Malcolm in the Middle
|Malcolm in the Middle|
|Created by||Linwood Boomer|
|Developed by||Linwood Boomer
Erik Per Sullivan
Catherine Lloyd Burns
James and Lukas Rodriguez
|Opening theme||"Boss of Me" by They Might Be Giants|
|Ending theme||"Boss of Me" (instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||151 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Linwood Boomer
|Camera setup||Panavision; Single-camera|
|Running time||21–23 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Satin City
Fox Television Studios1
|Picture format||480p 4:3 (SDTV)
720p 16:9 (HDTV)
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||January 9, 2000– May 14, 2006|
Malcolm in the Middle is an American television sitcom created by Linwood Boomer for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series was first broadcast on January 9, 2000 and ended its six-year run on May 14, 2006, after seven seasons and 151 episodes. The series received critical acclaim and won a Peabody Award, seven Emmy Awards, one Grammy Award, and seven Golden Globe nominations.
The series follows a family of six and 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 he despises having to take classes for gifted children, who are mocked by the other students who call them "Krelboynes"—a reference to the nerdy Seymour Krelboyne of The Little Shop of Horrors. Jane Kaczmarek is Malcolm's overbearing, authoritarian mother, Lois, and Bryan Cranston plays his immature 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 cruel bully who tortures Malcolm at home even while he defends him at school. Younger brother Dewey, bitter about his ruined childhood, smart, and musically talented, is portrayed by Erik Per Sullivan. At first, the show's focus was on Malcolm, but as the series progressed, it began to explore all six members of the family. A fifth son, Jamie, was introduced as a baby at the end of Season 4.
Malcolm in the Middle was produced by Satin City and Regency Television in association with Fox Television Studios (syndicated by Fox corporate sibling 20th Television). The show has proven popular worldwide and has been syndicated in 57 countries. In the United States, it had been syndicated during the day on FX and at night on Nickelodeon's sister channel TeenNick, as well as local stations. It's also currently being syndicated by IFC every Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday mornings at 8:00am EST. In the United Kingdom, it originally aired on Sky 1 then eventually began on BBC Two, its HD counterpart and Sky 2, however after Sky stopped airing repeats of the show, the rights were bought by Channel 5 and the show was shown on 5*. From 2016, it now airs on Comedy Central. In Ireland it aired on TV3's sister channel 3e. It was also syndicated on Network Ten in Australia (originally airing on the Nine Network) and on Comedy Central in India. In Canada, episodes were shown on the Global Television Network.
The show received universal acclaim from critics and proved an extremely popular draw for the network. It was placed No. 88 on Entertainment Weekly's "New TV Classics" list, and was named by Alan Sepinwall of HitFix as one of the 10 best shows in Fox network history.
Set in a suburban neighborhood in the fictional Tri-County Area, Malcolm in the Middle is about a boy named Malcolm and his dysfunctional family. The show stars Frankie Muniz as Malcolm, the third of four (later five) boys, his brothers, and their parents, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) and Hal (Bryan Cranston). The first, Francis (Christopher Masterson), was sent away to military school, leaving at home his three brothers, Reese (Justin Berfield), Malcolm, and Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan), Malcolm being the middle child still at home. In season four, the character Jamie (James and Lukas Rodriguez) was added to the show as the fifth son. The show centered on Malcolm dealing with the rigors of being a child and enduring the eccentricities of his life early on. Later seasons gradually explored the other members of the family and their friends in more depth, including others such as Craig Feldspar, Lois' coworker, Malcolm's friend Stevie Kenarban, and Stevie's dad Abe.
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 setup, 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 distinctive 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.
