The Middle (season 1)

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The Middle (season 1)
The Middle, season 1 DVD cover.jpg
Season 1 DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 24
Original network ABC
Original release September 30, 2009 – May 19, 2010
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of The Middle episodes

The first season of the television comedy series The Middle aired between September 30, 2009 and May 19, 2010, on ABC in the United States. It was produced by Blackie and Blondie Productions and Warner Bros. Television with series creators DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler as executive producers.

The show features Frances "Frankie" Heck (Patricia Heaton), a working-class, Midwestern woman married to Mike Heck (Neil Flynn) who resides in the small fictional town of Orson, Indiana. They are the parents of three children, Axl (Charlie McDermott), Sue (Eden Sher), and Brick (Atticus Shaffer).

After airing only 2 episodes, ABC gave the show a full season pickup. It was then renewed for a second season on January 12, 2010.[1]

The first episode premiered to 8.707 million viewers, a 5.4/9 household rating and a 2.6/8 adults 18-49 rating. It beat out the CBS sitcom, Gary Unmarried, and the NBC drama, Mercy, both of which aired in the same timeslot.[2]


Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Brock Ciarlelli as Brad, Sue's boyfriend.

Appeared in "Thanksgiving" "Christmas" and "The Fun House"

Appeared in "The Neighbor" "Valentine's Day" "The Fun House" and "Average Rules"

  • Jen Ray as Nancy Donahue, the Hecks' neighbor.

Appeared in "The Block Party" "Siblings" and "Signals"

Appeared in "The Block Party" "Siblings" "Valentine's Day" "The Fun House" "TV Or Not TV" and "Signals"

  • Brian Doyle-Murray as Don Elhert, owner of the car dealership where Frankie and Bob work.

Appeared in "Pilot" "The Cheerleader" "The Floating Anniversary" "The Trip" "The Front Door" "The Scratch" "Thanksgiving" "The Bee" "The Break Up" "The Fun House" "The Final Four" and "Worry Duty"

Guest cast[edit]

  • Patricia Belcher as Mrs. Rettig, Brick's teacher. She appears in "Pilot".
  • Vicki Lewis as Mrs. Barry, a social worker who visits the Heck household. She appears in "The Scratch".
  • Mary-Pat Green as Mrs. Larimer, the principal of Orson Elementary. She appears in "The Scratch".
  • John Cullum as Big Mike, Mike's father. He appears in "Thanksgiving".
  • Brooke Shields as Rita Glossner, Frankie and Mike's neighbor. She appears in "The Neighbor".
  • Amy Sedaris as Abby Michaels, a motivator at Frankie's job. She appears in "The Fun House".
  • Alexa Vega as Morgan, Axl's girlfriend. She appears in "The Break-Up" and "Worry Duty".
  • Marsha Mason as Pat Spence, Frankie's mother. She appears in "Mother's Day".
  • Betty White as Mrs. Nethercott, Brick's school librarian. She appears in "Average Rules".


