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