|Erik Per Sullivan||Dewey||Main|
|James and Lukas Rodriguez||Jamie||Recurring||Main|
|Catherine Lloyd Burns||Caroline Miller||Main||Recurring|
|Craig Lamar Traylor||Stevie Kenarban||Recurring|
|David Anthony Higgins||Craig Feldspar||Recurring|
|Gary Anthony Williams||Abe Kenarban||Recurring|
|Evan Matthew Cohen||Lloyd||Recurring|
|Daniel Von Bargen||Edwin Spangler||Recurring||Flashback|
|Drew Powell||Drew Horton||Recurring||Flashback|
|Arjay Smith||Ken Finley||Recurring||Flashback|
|Karim Prince||Stanley Winn||Recurring|
|Eric Nenninger||Eric Hansen||Guest||Recurring||Flashback|
|Merrin Dungey||Kitty Kenarban||Guest||Recurring||Guest||Guest|
|Emy Coligado||Piama Tananahaakna||Recurring|
|Chris Eigeman||Lionel Herkabe||Recurring||Guest||Recurring|
|Victor Z. Isaac||Kevin||Recurring|
|Kenneth Mars||Otto Mannkusser||Recurring|
|Meagen Fay||Gretchen Mannkusser||Recurring|
- Malcolm (Frankie Muniz): the title character of the series. Malcolm is a genius with an IQ of 165 and a photographic memory. He 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, and large ego cause numerous problems for him over the course of the series. As the title suggests, Malcolm is initially the middle child of the three living at home; chronologically, he is Hal and Lois' third son. His best friend is Stevie Kenarban.
- Lois (Jane Kaczmarek): The family's hot-headed and stubborn mother. She struggles throughout the series to keep her badly behaved boys in check while maintaining a job at a Lucky Aide drugstore. Despite her constant aggressiveness, she is motherly. Lois is disliked by both Hal's wealthy family and her own parents that lead to her the person she is. She has a younger sister named Susan, who blames Lois for stealing Hal from her.
- Hal (Bryan Cranston): Hal is Lois's husband and father to Francis, Reese, Malcolm, Dewey, and Jamie. Hal is a well-meaning but inept father, and is completely dependent on Lois. He comes from a wealthy family that does not accept Lois as his wife and wishes that he married Susan instead. Because his family is disrespectful towards Lois, he rarely mentions them and avoids his family. Hal has a hard time making hard decisions before, especially on an elderly neighbor and faked having a psychosomatic paralysis to avoid making the decision until Lois snaps him out of it
- Francis (Christopher Masterson): Hal and Lois' first son. At the beginning of the series, he is attending military school in Alabama, run by the strict Commandant Spangler (Daniel von Bargen). He has himself legally emancipated at the start of Season 3, leaves the school, and travels to Alaska. He finds work at a logging camp and later meets and marries Piama (Emy Coligado), a girl of Inuit heritage. When the camp closes, they move to the western United States and take jobs at a Wild West-themed hotel/ranch, run by kindly but eccentric German, Otto Mannkusser (Kenneth Mars), and his wife, Gretchen (Meagen Fay). Francis and his mother have a mutual love-hate relationship. Although a juvenile delinquent, he is street-smart. Francis becomes a less frequently seen character after season 5, becoming an occasional recurring character and making only a small handful of appearances in Season 6 and the final Season 7. Whereas he was featured regularly in previous seasons as a side-story to the main family, Francis' steady job disappeared in season 6 due to legal issues, and he returned to being a delinquent, leading a questionable and poor lifestyle with his wife, Piama, until it is revealed in the final episode of season 7, "Graduation", that Francis has a steady desk job sorting out computers. He admits he likes his job to Hal, but also enjoys frustrating Lois by telling her that he's unemployed. Francis and Piama are expecting their first child.
- Reese (Justin Berfield): Hal and Lois' second son. He is the older brother of Malcolm, Dewey, and Jamie, and younger brother of Francis. Reese is the most impulsive of the boys. He lacks common sense and is frequently outwitted by other family members. Despite being unwilling to think and having little intelligence, he's revealed to be a Culinary prodigy, excelling at cooking and baking.
- Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan): Hal and Lois' fourth son. He is the youngest child until the birth of Jamie, and often falls victim to his brothers' pranks. Dewey is very intelligent and musically gifted. He plays the piano. Despite his intelligence, he is placed in a remedial class for slower students (or "Buseys") due to a misunderstanding. Dewey remains in the class and serves as their self-appointed teacher. By the seventh and final season of the show, the Busey class is no longer mentioned. He is the only sibling that eventually breaks the cycle of abusing the younger sibling, which ends up with him acting like a normal, lovable brother towards Jamie.
- Jamie (James and Lukas Rodriguez): Hal and Lois' fifth son, born at the end of Season 4. Despite his infancy, he is shown to already have some of his brothers' habits, such as stealing and disrespecting Lois. He is shown to being the only child who is capable of defeating Lois. Like Malcolm and Dewey, Jamie is revealed to be very intelligent and takes advantage of his less intelligent older brother, Reese.
