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ABC's 'THE MIDDLE'

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, May 9, 2012.

  1. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Unless they simply disregard the flash forward as it suits them. Should be interesting!

    CHEERS! :)
     
  2. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    That would be a cheap move, especially from the same writers as the original show.
     
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  3. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Agreed.

    Of course, they weren't specific on the timeline in which Sue and Brad's two breakups and reconciliations occurred. There could be some room for flexibility within the overall story arc.

    CHEERS! :)
     
  4. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    You man Sue and Sean? Brad is Sue's friend.

    On the other hand, Eden Sher is 27 and was playing Sue as a junior in college this year. If they jump forward a few years to make Sue around her actual age, they could also just jump past the breakups, which would be fine by me. That would mean Beau Wrick, who plays Sean, would have to be a series regular as Sue's husband, but I don't have a problem with that. They did enough on The Middle with Frankie and Mike's relationship without ever involving a breakup that I think they can do it. I don't think the show requires Sue to have a revolving door of love interests in order to generate plot lines.
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Of all the things that could have come from the "Roseanne" cancellation, I wouldn't even have dared hope for something this good!

    The flash forwards actually give them quite a bit of wiggle room; we know Sue and Sean end up together, but we also know (as Jake noted) that they break up twice before that happens. So if the pilot started with their first break up, that leaves lots of room for a "Mary Tyler Moore"-esque show with single Sue. And we know that Lexie is pregnant at the time of the wedding, but we don't know with which boy. So they could have Sue and Lexie as roommates or Axl and Lexie could be well along in their family building and just make guest appearances.
     
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  6. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Whoops! My bad regarding that silly mix up with Brad and Sean!

    I agree Sue doesn't need a revolving door of love interests, which could be a detriment, if not properly handled.

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  7. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    I don't think this is coming out of the Roseanne cancellation. It probably looks like that given the timing -- they might have decided to announce it today just for some positive publicity right now -- but they've probably been thinking in this direction for a while. It probably explains why Eden Sher didn't take a pilot this year. I also don't expect this to be ready to air in the fall, so it's not really a Roseanne replacement in the short term. But if this winds up on ABC's Tuesday schedule for either this midseason or fall 2019, that wouldn't surprise me at all. I just hope they take their time to develop it properly and don't rush something half-baked on the air immediately because of the Roseanne situation.

    I personally don't see much value in a show about a single Sue dating people other than Sean, especially given how much of her arc in the final couple of seasons of The Middle related to getting that couple together. I'd much rather have them jump over the breakups and just make Beau Wirck as Sean part of the show. Go forward, not backward.
     
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  8. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    They've definitely been working on it for a while, but the "Roseanne" cancellation gave it boost it wouldn't otherwise have had. My guess is that they move one of their midseason sitcoms to the fall and then launch this at midseason.

    This presupposes that Sue's dating life will be a focus. It could just as easily be a workplace comedy with her working in a hotel somewhere -- or something else entirely.

    One think I'm looking forward to is the spinoff doing for Sue what "Frasier" did for Frasier. She's such a broadly defined character that I look forward to seeing his as the straight man, getting a bit more dimensionality.
     
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  9. Message #29 of 49 May 30, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    The only sitcom ABC has picked up for midseason at this point is Schooled, which is the '90 spinoff of The Goldbergs. There's a slight plot issue which might prevent that from launching in the fall. Spoilers ahead for the season finale of The Goldbergs, in case someone hasn't watched it yet (although it aired 2 weeks ago so I assume most fans have seen it):

    The Goldbergs ended this season with Lainey, who we know is going to be a teacher in the spinoff, dropping out of college, where she was studying fashion, and getting engaged to Barry. Patton Oswalt as Narrator Adam also called the engagement "misguided" in his closing voiceover.

    I really don't know how they will manage to get Lainey from a college dropout to a teacher, but I feel like that's going to have to be part of her arc on The Goldbergs this coming season. Trying to launch Schooled in the fall would make sense from a business standpoint except for this narrative challenge.

