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Malcolm in the Middle is an Americanmarker comedy television series 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 155 episodes. The series received critical acclaim and won a Peabody Award, nine Emmy Awards, one Grammy and was nominated for seven Golden Globes.

The series follows a family of six (later seven), 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 as "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 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 the other members of the family, eventually the six cast members becoming an ensemble cast.

The series is popular worldwide and is syndicated in 57 countries. In the United States, it is currently syndicated in the daytime on FX and at nightime on Nick at Nite. In Britainmarker, it airs in high definition on Sky1 and BBC Two.


The show is about a boy named Malcolm and his dysfunctional family. The show stars Frankie Muniz as Malcolm, the third of four 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 (Frankie Muniz) 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 in the later seasons) 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.

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.


The surname of the family has been revealed only twice in the show. First, in the pilot episode, where Francis wears the name tag "Wilkerson" on his school uniform (it can be seen best in the scene where he is talking with his family on the phone). Also, although unaired, the name appears in a joke from the original pilot script. In that script, Malcolm was walking to school when a neighborhood kid came running up shouting, "Malcolm, Malcolm, Malcolm. I was talking to my parents last night - I was listening to them talk, and what's your last name?" "Wilkerson, why?" Malcolm replied. "Oh. Who are the Pariahs?" said the other kid. The joke was eventually cut. The last name, however, was spoken in the series finale when Malcolm is being introduced for his graduation speech, but it is not heard due to feedback from the microphone. A special feature on the season 1 DVD stated also that their surname was Wilkerson. A trailer on the UK channel Sky One in Early 2006 advised you to spend time with "The Simpsons" and "The Wilkersons." Another trailer was released to advertise the last episodes of 24 and Malcolm in the Middle, calling viewers to "say goodbye to the Wilkersons." In a certain episode, at Hal's company picnic Hal is addressed as "Mr. Landon" by his new boss; however, this was just due to a misunderstanding. On Bryan Cranston's official website, Cranston says the crew regularly joked amongst themselves that last name is actually "Nolastname." In fact, just before Malcolm gives his graduation speech, Francis drops his employee ID on the ground and it clearly shows his full name as "Francis Nolastname."


The Family

  • Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) is the titular character of the series. Malcolm is of above-average intelligence 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 in because of it, 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 in Harvardmarker 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 the supermarket, Lucky Aide. She is seen by her sons as a somewhat tyrannical figure, a crazed control freak, but her behavior comes from her love for them and a desire to see them succeed.

  • 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 is gifted at 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 younger brother of Malcolm, Reese, and Francis and older brother of Jamie. 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 Masterson) is the eldest brother. Due to his extremely bad behavior, he is sent to a military school run by the strict Commandant Spangler. He is there when the series begins. Francis remains at the school until partway through the third season, when he has himself legally emancipated and travels to Alaskamarker to work at a logging camp. Here he meets and marries Piama, 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.

  • 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, as well as rudeness to his mother (his first words are "shut up", directed at Lois).


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


Opening titles

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 Opening Title has changed in the 2 episode - Season 1 (Red Dress)in the DVD Show and changes back to the original in the episode 3 - Season 1 (Home Alone 4). The Original Open Title includes, in order of appearance:

Act Breaks

The end of each act break is signified with the sound of a door slamming and then a cut to darkness; the same effect is sometimes used to mark the end of the episode as well. Scene changes are indicated with a quick "whoosh" sound and a fast panning motion of the camera.


The setting of the show has never been revealed, though their street address – 12334 Maple Blvd. Millbrook – was identified in episode 81 ("Reese's Party"). The house which is used for external shots is privately owned, and is situated in the Studio Citymarker district of Los Angeles, Californiamarker, at 12334 Cantura Street, and it can be seen on Google Street View. Filming also took place at 20th Century Fox Studio - 10201-Pico Boulevard in the Century Citymarker district of Los Angelesmarker; at Walter Reed Middle School in Los Angelesmarker and in Santa Clarita, Californiamarker. 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 Speedwaymarker, 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." Also in the episode "Waterpark," the slide they are at when Malcolm pushes Lois is called the Abyss (they enter the Abyss, yet they come out of a ride called the Bombay Blasters). The Liquidator is actually up the stairs behind them. In the episode "Monkey" when Reese gets an honor from the police, the hat he is seen wearing has the letters MPD on it, suggesting the name of the city begins with the letter "M" and in episode 107 Reese Joins the Army (2)Hal says that he is from the Millbrook bomb squad when he is trying to hide a backpack and his identity. The baseball and softball episodes were filmed in a city park in the Sherman Oaksmarker district of Los Angeles, Californiamarker. During the first year of the show, Francis reveals that the military academy is in Alabama and is 300 miles from home.