- Craig Lamar Traylor as Stevie Kenarban, Malcolm's best friend who's in the Krelboyne class and uses a wheelchair. Stevie has difficulty breathing and is revealed in season 5 to have only one lung.
- David Anthony Higgins as Craig Feldspar, Lois' overweight coworker, who has a crush on Lois. He is very geeky and self-absorbed. In the rare event he is given actual power, he can also be as bossy as Lois, but much less competent. Craig has a non-existent relationship with his father, who is obsessed with running his gym.
- Emy Coligado as Piama Tananahaakna, Francis' wife. She is an Inupiat Alaska Native. She is a good wife to Francis and helps him resolve troublesome situations. She is initially disliked by Francis' mother, Lois, until a disastrous family reunion made her realize how unfair she was to Piama.
- Eric Nenninger as Eric Hanson, Francis' somewhat naïve friend from military school who precedes Francis to Alaska. It is his call which brings Francis to Alaska. However, Eric is left to hitchhike back home possibly as revenge for suggesting that he and Francis find work in Alaska.
- Catherine Lloyd Burns as Caroline Miller, Malcolm's "overly earnest" teacher. She ardently adores Malcolm due to his intelligence. Francis uses her adoration to pay a medical bill to stitch up Malcolm in one episode. She is the teacher of the Krelboynes in Season 1 and season 2, at which time she is seen heavily pregnant. After she gives birth, Caroline leaves teaching. She was also the only non-family member to be credited as part of the main cast in the intro.
- Kenneth Mars as Otto Mannkusser, Francis' boss who owns the ranch he works at after he leaves Alaska. He is of German descent and he is a naïve and kind-hearted person. He is married to Gretchen.
- Evan Matthew Cohen, Kyle Sullivan, Kristin Quick, Will Jennings, and Victor Z. Isaac all play Krelboynes from Malcolm's class.
- Gary Anthony Williams as Abe Kenarban, Stevie's overprotective father and Hal's best friend.
- Daniel von Bargen as Commandant Edwin Spangler, the head of Marlin Academy. He is missing his right eye, his left hand, and his ring finger on his right hand, and he actually never served war time. He despises Francis because he fought against him. In the end, he loses his other hand and later is fired from Marlin Academy. After arriving in Alaska, Francis gets Spangler a job at a retirement home, which gives him free reign to bully the elderly.
- Cloris Leachman as Grandma Ida, Lois' mother and Malcolm's grandmother. She despises Francis and Lois, except on one occasion when she was kind to Lois. She is generally disliked by the family, bar Reese whom she clearly favors. She lost her leg saving Dewey from being hit by a truck, one of her few recorded good deeds. She once tried to sue Lois, her own daughter, for slipping on a leaf in the walkway of Lois's house and becoming temporarily injured.
- Meagen Fay as Gretchen Mannkusser, Otto's wife who helps out at the ranch.
- Karim Prince as Cadet Stanley, Marlin Academy student, Francis' best friend and informal bodyguard during the show's first season.
- Kasan Butcher, Drew Powell, and Arjay Smith all play Francis' friends at Marlin Academy.
- Sandy Ward, John Ennis, Richard Gross, and Christopher Michael Moore all play Francis' friends at the Alaskan logging camp.
- Dan Martin, Jonathan Craig Williams, Edward James Gage, and Alex Morris all play Hal's poker friends.
- Chris Eigeman as Lionel Herkabe, the second teacher of the Krelboyne class and a former Krelboyne himself. Despite sharing many of the same personality traits, he and Malcolm hate each other, but on one occasion Herkabe was nice to Malcolm. He is also bossy, stubborn and sadistic. Herkabe loses his GPA award in light of his actions for flunking Gym.
- Brenda Wehle as Lavernia, Francis' first boss, a malevolent woman.
- Merrin Dungey played two different, unrelated characters. In the pilot episode Dungey plays Malcolm's teacher before he transfers to the Krelboyne class. Later in the first season, she appears as Kitty Kenarban, Stevie's mother who left him and Abe, but then returned.
- Todd Giebenhain as Richie, Francis' friend.
- Cameron Monaghan, Danny McCarthy, and Amy Bruckner as Dewey's special-ed class friends.
- Tania Raymonde as Cynthia, a Krelboyne girl who had a crush on Malcolm but left for Europe and later returned. Her dad is played by Fred Sanders.
