33 Malcolm In The Middle Facts: Cast, Awards, And Behind The Scenes! | Kidadl


33 Malcolm In The Middle Facts: Cast, Awards, And Behind The Scenes!

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'Malcolm in the Middle' remains one of the most popular sitcoms ever, after more than two decades after the pilot episode was first broadcasted!

The hallmark of the series was the innovative direction, impeccable sound design, and unconventional visual story-telling. The whip pan transitions from scene to scene were offbeat and largely added to the energy of the scenes.

Spontaneous, funny moments were captured dynamically by the now popular single-camera style. The impact of each scene was paid keen attention to, and every trick in the book was used. The filmmakers opted to shoot on film rather than digital video (despite the increased cost) to enable creative experiments with editing styles and lighting techniques.

Casting & Crew

The skillful team of filmmakers and exemplary production values are surely the core of the success of 'Malcolm in the Middle'. There is not a single actor who underperformed in the entire series, even though most of the characters were very young.

The central characters of the show are Malcolm (Frankie Muniz), Hal (Bryan Cranston), Lois (Jane Kaczmarek), Francis (Christopher Kennedy Masterson), Reese (Justin Berfield), and Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan). 

Frankie Muniz, who played the titular character, could well be said to have carried the show on his shoulders. The show's creator, Linwood Boomer, was a young actor who played Adam Kendall in 'Little House on the Prairie'.

Aaron Paul (who won several awards for his portrayal of Jesse Pinkman in the 2008 series 'Breaking Bad') auditioned for the role of Francis, Malcolm's elder brother. He was even sent a copy of the script. The producers chose Christopher Masterson instead. Had he been chosen for Francis, Aaron Paul would probably not have been in the 'Breaking Bad' cast, which won him several awards.

Bryan Cranston did not intentionally audition for the show. He happened to walk into the set as it was being built. Some of the actors were rehearsing a scene, and Cranston walked in to act out a bit with a pipe in his mouth and a distant look. Boomer later said he almost fell off the chair seeing his expression. Cranston was immediately handed the role.

Cranston himself did the majority of Hal's stunts. The only two he didn't do were a cartwheel and a handstand. His sporting resolve to do his own stunts led to the 'bee scene' in the 14th episode of season one, in which he wore a bee suit of about 10,000 live bees.

When Muniz came out of the audition room, he had no hope that he would be selected. He didn't expect the producers to change the age of the central character from 9 to 13 to match his age!

As the show progressed, Francis appeared in fewer episodes. But Christopher Masterson, who played Francis, directed the season seven episode 'Hal Grieves'. Only three cast members appear in all of the 151 episodes: Justin Berfield (Reese), Bryan Cranston (Hal), and Erik Per Sullivan (Dewey).

In real life, Jane Kaczmarek has three children by C-section. In the show, all of Lois' five births are shown at some point, so she pretended by doing what she had seen in television shows.

The 10th episode of season four, 'If Boys Were Girls', was envisaged by Alexandra Kaczynski, the 11-year-old niece of the show's costume designer.

As per the initial script, Hal and Lois did not have as many scenes as the children, but Cranston and Jane were such fantastic actors that the script was changed to see more of them!

Awards And Nominations

'Malcolm in the Middle' won 29 of the 94 nominations it earned. It won an Emmy Award every year of its broadcast except in 2005. It was nominated for various categories of Golden Globe Awards in the first three seasons but did not win any.

'Malcolm in the Middle' was nominated to 16 award committees. In 2001, it won both nominations to the American Comedy Awards. Fox, Satin City, and Regency Television won the Peabody Award in the 'Area of Excellence' category in 2000.

Cloris Leachman, who portrayed Grandma Ida won Emmy Awards in 2002 and 2006.

'Boss of Me,' the show's title song, earned its writers John Flansberg and John Linnell the Grammy Award in 2001 for 'Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media'.

Frankie Muniz earned 21 nominations and eight awards. He has two Golden Globe nominations and one Emmy Award nomination to his credit,

Jane Kaczmarek was nominated for seven Emmy Awards but didn't win either. However, she won two TCA Awards in 2oo0 and 2001 for Individual Achievement in Comedy. She also won the Satellite Award for best actress in 2003 and the American Comedy Award for 'Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series (Leading Role) Network, Cable or Syndication' category in 2001.

Cranston was nominated for Emmy Awards in 2002, 2003, and 2006 but didn't win any.

Little Known Facts

The show is loosely autobiographical as it is roughly based on Linwood Boomer's own life. Stories about his idiosyncratic family that Boomer narrated to his colleagues and friends were so interesting that his agent suggested writing a script on them. 'Malcolm in the Middle' and its raging success is actually thanks to that agent!

Linwood was the third of four boys. His mother, Eileen, was authoritarian, and he was also enrolled in a program for gifted students at school, much against his wishes. Hal's character, however, was mostly inspired by Cranston's idea to contrast it with Lois' by being obtuse and laid back.