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.

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

Main crew

  • Linwood Boomer - Creator, Executive Producer (seasons 1-6), Creative Consultant (season 7)
  • Todd Holland - Co-Executive Producer (season 1, subsequent episodes he directs)
  • David Richardson - Co-Executive Producer (season 1)
  • Alan J. Higgins - Co-Executive Producer (seasons 1-3), Consultant (season 7)
  • Michael Glouberman - Supervising Producer (season 1), Co-Executive Producer (seasons 1-7)
  • Andrew Orenstein - Supervising Producer (season 1), Co-Executive Producer (seasons 1-5)
  • Alex Reid - Creative Consultant (season 1), Producer (seasons 1 and 2), Supervising Producer (season 3), Co-Executive Producer (seasons 4-7), Executive Producer (season 7)
  • Don Voorhees - Associate Producer (seasons 1 and 2), Co-Producer (seasons 3-7)
  • Bob Stevens - Co-Executive Producer (seasons 1-3)
  • Gary Murphy - Co-Executive Producer (seasons 2-7)
  • Neil Thompson - Co-Executive Producer (seasons 2-5), Consulting Producer (seasons 6 and 7)
  • Michael Borkow - Co-Executive Producer (seasons 3 and 4)
  • Maggie Bandur - Executive Story Editor (seasons 2 and 3), Co-Producer (season 3), Producer (season 4), Supervising Producer (season 5)
  • Pang-Ni Landrum - Executive Story Editor (seasons 2 and 3), Co-Producer (season 3)
  • Dan Kopelman - Executive Story Editor (seasons 2 and 3), Co-Producer (season 3), Producer (season 4), Supervising Producer (season 5)
  • Matthew Carlson - Co-Executive Producer (seasons 4-6), Executive Producer (season 7)
  • Rob Hanning - Co-Executive Producer (season 4)
  • Bob Kushell - Consulting Producer (season 4)
  • Janice Carr - Associate Producer (seasons 4 and 5), Co-Producer (seasons 6 and 7)
  • Rob Ulin - Co-Executive Producer (seasons 5-7)
  • Eric Kaplan - Supervising Producer (season 5), Co-Executive Producer (seasons 5-7)
  • Jennifer Celotta - Supervising Producer (season 6), Co-Executive Producer (season 6)
  • Jay Kogen - Consulting Producer (season 6), Co-Executive Producer (season 7)
  • David Sacks - Consulting Producer (season 6)
  • Steve Welch - Supervising Producer (season 7)

DVD Release

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.

{| class="wikitable"
!DVD Name!!Release date!!Ep #!!Additional information
|The Complete First Season||October 29, 2002||align="center" |16|| 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.



As a midseason replacement for Futurama, the show quickly gained a large viewer base, starting off with ratings of 23 million for the debut episode and 26 million for the second episode.

Fox shuffled the show's air time repeatedly to make room for other shows, eventually giving it a free pass in its seventh and last season. After moving to Fridays at 8:30 p.m. next to The Bernie Mac Show, Malcolm in the Middle averaged fewer than 3.5 million viewers a week, making it Fox's lowest-rated show. On January 13, 2006, Fox announced that the show would be moving to 7:00 p.m. 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 p.m. ET/PT (the show's original timeslot) on May 14, 2006. The finale was watched by 7.4 million.

Season Premiere Final U.S. ratings
1 2000 January 9, 2000 May 21, 2000 20.0 million
2 2000-2001 November 5, 2000 May 20, 2001 18.0 million
3 2001-2002 November 11, 2001 May 12, 2002 15.0 million
4 2002-2003 November 3, 2002 May 18, 2003 9.1 million
5 2003-2004 November 2, 2003 May 23, 2004 8.7 million
6 2004-2005 November 7, 2004 May 15, 2005 5.8 million
7 2005-2006 September 30, 2005 May 14, 2006 3.5 million

In Australia, in 2002 Malcolm in the Middle premiered on Channel Nine, Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. 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 Francemarker, the show first aired daily at 8 p.m. in December 2001, on M6, but didn't 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 %. Nowadays, the channel is still programming reruns of the show because of its good performances.