- Hayden Panettiere as Jessica, a girl hired to babysit Reese, Malcolm, and Dewey who later ends up living on their couch temporarily after her dad is arrested. She had been known to play tricks on Reese and Malcolm. Despite this, Jessica has a crush on Malcolm and has shown that she can be a loyal friend.
- Landry Allbright as Julie Houlerman, a girl who Malcolm had a crush on.
- Julie Hagerty as Polly, Jamie's babysitter, who is extravagantly open about her personal problems and medical conditions.
- Steve Vinovich as Mr. Hodges, the school principal (season 7).
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||16||January 9, 2000||May 21, 2000|
|2||25||November 5, 2000||May 20, 2001|
|3||22||November 11, 2001||May 12, 2002|
|4||22||November 3, 2002||May 18, 2003|
|5||22||November 2, 2003||May 23, 2004|
|6||22||November 7, 2004||May 15, 2005|
|7||22||September 30, 2005||May 14, 2006|
The opening titles feature short clips from cult films or television shows, edited together with clips from the early seasons of the show. The original opening includes, in order of appearance:
- Three men fighting a giant Archelon: From One Million Years B.C. (1966)
- Grinning animated man in rain: Shiogami from the anime Nazca
- The monster rising out of the ocean is the Kraken: From Clash of the Titans (1981)
- Woman being held above a nest of hungry pterodactyls: From One Million Years B.C. (1966)
- Anime boy skateboarding: From the anime Nazca
- Mud-monster grabbing a woman as she kisses a man: From Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961)
- Man ski-jumping while ignited in flames: Thrill Seekers
- Wrestling match: Bret Hart locking Chris Benoit in the Sharpshooter during the WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match at WCW Mayhem 1999 PPV in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
- Robot head being assembled: From the BBC series Out of the Unknown episode "Liar!" (1969)
- Man attacking giant brain with an axe: From The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)
- Boxer knocking out referee: Cuban Pedro Cardenas fighting Canadian Willie de Wit but accidentally KOing referee Bert Lowes instead, during the 1982 North American Championships in Las Vegas.
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 Toluca Lake, California, was rented for upwards of $3,000 a day to film as Malcolm's house. Rebuilt in 2011, the property is no longer recognisable 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 Walter Reed Middle School, also in Toluca Lake, 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 ("Waterpark") was filmed at a water park called Wild Rivers located in Irvine, California. It is never revealed which state the show is set in (except for Francis' whereabouts in early seasons, such as his military school in Alabama and his job in Alaska).
Chris Masterson would take a diminished role starting with Season 6 of the show in favor of getting behind the camera, directing and writing some episodes in Seasons 6 and 7.
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, Lords of Acid, The Getaway People, En Vogue, Electric Light Orchestra, Fatboy Slim, Phil Collins, Tears for Fears, 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.
Home media releases
|DVD name||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4||French release date||Ep #||# of discs||Extras and notes|
|The Complete First Season||October 29, 2002||September 24, 2012||September 4, 2013||March 4, 2014||16||3||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.|
|The Complete Second Season||N/A||November 19, 2012||September 4, 2013||Spring 2014||25||4||Still Gallery|
|The Complete Third Season||February 4, 2013||September 4, 2013||22||3||A Still Gallery is listed but is absent from the actual DVDs|
|The Complete Fourth Season||March 4, 2013||September 4, 2013||22||3||A Still Gallery is listed but is absent from the actual DVDs|
|The Complete Fifth Season||April 29, 2013||September 4, 2013||22||3|
|The Complete Sixth Season||May 27, 2013||September 4, 2013||22||3|
|The Complete Seventh and Final Season||October 7, 2013||September 4, 2013||22||3|
|The Complete Collection Box Set||October 17, 2013||September 4, 2013||151||22||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, Season 2 Still Gallery.|
In February 2012, it was announced that Fabulous Films would be releasing the first season of the show in the UK in April, as well as releasing each subsequent season the following month, ending with a complete series set near Christmas 2012. However, in late March 2012, several retailers had removed the release date from their websites; this was later revealed to be because of "technical issues with the Masters" and that the release date had been pushed back to June. Other seasons will now follow on either a monthly or bi-monthly basis.
All the UK DVD releases are intact as originally aired with no cuts, with the original music, with the exception of one Season 3 episode "Company Picnic" which was originally aired as a one-hour special, before being re-edited and split into two parts for syndication. The DVD presents the syndicated version.
