- Malcolm in the Middle
Malcolm in the Middle
Genre Sitcom Created by Linwood Boomer Starring Jane Kaczmarek
Christopher Kennedy Masterson
Erik Per Sullivan
Catherine Lloyd Burns (2002)
Opening theme "Boss of Me" by
They Might Be Giants
Country of origin United States Language(s) English No. of seasons 7 No. of episodes 151 (List of episodes) Production Camera setup Panavision; Multi-camera Running time 21–23 minutes Production company(s) Satin City, Regency Television and
Fox Television Studios
(in syndication, Fox Television Studios Is replaced with 20th Television)
Broadcast Original channel Fox Picture format 1080i 16:9 (HDTV) Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1 Original run January 9, 2000– May 14, 2006
Malcolm in the Middle is an American television sitcom created by Linwood Boomer for the Fox Network. The series was first broadcast on January 9, 2000, and ended its six-and-a-half-year run on May 14, 2006, after seven seasons and 151 episodes. The series received critical acclaim and won a Peabody Award, seven Emmy Awards, one Grammy Award and was nominated for seven Golden Globes.
The series follows a family of six (later seven,then eight), and stars Frankie Muniz in the lead role of Malcolm, a more-or-less normal boy who tests at genius level; he enjoys being smart but despises having to take classes for gifted children, who are mocked by the other students who call them "Krelboynes". Jane Kaczmarek is Malcolm's overbearing, authoritarian mother, Lois, and Bryan Cranston plays his disengaged but loving father Hal. Christopher Masterson plays eldest brother Francis, a former rebel who, in earlier episodes, was in military school, but eventually marries and settles into a steady job. Justin Berfield is Malcolm's dimwitted older brother Reese, a schoolyard bully who tortures Malcolm at home even while he defends him at school. Younger brother Dewey, genius musician, is portrayed by Erik Per Sullivan. For the first couple of seasons, the show's focus was on Malcolm. As the series progressed, however, it began to explore all six members of the family rather equally.
The series has proven popular worldwide and has been syndicated in 57 countries. In the United States, it had been syndicated in the daytime on FX and at nighttime on Nickelodeon's sister channel TeenNick, as well as local stations. In the United Kingdom, it airs on Sky1 and its HD counterpart Sky1 HD, as well as Sky2 and Sky3, and also 5*. It had also been syndicated on Network Ten in Australia (originally airing on the Nine Network). The series was cancelled in 2006
The show is about a boy named Malcolm and his dysfunctional family. The show stars Frankie Muniz as Malcolm, the third of four (later five, then six) boys, his brothers and their parents, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) and Hal (Bryan Cranston). The oldest, Francis (Christopher Masterson), was sent away to military school, leaving at home his three younger brothers, Reese (Justin Berfield), Malcolm and Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan), Malcolm being the middle child still at home (hence the show's title). In season four, the character Jamie (James and Lukas Rodriguez) was added to the show as the fifth son. The show's early seasons centered on Malcolm dealing with the rigors of being an adolescent and enduring the eccentricities of his life. Later seasons gradually explored the other members of the family and their friends in more depth, including others such as Craig Feldspar, Stevie Kenarban, and Stevie's dad Abe.
The series was different from many others in that Malcolm broke the fourth wall by talking directly to the viewer, all scenes were shot using a single camera and the show employed neither a laugh track nor a live studio audience. Emulating the style of hour-long dramas, this half-hour show was shot on film instead of video. Another unique aspect of the show is that the cold open of every episode is unrelated to the main story. Exceptions were episodes which were the conclusions of "two-parters"; each part two episode opened with a recap of its part one episode.
- Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) is the title character of the series. Malcolm is a genius, and because of this, is placed in a class for gifted students (or Krelboynes as they are known at the school). His intelligence, as well as feelings of not fitting, and his ego are the primary causes of most problems he faces throughout the series. As the title suggests, Malcolm is the middle child of the family, third-born of four at the start of the series, later of five after the birth of Jamie and apparently six after the last episode. His best friend is Stevie, a wheelchair-bound fellow Krelboyne with a severe breathing problem. Malcolm is shown to be going to classes in Harvard in the last episode, earning his way by mopping the halls.
- Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) is the hot-headed and stubborn mother of Francis, Reese, Malcolm, Dewey, and Jamie, and wife of Hal. She struggles throughout the series to keep her badly behaved boys in check while maintaining a job at a Lucky Aide drugstore. She is seen by her sons as a somewhat tyrannical figure, a crazed control freak, and indeed she is, but her behavior was caused by Francis's bad behavior as a toddler.