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 syndication one month before the 6th season premiere on Fox. The show was launched on Nick at Nite on July 5, 2009 at 8:00pm with an all night marathon. However, Nick at Nite changed the TV-14 ratings to TV-PG removing adult content from episodes. Sky1(a UK channel) also has Malcolm in the Middle is on everyday at 5:30 - 6:00 and 6:30 - 7:00. The show will begin airing on TeenNick in November 2009.

International broadcasts

Country TV network(s) Year/Date Series Title in Country
Argentinamarker Fox, Canal 13, I-Sat 2000
Fijimarker Fiji tv 2000
Australia Nine Network, Comedy Channel 2002
Belgiummarker 2BE 2006
Bhutanmarker STAR World 2005
Brazilmarker Rede Record, SBT, Fox 2004
Bulgariamarker bTV, Fox Life, BTV Comedy 2001 Mалкълм
Canadamarker YTV, Global, Télé-Québecmarker 2000 (Global), 2005 (YTV), 2006/2007 (Télé-Quebec) On Télé-Québec: Malcolm
Chilemarker Fox, Televisión Nacional de Chile, I-Sat 2000
Colombiamarker RCN Televisión 2006
Costa Ricamarker Repretel 11 2007
Croatiamarker Nova TV, RTL Televizija 2002 Malcolm u sredini
Denmarkmarker TV 2 Zulu, TV3+ 2003 Malcolm i midten
Dominican Republicmarker Telesistema Canal 11 2008
Ecuadormarker Teleamazonas 2004
Estoniamarker TV3, TV6 2006
Faroe Islandsmarker Sjónvarp Føroya 2008
Finlandmarker MTV3 2005 Veljemme on nero
Francemarker M6, Paris Première 2001 Malcolm
Greecemarker Macedonia TV 2008
Hondurasmarker Canal 5 de Televicentro 2008
Hong Kongmarker TVB 2001
Hungarymarker Comedy Central 2009 Már megint Malcolm
Icelandmarker SkjárEinn 2006
Indiamarker STAR World 2005
Indonesiamarker STAR World 2005
Irelandmarker Sky1, TV3, 3e 2002
Israelmarker Bip 2002 מלקולם באמצע
Italymarker Italia 1 2004
Kenyamarker NTV 2005
Lithuaniamarker TV3 2008 Malkolmas Vidurinysis
Malaysiamarker ntv7, STAR World 2008
Mexicomarker Televisa 2004 Malcolm el de enmedio
Nepalmarker BBS-Bhutan Broadcasting Service 2005
Middle East MBC 4, Show Comedy, Paramount Comedy 2002
Netherlandsmarker Veronica Network, Comedy Central 2003
New Zealandmarker c4 2008
Norwaymarker TV2 2002 Malcolm i midten
Polandmarker Polsat 2006 Zwariowany Świat Malcolma
Portugalmarker SIC Radical and Fox Portugal 2009 A Vida é Injusta
Serbiamarker RTV BK Telecom 2001
Singaporemarker MediaCorp TV Channel 5 2007
Sloveniamarker Kanal A 2005
South Africa M-Net 2005
Spainmarker Antena 3, Fox 2000
Sri Lankamarker MTV Television 2008
Swedenmarker TV6, TV3, TV4 2006 Malcolm, ett geni i familjen
Switzerlandmarker SF zwei, TSR 2, 3+ 2000 Malcolm Mittendrin
Germanymarker ProSieben 2001
Austriamarker ORF1 2002
Thailandmarker True Series, STAR World 2005
Turkeymarker CNBC-e, TNT 2003
Uganda NTV 2008
Ukrainemarker Novyi Kanal 2004 Малкольм у центрі уваги
United Kingdommarker BBC Two, Sky 1, Sky 2 2000
United Statesmarker Fox, FX, Nick at Nite 2000
Venezuelamarker Televen 2002
Vietnammarker Vietnam Multimedia Corporation 2005


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