30 p.m. and has been a hit with the 18-49-year-old crowd advertisers covet.
"Fox really wants to make ["Malcolm in the Middle"] their foundation show on Sunday," Sternberg said.
The time slot following the Super Bowl has been home to some of the biggest booms and busts in television history.
Since 1979, it has typically been used to launch new shows or to air special episodes of existing series. The slot can also serve as a giant morale boost for those working on a show selected to air after the game.
For example, in 1996, NBC generated a large audience with a one-hour episode of "Friends" in the slot.
But, so far, only three new shows have come off of the post-Super Bowl slot and gone on to be successful. The first was the 1983 launch of "The A-Team" on NBC. In 1988, ABC launched "The Wonder Years" and in 1993, NBC aired "Homicide: Life on the Street."
Another key broadcast was in 1992, when CBS aired an abbreviated edition of "60 Minutes" after the game that included the highly anticipated interview of then-presidential hopeful Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, done to refute Gennifer Flowers' claims about his infidelity during the run-up to the New Hampshire primary.
One of the more notable post-Super Bowl flops occurred in 1990, when CBS aired "Grand Slam," a comedy starring Paul Rodriguez and John Schneider, which lasted about two months.
" 'Malcolm in the Middle' gets a fairly broad audience," Sternberg said. "I think the audience is there [after the game]. I think it's a good move to put the show after the Super Bowl."
An Article from The New York Times
Don't Wanna Grow Up Cuz Puberty Isn't Funny; Series Like 'Malcolm in the Middle' Confront the Reality of an Actor's Adolescence
By NED MARTEL
Published: July 28, 2003
No matter how many laughs a television show can squeeze from an impish boy, cracking wise and bugging out his eyes at various oppressors, a sudden end to the laughter looms. The comedy often stops when puberty starts.
Boys becoming men tend not to play so well on camera. Fox's Sunday night hit ''Malcolm in the Middle'' is the latest series to confront the reality of a star hitting adolescence, with all its attendant restructuring of face and physique and vocal cords. ''Frankie Muniz's voice changed, and we went through that thing of 'Well, now what do we do?' '' recalled Linwood Boomer, the show's creator.
The problem is persistent, with so many sitcoms and dramas based on a nuclear family with a precocious boy as a necessary ingredient. Still, the marketing impulse is clear: the kid should stay in the picture.
Like ''Family Matters'' and ''The Wonder Years'' before it, ''Malcolm in the Middle''is a valuable franchise, unsettled by a star's surging hormones. Networks spend tens of millions to produce and promote such series. When one has received as much help from critics and award shows and post-Super Bowl placement as ''Malcolm,'' Fox naturally hopes for something closer to the status quo ante than nature allows.
In this case Mr. Boomer instead chose to take a hard look at Malcolm's adolescence. That and a later time slot meant a 19 percent decline in the key demographic of viewers 18 to 49 in its fourth season's ratings. Mr. Muniz begins the fifth season as a 17-year-old playing a 14-year-old, and while the cast is young looking, the show couldn't keep masking the mounting evidence of Malcolm's actual age and those of the three actors who play his brothers.
On the set Mr. Muniz had sipped water with lemon to prevent voice cracks when they first were heard, but now the show has adjusted to his advancing age. ''We kind of felt like no one is going to buy us artificially trying to pretend these kids are younger than they are,'' Mr. Boomer said.
The problem is gender-specific. Girls generally grow up on camera without losing the audience. This summer magazines have even included them in photo shoots in spaghetti straps and feathered mules at very early ages.
Boys, however, get roped off from view, as if behind scaffolding while under construction. Those actors who have had success as child stars and later as teenagers have had the blessing of good looks on both sides of the process. But even Ron Howard went into a little dormancy before adorable Opie could re-emerge as handsome Richie Cunningham.
Cody McMains, who played the kid brother in the film ''Bring It On'' (2000), went through a hormone-induced extreme makeover. ''He's a completely different person,'' said Joseph Middleton, a Los Angeles casting director. But sometimes the change is good for the actor, if not a specific project; Jerry O'Connell, the chubby boy of the film ''Stand By Me'' (1986), is now the trim heartthrob on NBC's ''Crossing Jordan.''
