Disclaimer: Disney and ABC invited me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid trip, in exchange for my coverage of these events, which included a visit to the set with the cast of THE MIDDLE. As always, all opinions are my own.
There’s something incredibly exciting about going behind the scenes during a set visit. And when you get the chance to sneak a few peeks inside the workings of a loved television show and meet one of your favorite TV moms of all time, even better.
Just weeks ago, I had the chance to go behind the scenes, on set with the cast of THE MIDDLE, ABC’s hit Tuesday night comedy. Follow along on my journey as I take you with me.
It was a whirlwind few days that I spent with an amazing group of bloggers.
Red carpet, celebrity interviews and more, but a big part of our itinerary had to do with the huge ABC Tuesday night fall lineup. Now I don’t know about you, but I always look forward to fall because of new and returning television series. Summer is over and it’s the time to get serious about old favorites and find new ones too! Oh, and and you will, I promise! More on that soon.
But first up, ABC’s THE MIDDLE!
If you aren’t familiar with this one, it’s never too late to start watching and tonight is the night it all starts – season premiere!
Yes, Tuesday night – a new night for THE MIDDLE, starring two-time Emmy winner Patricia Heaton in this warm and witty single camera comedy about raising a family and lowering your expectations.
Middle-aged, middle class and living in the middle of the country in Orson, Indiana, Frankie Heck is a harried wife and mother of three who uses her wry wit and sense of humor to get her family through each day intact. Frankie works as a dental assistant, and her unflappable husband, Mike, is manager at the local quarry and her sardonic partner in the daily grind that is raising their average yes, most definitely average family.
This year, the kids will find themselves breaking out of their comfort zones and navigating new situations than what they’re used to which may or may not be very comforting to Frankie and Mike.
I know a few parents who could relate to them!
We had the chance to walk through the set, although very quickly as they were actually filming that day. All primary characters were on set and huddled off in their chairs going over scenes with their scripts.
I’ll admit it was a sight to see seasoned actress Patricia Heaton over in the corner chair, likely going over her lines. She was all business. Atticus Shaffer, who plays younger son Brick, was quite the gentleman and quickly came over to shake every single one of our hands…all 25 of us! He was incredibly nice.
As you can see above, this is a working set. I wanted to give you a glimpse of what you don’t see on camera…all the inner workings and cameras. These are tight spaces as The Middle is not shot before a live audience.
In tonight’s season premiere episode, “The Core Group,” Frankie and Mike are excited to meet April (Greer Grammer), the love of Axl’s life, but discover that love may indeed be blind when April reveals a quirky personality trait. Meanwhile, after getting bit by the acting bug while working at Dollywood over the summer, Sue wants to change her major to theater, and Brick is starting high school and making it his mission to try for a fresh start and not be considered one of the weird kids.
FUN FACT: They go old school on the set here and use a single camera to get a certain look, much different than most television shows you see today.
We were able to meet the entire cast except for Eden Sher, who plays Sue. We all had a quick meet and greet with stars Patricia Heaton as Frankie, Neil Flynn as Mike, Charlie McDermott as Axl, and Atticus Shaffer as Brick. Neil Flynn was in the middle of a wardrobe change while I was doing the meet and greet – pajamas all around for the scenes of the day.
The highlight of the day for me was meeting actress Patricia Heaton. Though highly successful and funny in THE MIDDLE, as a “Debra” who married into an Italian family, I always related to her in the role of Debra Barone in “Everybody Loves Raymond”.
Speaking of wardrobe changes, we had a chance to tour WARDROBE!
This was a dream. Now, not in terms of the clothing styles, as I don’t exactly have the same taste as “Frankie”…BUT, the choices. There were rows and rows of clothing options.
Be sure to tune in tonight to catch all the laughs!
ABC Tuesday Night Comedies
Tuesday nights just got funnier!
- The Middle (8 p.m., ABC)
- American Housewife (8:30 p.m., ABC) – series premiere
- Fresh Off the Boat (9 p.m., ABC) – season premiere
- The Real O’Neals (9:30 p.m., ABC)
See what else I was up to in Hollywood (more coming every Tuesday):
- Interview with ONCE UPON A TIME Creators and Executive Producers
- Red Carpet Premiere of Disney’s Queen of Katwe
- Lupita Nyong’o Interview
- Director Mira Nair Interview
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