    When it was announced for midseason originally, I thought that part of the reason for that was to give the original show time to set it up. Grey's Anatomy used Ben's arc last fall to have him resign from the hospital and tee up his transition to being a firefighter in time for their spinoff, Station 19, to launch in March. I kind of thought the same thing would happen here.

    Or they could rush it to the fall and leave her transition unexplained, but then she'd have to appear on both shows simultaneously, since they've got to pay off the engagement with Barry one way or another.
     
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  10. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Is that the horrible backdoor pilot that aired this season on the Goldbergs? Thinking hard pass on that. As for this, a little Sue goes a long way. I kind of am done with my time with the Middle, so I doubt this is for me.
     
  11. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    Yes and no. The pilot that aired this season was in consideration for a series pickup last May but got rejected by ABC, and only aired in place of what would have otherwise been a rerun night for the original show. The spinoff has now been retooled to some degree -- how much isn't clear yet -- but A.J. Michalka (Lainey) is joining the cast as a teacher. Nia Long, who was a lead in the original pilot, is no longer available as she signed onto one of the NCIS shows, so she won't be in it.

    But yeah, it's still set in the '90s at the school where the Goldberg kids used to go, featuring the gym teacher and guidance counselor (turned principal), now plus Lainey. And...if Tim Meaddows is playing the principal now, isn't that basically his exact role from Mean Girls?

    Like I said in my comment above, Lainey becoming a teacher doesn't really track with what they've done with that character on The Goldbergs recently (or ever), so I'm skeptical how they're going to pull that off. We'll see.

    A Sue spinoff for The Middle seems more organic than what they're doing with The Goldbergs -- and I'm raly glad they waited until the original show was over to do this so that they didn't have to mess with the ensemble of that show to create a new one.
     
  12. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Well, that’s why I was resentful of that pilot, because I was mistakenly expecting the Goldbergs and felt tricked. I guess I can give it a try. I’ll try Sue’s show, but I’m not expecting a lot.
     
  13. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    Would you have preferred a Goldbergs repeat? I mean, they marketed it as a '90s special so I wasn't expecting it to be a regular episode, and I get why aired it instead, but I don't think it was very good.

    Technically, we don't even know that Sue's show is happening yet. ABC is finalizing deals to give it a pilot order. I hope it's good and that if it is it will land on ABC's schedule, but it's not official yet, so I wouldn't assume a pickup will be automatic.
     
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  14. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    No. It recorded on my DVR as The Goldbergs. I don’t keep up with when a repeat is due to air.
     
  15. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    Well, yeah, that's typically how backdoor pilots work because they want to make sure the audience for the original show can find it, but the commercials and episode title and such made clear it was a spinoff. They also had that little tag at the front saying "The Goldbergs are taking a week off to show you what's happening in the '90s."
     
  16. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Okay! I should be taken out and shot because I sat down to watch the Goldbergs and got something else! So done with this.
     
  17. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    That's not what I was saying at all. But okay...
     
  18. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    While it is certainly possible that the Sue show will be considered for midseason, if it needs more time to develop, they could decide to hold it for the fall 2019-20 season.

    If they can get it on the air by midseason and have it be the best possible version of itself, great. If they need more time, I'd much rather they take it. As far as I am concerned, The Middle never had a bad episode in its entire run, and my expectations will be high for the spinoff to maintain that level of quality. So, I don't want them to rush it out in order to plug a Roseanne hole (I'm not saying they would, but if there is pressure to do that from the network I hope they resist it.)

    Thinking more long-range here, this upcoming season will probably be the last for Modern Family (the cast contracts are up again, and pretty soon the raises needed to maintain the cast won't be worth it given declining ratings and, honestly, the mostly lackluster quality of the last couple years.) It's also possible that The Goldbergs could end this season too (the cast's deals should be up either this season or next, plus how long can it stay in the '80s?)

    It might be wise for ABC to have the Sue show introduced in the fall 2019 as a potential replacement for either one of these shows, because even though it would be a new series, it would have a very strong link to an old series and an established fan base. It might be easier to replace one of the long-running hits with something like that vs. something entirely new.

    We'll see.
     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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  20. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Not sure I can handle a whole series focused on Sue, but I'll give it a look when it airs.
     

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