No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
U.S. viewers
1 1 "Pilot" Julie Anne Robinson DeAnn Heline & Eileen Heisler September 30, 2009 (2009-09-30) 276047 8.71[3]
Frankie is struggling in her career as a car saleswoman because she has yet to sell one. She finally thinks that she has made her first sale, but the car is stolen right in front of her. Meanwhile, Sue becomes part of the school choir ... as part of the stage crew. Brick wants Frankie to come into school dressed as a superhero for a presentation, but doesn't tell her the correct day.
2 2 "The Cheerleader" Lee Shallat Chemel DeAnn Heline & Eileen Heisler October 7, 2009 (2009-10-07) 3X5701 6.79[4]
Frankie finds herself at her wits' end when her dryer breaks and she discovers that all the interest payments are due. So in a last-ditch effort to save her job and get some money, Frankie fills a car on the dealer's lot with jelly beans as a publicity stunt, but this causes the doors to stick shut. Meanwhile, Sue fails to make the swim team and realizes that she needs glasses, Brick is forced to "socially interact" when a fine prevents him from checking out books at the library, and Axl is on the receiving end of one of Mike's classic punishments.
3 3 "The Floating Anniversary" Gail Mancuso Rob Ulin October 14, 2009 (2009-10-14) 3X5703 6.77[5]
The romantic anniversary getaway (consisting of a hotel room and a rug shopping expedition) that Frankie and Mike have planned for ages becomes unhinged when Brick gets sick; Sue has a crush and doesn't know how to tell the boy; Axl gets his learner's permit; and Frankie's psychotic aunts (and their dog) require constant attention.
4 4 "The Trip" Lee Shallat Chemel Jana Hunter & Mitch Hunter October 21, 2009 (2009-10-21) 3X5704 6.53[6]
After Sue raises thousands of dollars for the school by selling sausage and cheese to earn a trip to Indianapolis, she is left off the list to go on the trip. Frankie demands her little girl to fight for her right to go on the trip, but once Sue is on the bus Frankie realizes she forgot to mail the order form. Sue's anger finally gives her a voice to stand up for her rights. Meanwhile, Brick gets a girlfriend, which becomes very stressful for him. He enlists Axl's advice to break up with her (while Axl is showering), but when that fails (and ends up earning Brick a marriage and a baby), he asks his dad to step in.
5 5 "The Block Party" Ken Whittingham Alex Reid October 28, 2009 (2009-10-28) 3X5702 6.49[7]
When the school counselor tells Frankie and Mike that Brick is "socially challenged", Mike sets about getting Brick some friends, but when his idea of basketball falls through, he discovers Brick has other talents, which may assist Mike in winning the Block Party lawnmower race. Meanwhile, Sue tries out for tennis ball girl, and Frankie becomes obsessed with getting Axl's old football jersey, because all of his teammates have given their mothers theirs. Axl gives Sue the jersey since he felt sorry for her failing at yet another trial and reveals his softer side to Frankie's joy.
6 6 "The Front Door" Michael Spiller Russ Woody November 4, 2009 (2009-11-04) 3X5705 6.04[8]
Frankie is fed up with Axl's attitude towards her and Mike, so when he accidentally breaks down the front door, despite the fact that she has been nagging Mike to fix the door hinge for three months, she goes along with Mike to make Axl fix it. Meanwhile, Frankie must sell a car within a week or she will be forced to wear a dog suit outside the car lot as a promotion, and Sue stresses over her school pictures and decides to go for a retake.
7 7 "The Scratch" Wendey Stanzler & Alex Reid DeAnn Heline & Eileen Heisler November 18, 2009 (2009-11-18) 3X5707 7.06[9]
While scrambling to gather the garbage for trash day, Frankie accidentally hits Brick with a beer bottle. When Brick brags to a school hall monitor about his mark, Frankie and Mike must answer to the police, leading to a social worker monitoring the family. Unfortunately, the social worker is a spurned lover of Mike's. Meanwhile, Mr. Ehlert wants Bob to shoot a new commercial for the car dealership.
8 8 "Thanksgiving" Michael Spiller Vijal Patel November 25, 2009 (2009-11-25) 3X5706 6.00[10]
Due to Frankie having to work, Mike not inviting his dad to Thanksgiving dinner, Axl trying to leave for snowboarding, and Brick wanting to visit a corn maze, Frankie cancels Thanksgiving. Mike and the kids try to pull Thanksgiving together for her. Meanwhile, everyone but Sue thinks her new boyfriend is gay.
9 9 "Siblings" Barnet Kellman Rob Ulin December 2, 2009 (2009-12-02) 3X5709 6.19[11]
Seeing the Donahue kids being nice together, Frankie becomes self-conscious of her parenting skills and tries to gather her own family for "family fun." Meanwhile, the booster club chooses her to head the wreath sale; and Mike must fire Aunt Edie as the quarry's accountant after she makes a huge mistake with the checks.
10 10 "Christmas" Reginald Hudlin Roy Brown December 9, 2009 (2009-12-09) 3X5708 7.69[12]