'Malcolm in the Middle' was originally owned by United Paramount Network launched in 1995. UPN passed it after four months, and Fox picked it up.

Reese, Malcolm's brother in the show, is older than Malcolm by a few years. In real life, however, Justin Berfield, who plays Reese, is younger than Frankie Muniz.

A DVD special box set of 'Breaking Bad' showed an alternate ending where Cranston's Hal jumps up in a sweat, recounting to Lois the events of 'Breaking Bad'. The entire plot of 'Breaking Bad' is shown to be a bad dream Hal had!

Cranston was so hilarious that he left everyone, actors opposite him, the crew, producers, and Boomer himself, in splits with his improvised jokes. They would all have to spend more time on set as they would have to shoot all over again!

The nickname Krelboynes, given to Malcolm's gifted class, came from the movie 'Little Shop of Horrors'.

Only Francis in Malcolm's family is not gifted. Malcolm is a genius himself, Reese is a great cook, and Dewey is a musical prodigy.

It is Francis' exile to a military school that makes Malcolm the 'middle' child.

Of all the cast members (outside Malcolm and his family), the only one to appear in the Pilot and final episode is Craig Traylor (Stevie Kenarban).

Though Boomer's script for the pilot episode had included 'Wilkerson' as the family surname, he removed it later as he did not want the characters to have a specific ethnicity label.

No last name was a running joke on the set since the family didn't have a name. We see that the mystery will be never be solved when Francis drops his identity card in the final episode.

The actual location of Malcolm's home is Catura Street in Studio City, California. The owners were paid between $3000 and $4000 a day to film at the house. Sometime in 2011, the house was demolished and replaced by a larger one. The school scenes were also filmed in Studio City, at Walter Reed Middle School.

In the show, Piama and Francis are about the same age, but Emy Colorado is nine years older than Christopher Masterson in real life.

Malcolm was named after Hal's favorite NASCAR driver, Rusty Malcolm.

A serious car accident in 2012 resulted in significant memory loss for Frankie Muniz. He remembers nothing from the years spent in on the set of 'Malcolm in the Middle'.

'Boss of Me,' the show's theme song, was written by John Flansburgh and John Linnell for the rock band They Might be Giants.

A shot-for-shot adaptation of one season of the show was made by the Russian channel STS.

The 'shaving scene' at the breakfast table in the pilot episode was inspired by Boomer's real-life experience of seeing his parents do that!

Cranston hardly needed a double as he did his own stunts, but in the pilot episode, he needed a double: not for a stunt, but because he was not hairy enough for the 'shaving scene'! Initially, yak hair was glued to his body, but the razor blade wouldn't go through because of the glue. A casting session was held to find a hairy man with a body similar to Cranston's!

Fox initially announced an eighth season of the show. Had there been an eighth season, Walter White of 'Breaking Bad' would have been someone else!

The show's intelligent humor and the cold open of each episode gave a fresh lease to sitcom entertainment, keeping viewers glued to the channel for that half-hour.

'Malcolm in the Middle' was an instant success: the debut episode was watched by 22.5 million viewers, followed by 26 million for the second episode! The pieces to the camera delivered by Malcolm and the omission of the laugh track came as refreshing changes to the audience.


Why did 'Malcolm in the Middle' get canceled?

In 2005, Fox moved the show from Sunday nights to Friday nights for the final season. The ratings lowered, and the series was canceled. Besides, by the admission of the writers, they were also running out of ideas. DVD release of the subsequent seasons after the first was also canceled due to the high cost of music clearances.

Why was 'Malcolm in the Middle' so popular?

The show was popular because it had a deep sense of humor that was intelligent. The characters were real and relatable to the viewers. Most importantly, the show brought a new perspective to comedy.

What is Linwood Boomer's IQ?

Linwood Boomer's exact IQ is unknown, but we know he was a gifted child. After watching the screening of the show, his mother is said to have quibbled, 'there's no way your IQ was 165.'

Who plays Francis in 'Malcolm in the Middle'?

Francis, the biggest troublemaker in the family, is played by Christopher Masterson.

When did 'Malcolm in the Middle' start?

The series was first broadcast on January 9, 2000.

How many seasons of 'Malcolm in the Middle' are there?

The series has seven seasons and 151 episodes.

What channel does 'Malcolm in the Middle' air on?

'Malcolm in the Middle' was first aired on Fox.

How old is Dewey?

Dewey is seven years old in season one.

How old is Malcolm?

Malcolm is 12 years old when the show begins.

Who plays Hal?

Bryan Cranston plays Hal.

Who did Brad Bufanda play in 'Malcolm in the Middle'?

Brad Bufanda makes a cameo appearance as Luger Bob in the 11th episode of season six.

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

<p>With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.</p>

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