- Hal (Bryan Cranston) is the somewhat childish but caring father of Francis, Reese, Malcolm, Dewey, and Jamie and husband to Lois. He is a lighter touch with the boys than Lois, but can still hand out discipline when necessary. Hal seems constantly on the edge of some kind of breakdown; when things get to be too much, he often goes into a howling, wailing state of panic and frustration.
- Reese (Justin Berfield) is the most impulsive member of the family and has remarkably little common sense. He is the older brother of Malcolm, Dewey, and Jamie and younger brother to Francis. Throughout the series, he is shown to be a bully, getting much enjoyment from the misfortune of others and handing out beatings to students at school and to his younger brothers at home. Despite being remarkably unwilling to think, he enjoys cooking and baking—which he is shown to be very talented at on many occasions—and a natural born soldier.
- Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) is the youngest brother of Malcolm, Reese, and Francis. His role is usually that of the victim to his brothers. Dewey is very intelligent, even being able to fool and manipulate Malcolm in later episodes. However, his real talent lies in music. Among other accomplishments, he has composed his own opera for his classmates to perform. Despite his intelligence, he is placed in a remedial class for slower students (or Buseys) due to a misunderstanding. This does little to affect his performance, though, and he actually makes the best of the situation by acting as their self-appointed teacher. By the seventh and final season of the show, it seemed to be implied that he was no longer in the Busey class. He was the youngest for several seasons, until Jamie was born.
- Francis (Christopher Kennedy Masterson) is the oldest brother. Due to his extremely bad behavior, he is sent to a military school in the U.S state of Alabama, run by the strict Commandant Spangler (Daniel von Bargen). He is there when the series begins. Francis remains at the school until the beginning of the third season, when he has himself legally emancipated and travels to Alaska to work at a logging camp. Here he meets and marries Piama (Emy Coligado), a woman of Inuit heritage. When the camp closes, he later moves to a Wild West-themed hotel and ranch in the western U.S. called the Grotto, run by kindly but eccentric German Otto Mannkusser and his wife Gretchen. According to Hal, Francis' first words were directed at Lois: "You shut up."
- Jamie (James and Lukas Rodriguez) is the youngest brother until the very last episode. Despite his infancy, he is already shown to have some of his brothers' habits such as stealing and rudeness to his mother.
- Craig Lamar Traylor as Stevie Kenarbin, Malcolm's best friend who's in the krelboyne class and is in a wheelchair.
- David Anthony Higgins as Craig Feldspar, Lois' overweight coworker, who has a crush on Lois.
- Emy Coligado as Piama Tananahaakna, Francis' wife. She is an Inuit Native American and does not get along well with Lois.
- Eric Nenninger as Eric Hanson, Francis' friend from military school who, along with Francis, went to Alaska.
- Kenneth Mars as Otto Mannkusser, Francis' boss who owns the ranch he works at after he leaves Alaska.
- Evan Matthew Cohen, Kyle Sullivan, Kristin Quick, Will Jennings and Victor Z. Isaac all play krelboynes from Malcolm's class.
- Gary Anthony Williams as Abe Kenarbin, Stevie's overprotective father and Hal's best friend.
- Daniel von Bargen as Commandant Edwin Spangler, the head of Marlin Academy.
- Cloris Leachman as Grandma Ida, Lois' mother and Malcolm's grandmother. She despises Francis and Lois. The whole family hates her. She lost her leg saving Dewey.
- Meagen Fay as Gretchen Mannkusser, Otto's wife who helps out at the ranch.
- Kasan Butcher, Drew Powell, Arjay Smith and Karim Prince all play Francis' friends at Marlin Academy.
- Sandy Ward, John Ennis, Richard Gross and Christopher Michael Moore all play Francis' friends at the Alaskan logging camp.
- Dan Martin, Jonathan Craig Williams, Edward James Gage and Alex Morris all play Hal's poker friends.
- Chris Eigeman as Lionel Herkabe, the second teacher of the krelboyne class. He is a former krelboyne himself and shares many of Malcolm's personality traits.
- Brenda Wehle as Lavernia, Francis' first boss, a malevolent woman.
- Merrin Dungey Kitty Kenarbin, Stevie's mother who left him and Abe, but then returned.
- Todd Giebenhain as Richie, Francis' friend.