Mr. Middleton reminds directors that kids on the cusp of adolescence can change drastically at any point, with varying degrees of recognizability. Reshoots are not uncommon six months after principal filming. Not every acting family is like the Culkins, who seem to have another little jaunty blond boy always at the ready, like Russian nesting dolls: whenever one grows too big for a certain role, his younger brother gets hired for it.
The cautionary tale among casting directors is that of Jared Rushton, the boy in the film ''Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,'' who did just the opposite of what the title suggests. ''He grew like six inches and his voice dropped an octave during the shooting,'' Mr. Middleton said. ''In my circles it was like, 'Oh, what a nightmare!' ''
In earlier decades producers sought actors who were older than they looked. Gary Coleman of ''Diff'rent Strokes'' and Emmanuel Lewis of ''Webster'' had conditions that made them develop more slowly than their peers. Today casting directors rarely consider what a child actor will look like several seasons out since it's difficult enough just to get picked up for a full 20-odd episodes, much less renewed for another year.
Only one show has succeeded in keeping a kid in the lead for a decade: ''The Simpsons'' with the animated Bart Simpson. Watching Bart never mature is considered a key to its enduring appeal. ''Early on, I know that the powers that be decided that no one would age,'' said Tim Long, the show's current head writer. ''A kid with a starter 'stache, that would just be unpleasant,'' he added. ''You don't worry about his future because in a way he has none.''
That is perhaps why Mr. Boomer's decision to let Malcolm grow up is nearly as brave as J. K. Rowling's choice to let Harry Potter grow up despite fears that the magic would be gone. Instead the two characters have opened a discussion of teenage moodiness and frustrations. The trouble starts with standard teenage-boy gripes about the injustice of parents and the fickle attention of girls. ''A 9-year-old boy yelling how unfair everything is and he's not going to take it anymore in a high squeaky voice, it's kind of cute,'' Mr. Boomer said. ''But when you got a teenage boy with a low voice yelling the same thing, it can just seem like a drag.''
To keep the teenage story lines funny, Mr. Boomer has tried to focus on Malcolm's struggles to do good even though bad often fits better with teenage impulses. ''Here's what is appealing about teenagers: an incredible amount of energy, usually a lot of idealism and a lot of commitment to the Right Thing. Whether it's shortsighted or whether it's overemotional or whether it's downright insane, it's usually coming from a good-hearted place.''
Luckily Malcolm's younger brother Dewey can take on a few of the unused story lines designed for Malcolm. But Erik Per Sullivan, who plays Dewey, just turned 12.
An Article from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Tuned In: Moving On / 'Malcolm' ends its run
Sunday, May 14, 2006
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
There's hoopla surrounding the end of some TV series, and others are met with a ho-hum, "You mean that show is still on?"
While "The West Wing" and "Will & Grace" will get most of the media hype, the end of "Malcolm in the Middle" ranks closer to the attention that will be paid to the "Charmed" finale. Not that "Malcolm" appears to have become a terrible show ? admittedly, I stopped watching it regularly a long time ago ? but with the move to Friday night, the series did become both invisible and irrelevant.
Thankfully, Fox has moved the show out of the Friday night hinterlands, returning "Malcolm" to Sunday at 8:30 for tonight's farewell.
At a half-hour, it's not a bloated finale, nor is it particularly memorable, but this last "Malcolm" does send the show out in a style that's familiar to the show's fans.
Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) is valedictorian of his graduating class but finds his plans thwarted by the ambitions of his mother, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek). Reese (Justin Berfield) dreams of working as a high school janitor, and Francis (Chris Masterson) won't give his mother the satisfaction of knowing he's gonna make it after all.
"I wonder if moving out and being on my own will change me," dim Reese wonders aloud. "Do you think I'll get a British accent?"
In addition to putting a family in prime time that was not wealthy (not even comfortably middle class), "Malcolm" was the first of the recent successful single-camera TV shows that did not rely on a laugh track.