To allow Frankie to focus on rehearsing for an honored solo in her church's midnight Christmas service, Mike takes over handling the many chores of setting up the Heck family Christmas. The family then oversleep and nearly miss Frankie's solo.
11 11 "The Jeans" Jamie Babbit Jana Hunter & Mitch Hunter January 6, 2010 (2010-01-06) 3X5710 7.55[13]
Frankie buys Sue an expensive pair of jeans and Mike buys Axl a cheap car. Brick offers to take care of a relative's dog and his parents reluctantly agree.
12 12 "The Neighbor" Lee Shallat Chemel Jana Hunter & Mitch Hunter January 6, 2010 (2010-01-06) 3X5712 8.17[13]
Brooke Shields plays Rita Glossner, a hard-living cigarette-smoker who is considered "mean" or "an Amazon" by her neighbors. Her sons, the dreaded Glossner boys, are also deemed "bullies" and get in a fight with Sue. Frankie goes to confront Rita, and discovers many items in the Glossners' garage which had been stolen from the Hecks and other neighbors.
13 13 "The Interview" Ken Whittingham Vijal Patel January 13, 2010 (2010-01-13) 3X5711 5.95[14]
Mike finds dinosaur bones in the quarry, which closes the quarry while the bones are analyzed, putting him temporarily out of work. When he tries to find another job, he discovers that the interview process has changed in the last 20 years.
14 14 "The Yelling" Elliot Hegarty Rob Ulin February 3, 2010 (2010-02-03) 3X5713 7.32[15]
Bob offers Mike a spot on the night shift, meaning Mike must cooperate with Bob; Frankie tries to yell less at the kids.
15 15 "Valentine's Day" Chris Koch Bruce Rasmussen February 10, 2010 (2010-02-10) 3X5714 7.83[16]
Frankie and Mike try, but largely fail, to have a romantic Valentine's Day dinner out. Brick gets invited to his first sleepover by a member of his social-skills class a.k.a. "The Odd Squad" who pretends he is a cat. Sue's friend Carly "blossoms" after getting her braces off, which gets the two invited to a wild "Boy-Girl Party." Axl has shifting Valentine's plans involving girls, and he and two boyfriends wait at the Hecks' home expecting girls who never appear.
16 16 "The Bee" Ken Whittingham Eileen Heisler & DeAnn Heline March 3, 2010 (2010-03-03) 3X5717 6.02[17]
Brick wins a local spelling bee and Mike is highly enthusiastic about his talent. Meanwhile Sue's birthday is forgotten so Frankie tries to make it up to her on the trip to Chicago.
17 17 "The Break-Up" Wendey Stanzler Vijal Patel March 10, 2010 (2010-03-10) 3X5715 6.32[18]
Axl has a seemingly normal girlfriend (Alexa Vega) who ultimately breaks up with him. Meanwhile, Sue and Brick watch a zombie movie and have nightmares.
18 18 "The Fun House" Chris Koch Roy Brown March 24, 2010 (2010-03-24) 3X5716 7.16[19]
Frankie's boss hires a motivator named Abby (Amy Sedaris), and the family briefly has the "cool house" in the neighborhood.
19 19 "The Final Four" Alex Reid Rob Ulin March 31, 2010 (2010-03-31) 3X5719 6.23[20]
Mike gets tickets to The Final Four, but a death in the family may change his plans.
20 20 "TV or Not TV" Lee Shallat Chemel Vijal Patel April 14, 2010 (2010-04-14) 3X5718 6.70[21]
With Mike laid off at work, the family are in debt and give up cable TV to save money. Though the kids are initially unhappy with the change, they soon find distractions and it's Frankie and Mike who end up having the most difficulty without the TV. Sue dreams of being a model and starts saving the money to do so. Brick and his shy friends are forced into school recess with boisterous "regular" kids, much to his dismay. Frankie wins a Bingo jackpot.
21 21 "Worry Duty" Lee Shallat Chemel Bruce Rasmussen April 28, 2010 (2010-04-28) 3X5720 7.10[22]
Axl gets back together with over-achieving Morgan, the girlfriend previously seen in The Break-Up, whom Frankie now sees as annoying and controlling. Brick becomes "mother" to a baby chicken. The family attend a picnic thrown by Frankie's miserly boss.
22 22 "Mother's Day" Barnet Kellman Mitch Hunter & Jana Hunter May 5, 2010 (2010-05-05) 3X5721 6.75[23]
Frankie experiences a hecticm emotionally exhausting Mother's Day, which she unfavorably compares to Father's Day. Meanwhile, Sue is tormented because she stole a small novelty item. Hoping to celebrate Mother's Day right, Frankie and Sue visit Frankie's mother (Marsha Mason), who is annoyed, as she had shared Frankie's wish for a peaceful day to herself.
23 23 "Signals" Jamie Babbit DeAnn Heline & Eileen Heisler May 12, 2010 (2010-05-12) 3X5722 7.49[24]
Mike and Brick both try to be more sociable, which lands them in awkward situations. Sue is enamored with guitar-playing pastor "Reverend TimTom." Axl hopes the family's barbecue will allow him to see attractive girls in bikinis...if the weather clears up.
24 24 "Average Rules" Wendey Stanzler DeAnn Heline & Eileen Heisler May 19, 2010 (2010-05-19) 3X5723 7.55[25]
Parent-Teacher conferences cause Frankie to worry about the kids. In them she's told Axl is gifted but not applying himself, that Sue's teachers still don't recall her, and that Brick may have to repeat second grade because he hasn't returned over 30 books to the school librarian (Betty White) Sue is excited to be accepted on the school cross-country team.


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