- Cameron Monaghan, Danny McCarthy and Amy Bruckner as Dewey's special ed class friends.
- Tania Raymonde as Cynthia, a Krelboyne girl who had a crush on Malcolm and left for Europe but later returned. Her dad is played by Fred Sanders.
- Hayden Panettiere as Jessica, a girl hired to babysit Reese, Malcolm, and Dewey who later ends up living on their couch after her dad is arrested.
- Landry Allbright as Julie Houlerman, a girl who Malcolm had a crush on.
- Julie Hagerty as Polly, Jamie's babysitter.
- Steve Vinovich as Mr. Hodges, a teacher (season 6) and later the school principal (season 7).
Season Ep # First Airdate Last Airdate Season 1 16 January 9, 2000 May 21, 2000 Season 2 25 November 5, 2000 May 20, 2001 Season 3 22 November 11, 2001 May 12, 2002 Season 4 22 November 3, 2002 May 18, 2003 Season 5 22 November 2, 2003 May 23, 2004 Season 6 22 November 7, 2004 May 15, 2005 Season 7 22 September 30, 2005 May 14, 2006
The opening titles feature short clips from cult films or television shows, edited together with clips from the early seasons of the TV series. The original opening includes, in order of appearance:
- Three men fighting a giant turtle: From One Million Years BC (1966)
- Grinning animated man in rain: Shiogami from the anime Nazca
- The monster rising out of the ocean is the Kraken: From Clash of the Titans (1981)
- Woman being held above a nest of hungry pterodactyls: From One Million Years BC (1966)
- Dimetrodon -like lizard crawling on rocks: From A Journey to the Center of the Earth
- Anime boy skateboarding: From the anime Nazca
- Mud-monster grabbing a woman as she kisses a man: From Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961)
- Man ski-jumping while ignited in flames: Thrill Seekers
- Wrestling match: Bret Hart locking Chris Benoit in the Sharpshooter during the WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match at WCW Mayhem 1999 PPV in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Robot head being assembled: From the BBC series Out of the Unknown episode Liar! (1969)
- Man attacking giant brain with an axe: From The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)
- Boxer knocking out referee: Cuban Pedro Cardenas fighting Canadian Willie DeWitt but accidentally KOing referee Bert Lowes instead, during the 1982 North American Championships in Las Vegas.
The house that was used for external shots is privately owned, and is situated in the Studio City district of Los Angeles, at 12334 Cantura Street; it can be seen in Google Street View. Although the show always depicted the house as being in a quiet suburban neighborhood, in reality it is only one block away from a busy, pedestrian-friendly stretch of the famous Ventura Boulevard.
Filming also took place at 20th Century Fox Studios – 10201-Pico Boulevard in the Century City district of Los Angeles; at Walter Reed Middle School in Los Angeles and in Santa Clarita, California. There are several instances where California license plates are visible, including the family vehicle in "(Traffic Jam)". In "Stock Car Races," when Hal and the boys are entering a race track, the billboard behind the entrance displays the place as Irwindale Speedway, a real race track in Southern California. In seasons six and seven, however, the license plates on the cars are from Oklahoma ("Hal's Christmas Gift" and "Malcolm Defends Reese"). The last episode in the first season ("Waterpark") was filmed at a waterpark called "Wild Rivers" located in Irvine, California, but in the episode the waterpark was called "Wavetown USA". Many of the "Lucky Aide" store scenes were done at a Drug Emporium that used to be at 6020 Lankershim in the North Hollywood district of Los Angeles.
The show's theme song, "Boss of Me", was written and recorded by the alternative rock group They Might Be Giants. The song won the "Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media" award at the 2002 Grammy Awards. The band also performed nearly all of the incidental music for the show in its first two seasons.
Mood setting music is sprinkled throughout the series, in replacement of the laugh track, in a way that resembles feature film more than other TV sitcoms. Some examples of this highly varied music include ABBA, Basement Jaxx, Sum 41, Kenny Rogers, Lords Of Acid, The Getaway People, En Vogue, Phil Collins, Quiet Riot, Queen, Titán and Citizen King whose song "Better Days" is played at the end of both the pilot episode and the series finale. The Southern California pop-punk band Lit have many of their songs featured in several episodes. Lit songs that were never released as singles were also used.
Only the first season of Malcolm in the Middle has been released on DVD. Season 2 was going to be released in autumn 2003, but was cancelled due to high costs of music clearances.