"The fact that it was successful let a lot of people try to make pilots off of it," said series creator Linwood Boomer, comparing it to the success of single-camera '80s dramedy "The Wonder Years." Series that followed the style made successful by "Malcolm" included "The Bernie Mac Show," "Scrubs" and "My Name Is Earl." "I don't think it was 'Malcolm,' I think it was the success of the shows following 'Malcolm' that really made the change."
Kittanning native Todd Holland, who grew up in Meadville, won multiple Emmy Awards for directing "Malcolm," including the show's pilot episode. Kaczmarek said she thought it was so good, it would never get picked up. At the same time, her husband, Bradley Whitford, filmed the pilot for "The West Wing." Both shows made it to air and both end their runs tonight.
"We watch 'Malcolm' with the kids and then they go to sleep, and last night I went to sleep at 9, so I missed 'The West Wing,' " said Kaczmarek, who gets emotional when discussing the end of the series. Though her Lois character was often a scary force in the messy family home, Kaczmarek defends her. "Lois kind of hearkens back to a time when mother said, 'no,' which I find sorely lacking in mothers today. They don't have to say 'no' as loudly as Lois sometimes said 'no,' but there was nothing about Lois that I ever found that out-of-the-ordinary."
Kaczmarek has filmed a role in a pilot for a proposed Ted Danson series. Muniz will put acting on hold for a while.
"He's planning to die in a fiery crash," Boomer said, with gallows humor, of Muniz's plans to race professionally for Jensen Motorsports. "He's making all of us insane with this."
"I've always been into cars," Muniz said in a call with reporters last month. "Right now I'm watching a race on Speed Channel while I'm talking. It's all I think about, it's all I care about; it's what I want to do right now."
Muniz probably hasn't heard the last words of concern from his former co-workers.
"Those boys are so dear to me now, in a way I never expected when we first started the show," Kaczmarek said of her TV sons. "It's a really good lesson to know that sometimes children are really irritating and that's just part of what a family is, that it has an ebb and flow to it and that you ultimately just love them to pieces."
To read some articles about Malcolm in the Middle go to http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bKxeAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xi4MAAAAIBAJ&dq=malcolm%20in%20the%20middle%20tv%20show&pg=5189%2C718056 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=4wpPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=RB8EAAAAIBAJ&dq=malcolm%20in%20the%20middle%20tv%20show&pg=6809%2C4342313 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=bbovAAAAIBAJ&sjid=79wFAAAAIBAJ&dq=malcolm%20in%20the%20middle%20tv%20show&pg=1820%2C2767863 and http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=jd4yAAAAIBAJ&sjid=BTwDAAAAIBAJ&dq=malcolm%20in%20the%20middle%20tv%20show&pg=1519%2C6626897
To watch clips of Malcolm in the Middle go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=malcolm+in+the+middle+tv+show
For Fox's Official Malcolm in the Middle Webpage go to http://web.archive.org/web/20020605032942/http://www.fox.com/malcolm/
For Tim's TV Showcase go to https://web.archive.org/web/20020201215331/http://www.timstvshowcase.com/malcolm.html
For Erik's Empire go to https://web.archive.org/web/20070201202404/http://www.eriks-empire.com/
For the Malcolm in the Middle Voting Community go to http://www.malcolminthemiddle.co.uk/
For Malcolm Media go to https://web.archive.org/web/20060504105702/http://www.angelfire.com:80/tv/reese/
For an Article on Malcolm in the Middle go to https://tv.avclub.com/life-was-unfair-but-authentic-on-malcolm-in-the-middle-1798286462
For an Article on Malcolm in the Middle go to https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vvvg39/why-malcolm-in-the-middle-is-a-socialist-masterpiece
For 2 reviews of Malcolm in the Middle go to https://web.archive.org/web/20080509185421/www.televisionheaven.co.uk/malcolm.htm and https://web.archive.org/web/20070312053358/https://www.popmatters.com/tv/reviews/m/malcolm-in-the-middle.html
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEHq10rJAqc
� Date: Wed February 1, 2006 � Filesize: 68.4kb, 70.8kb � Dimensions: 800 x 999 �
Keywords: Malcolm In The Middle: Cast Photo (Links Updated 8/11/18)