Malcolm in the Middle

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Malcolm in the Middle
Created byLinwood Boomer
StarringFrankie Muniz
Jane Kaczmarek
Bryan Cranston
Justin Berfield
Christopher Masterson
Erik Per Sullivan
Opening theme"Boss of Me" by They Might Be Giants
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes151
Running time23 mins
Original release
ReleaseJanuary 9, 2000 –
May 14, 2006

Malcolm in the Middle is an American sitcom. It was shown on Fox. It ran from January 9, 2000 to May 14, 2006. Malcolm in the Middle won 9 Emmy Awards, 1 Peabody Award and 1 Grammy Award.

Cast[change | change source]

Production[change | change source]

Development[change | change source]

The pilot was initially developed for UPN with Regency Television for the 1998–99 television season but when UPN's enthusiasm for the project waned, Gail Berman managed to rescue the pilot by bringing the project to Fox. The show was then moved to the 1999–2000 cycle where it was picked up by Fox.

Opening title[change | change source]

The show's opening title features short clips from cult films or television shows, edited together with clips from the pilot and early episodes of the show, set to the song "Boss of Me" by They Might Be Giants.

Filming[change | change source]

Much of the filming for Malcolm in the Middle was done on location in various parts of the thirty-mile zone around Los Angeles. A privately owned home, located at 12334 Cantura Street in Studio City, California, was rented for upwards of $3,000 a day to film as Malcolm's house. Rebuilt in 2011, the property is no longer recognizable due to its modern two-floor design. However, the house directly to the left of it is nearly identical to what it looked like during filming, still making it a frequent stop for fans of the show. School scenes were filmed at Colfax Charter Elementary School, in North Hollywood, and the Lucky Aide was represented by a Drug Emporium at 6020 Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood. 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. The last episode in the first season ("Water Park") was filmed at a water park called Wild Rivers (now closed as of 2011) located in Irvine, California. Though palm trees and desert scenery are seen in shots of the local region and town throughout the show, indicating a location in the Western United States, it is never revealed which state the show is set in (except for Francis's whereabouts in early seasons, such as his military school in Alabama and his job in Alaska).

Studio filming for Malcolm in the Middle took place on Stage 21 at CBS Studio Center in Studio City.

Hallmarks of the series' filming and structure, many of which heavily influenced later programs, included the following:

  • A cold open presenting one or more family members in an absurd situation that has little or nothing to do with the main plot of the episode.
  • A split-second whip pan as a transition from one scene to another.
  • Frequent pieces to camera delivered by Malcolm.
  • An abrupt cut to black at the end of each segment, accompanied by the sound of a slamming door.

During the final two seasons, Christopher Masterson reduced his on-screen time in favor of writing and directing some episodes.

Music[change | change source]

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 lieu of audience laughter, 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, Lemon Jelly, Lords of Acid, The Getaway People, En Vogue, Electric Light Orchestra, Fatboy Slim, Phil Collins, Claude Debussy, Tears for Fears, Quiet Riot, Queen, Chaka Khan 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.

A soundtrack, Music from Malcolm in the Middle, was released on November 21, 2000.

Other websites[change | change source]