DVD name Release date Ep # # of Discs Additional information The Complete First Season October 29, 2002 16 3 Extended pilot episode, A Stroke of Genius featurette, commentary on select episodes, gag reel, deleted scenes, alternate show openings, bloopers, Dewey's Day Job featurette.
On October 2, 2011, all seven seasons of the show were made available to view on Netflix's subscription internet streaming service.
Fox shuffled the show's air time repeatedly to make room for other shows, eventually giving it a free pass[clarification needed] in its seventh and last season. On January 13, 2006, Fox announced that the show would be moving to 7:00 pm on Sundays effective January 29, 2006. On January 17, 2006, Fox announced the cancellation of the series, with the 151st and final episode airing at 8:30 pm ET/PT (the show's original timeslot) on May 14, 2006. The finale was watched by 7.4 million.
Season Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Ranking Viewers
1st January 9, 2000 May 21, 2000 2000 #18 15.2 2nd November 5, 2000 May 20, 2001 2000–2001 #22 14.5 3rd November 11, 2001 May 12, 2002 2001–2002 #25 13.0 4th November 11, 2002 May 12, 2003 2002–2003 #43 10.7 5th November 3, 2003 May 18, 2004 2003–2004 #71 8.4 6th November 2, 2004 May 23, 2005 2004–2005 #99 5.6 7th September 30, 2005 May 14, 2006 2005–2006 #127 3.8
In Australia, in 2001 Malcolm in the Middle premiered on Channel Nine, Monday nights at 8:00 pm It rated strongly, with the help from its lead in Friends, which at the time rated 2,279,000, 2,031,000 and 2,410,000 as the night's most watched show, and year's 2nd most watched TV program. Malcolm in the Middle's ratings included 1,952,000, 1,925,000, 1,712,000, 1,644,000, and sometimes rating over the 2 million mark: 2,002,000, 2,008,000.
In France, the show first aired daily at 8 pm in December 2001, on M6, but did not find its public and was quickly off schedule. Then, when the show made its comeback in the summer of 2003 at noon, it had a big success. The last seasons had over 1.5 million viewers and a share sometimes over 30%. Due to the show's popularity, the network is currently still broadcasting reruns.
In the UK, in April 2001, 6 months after it was shown on Sky1 it premiered on terristrial television on BBC2 at 6:45 pm on Fridays, where the first episode gained 3.3 million. With the success of the first season, season 2 was moved to prime-time the following year at 8:30 pm. It is now shown weekdays on 5* which began January 3, 2011.
In Mexico, the channel Canal 5 still playing reruns of the series daily from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, four episodes in a row. The show first aired back on 2001 at 3:00 pm and have had many changes since then, crossing over the channel 4 of the same network, and gained high ratings ever since and still.
Awards and nominations
Jane Kaczmarek and Cloris Leachman gained the highest honors in the cast for being nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award every year they appeared on Malcolm in the Middle. Cloris Leachman succeeded in winning 2002 and 2006. The show won a total of 7 Emmys during its seven year run.
The show entered local syndication one month before the sixth season premiered on Fox. When the show entered syndication all of the TV-14 episodes had to be changed to TV-PG since they did not meet the syndication standards for a TV-14 rating. The show was launched on Nick at Nite on July 5, 2009 at 8:00 pm with an all night marathon. However, Nick at Nite used the changed ratings to keep the show family friendly and remove adult content from the episodes. When Nick at Nite pulled Malcolm it began airing on TeenNick from November 26, 2010 and continued until December 2010. On July 18, 2011, the show returned to TeenNick's line-up. On September 26, 2011, Malcolm in the Middle began airing on IFC.
In the UK, the show was originally aired on BBC2. It was later moved to Sky1 and is currently shown on Fiver (at 6:00 pm and again at about 7:30 pm).
- ^ a b c "Awards list". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0212671/awards. Retrieved 2007-04-24.
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- ^ "Malcolm in the Middle SoundTrack". SoundTrackNet. 2001. http://www.soundtrack.net/albums/database/?id=2648.
- ^ Lambert, David (2003-11-30). "Malcolm in the Middle – Season 2 (plus Other Shows) Hamstrung by Music Clearances". TVShowsOnDVD.com. http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=870. Retrieved 2007-04-24.
- ^ Josef Adalian and Michael Schneider (2000-01-18). "Sitcom savior?". Variety.com. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117760956.html?categoryid=14&cs=1. Retrieved 2007-04-25.
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