All seven seasons as well as the complete series set were released in Australia in September 2013. The complete series set altered the separate seven season sets to fit into four volumes. A collector's edition boxset which has the seasons split up instead of volumes was released subsequently in 2014. It features everything from the four-volume set and includes a bonus T-shirt. This set is exclusive to Australia.
Fox shuffled the show's air time repeatedly to make room for other shows. On January 13, 2006, Fox announced that the show would be moving to 7:00 pm on Sundays effective January 29, 2006. The 151st and final episode aired at 8:30 pm ET/PT (the show's original timeslot) on May 14, 2006. The finale was watched by 7.4 million.
|Season||Season premiere||Season finale||TV season||Timeslot||Ranking||Viewers
|1st||January 9, 2000||May 21, 2000||1999–2000||Sundays at 8:30||#18||15.2|
|2nd||November 5, 2000||May 20, 2001||2000–01||Sundays at 8:30||#22||14.5|
|3rd||November 11, 2001||May 12, 2002||2001–02||Sundays at 9:00||#25||13.0|
|4th||November 3, 2002||May 18, 2003||2002–03||Sundays at 9:00||#43||10.7|
|5th||November 2, 2003||May 23, 2004||2003–04||Sundays at 9:00||#71||8.4|
|6th||November 7, 2004||May 15, 2005||2004–05||Sundays at 7:30||#99||5.6|
|7th||September 30, 2005||May 14, 2006||2005–06||Fridays at 8:30 (2005-06) Sundays at 7:00 (2006)||#127||3.8|
In Australia, in 2001 Malcolm in the Middle premiered on Channel Nine, Monday nights at 8:00 pm. 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 France, the show first aired daily at 8 pm in December 2001, on M6, but did not 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%. Due to the show's popularity, the network is currently still broadcasting reruns.
In the UK, in April 2001, six months after it was shown on Sky 1, the show premiered on terrestrial television on BBC2 at 6:45 pm on Fridays, where the first episode gained 3.3 million. With the success of the first season, season 2 was moved to prime-time the following year at 8:30 pm. After airing in Channel 4 after The Simpsons, it was then shown weekdays on 5*, beginning on January 3, 2011. In November 2015, Comedy Central UK picked up the series.
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. Leachman succeeded in winning 2002 and 2006. The show won a total of 7 Emmys during its six-year run and a Peabody Award.
The show entered barter syndication one month before the sixth season premiered on Fox and was later aired on FX in the fall of 2007 until the fall of 2010. When the show entered syndication all of the TV-14 episodes had to be changed to TV-PG since they did not meet the syndication standards for a TV-14 rating. However Netflix categorizes the show under TV-14 (despite the only episode to use that rating is "Poker #2").
The show was launched on Nick at Nite on July 5, 2009 at 8:00 pm with an all night marathon. However, Nick at Nite aired the show with a PG rating and the episodes were either banned or heavily edited due to content that was too strong for the PG rating. When Nick at Nite pulled Malcolm it began airing on TeenNick from November 26, 2010 and continued until December 2010. The show returned to TeenNick's line-up on July 18, 2011.
On September 26, 2011, Malcolm in the Middle began airing on IFC. As of March 2013, the show has returned to TeenNick, airing weeknights at 10:00 pm (EST) and again at 10:30 pm (EST). Later during 2013 the show aired from 3:00 am (EST) till 5:00 am (EST), but has since switched to just a one-hour block from 4:00 am (EST) to 5:00 am (EST) after the 90's Are All That block was pushed back an hour. The series has not been shown on TeenNick since May 2014.
In the UK, the show was originally aired on Sky1 from September 3, 2000, later also airing on Sky2 and Sky3 before finally leaving all Sky channels in December 2010. It was also shown on BBC2 from April 6, 2001 until March 7, 2009. From January 3, 2011, it was shown on Fiver (now 5*) at 6:00 pm and again at about 7:30 pm. By 2014 it was only being shown weekly on Saturday at 3:15 pm in the order originally broadcast, the last repeat of the show in the UK (also the last ever episode produced) was shown for last time on 5* at 3:15 pm on Saturday January 18, 2014.
In November 2015, the show started airing from its first episode sequentially on Comedy Central at 11am in the UK.
On November 2, 2015 Family Channel in Canada started airing Malcolm in the Middle.
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I have a photographic memory. I can picture everything I put in the car.
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They pay about $3,000 to $4,000 a day.
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