Monday, March 3, 2014

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING: Award Winning Comedy ‘THE MIDDLE’ comes to Hallmark Channel TONIGHT at 7pm #interview

Interview With Charlie McDermott and Eden Sher from ‘THE MIDDLE’ 

So who digs the popular comedy series The Middle?  Last week Hallmark Channel invited ChiIL Mama to ChiIL out on a LIVE Press Q&A Conference Call With

Charlie McDermott and Eden Sher 


‘THE MIDDLE’ comes to Hallmark Channel

Beginning Monday, March 3 (Airs: 8p.m. – 10p.m. E/P, 7C)

Hallmark Channel Will Air First 88 Episodes of the Playful Family Sitcom; Series Added to Network's Highly-Rated Primetime Line-Up of Acquired Hit Shows

If you already adore The Middle and want to reminisce, or if you've never seen an episode, it's the perfect time to hop on board, though the actors made it clear each episode is fairly self contained and you won't be too lost if you tune in mid season.

“The Middle,” which debuted on ABC in September 2009, follows a working-class Midwestern family, giving a realistic but humorous portrait of modern American life.  Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) and her husband, Mike (Neil Flynn), have lived in Orson, Indiana, their whole lives.  A man of few words, Mike is a manager at the town quarry and Frankie is the third-best used car salesman (out of the three) at the local dealership.  She may not be a high-powered career woman, but when it comes to her family, she’ll go to any length.  And with kids like Axl (Charlie McDermott), Sue (Eden Sher) and Brick (Atticus Shaffer), she had better.  Sometimes it seems like everyone is trying to get to the top, or struggling not to fall to the bottom, but Frankie and her family find a lot of love, and a lot of laughs, somewhere in “The Middle.”

Currently in its fifth season on ABC, the show has continued to grow in popularity and has featured guest starring appearances by Norm Macdonald, Doris Roberts, Brooke Shields, Betty White and Whoopi Goldberg, among many more.  With seven television awards under its belt, the show’s comedic take on everyday family situations has found an audience of viewers who connect to its relatable characters, looking for a fresh take on family fun. “The Middle” is a Warner Bros. Television Distribution.

Our Hour Long Chat With 
Charlie & Eden

It was truly a pleasure to get to know these two a bit better off camera.  They were a hoot!  Without the scripted lines, they were genuine and had a great rapport together.  We can't wait to catch the first episode tonight at their new home, on The Hallmark Channel.  This award winning comedy has staying power at 100 episodes and counting. 

We'll pull a few of the interview highlights for you below.

On Social Media: (Since I work in this realm, this question was of particular interest to me.  Social Media can make or break a show or an actor and can be harshly cruel or overwhelmingly adoring.)

Lisa Steinberg:  How do you all feel about being interactive with the social media and fans?

Charlie McDermott: I think -- I enjoy it.  I think it's fun.  Yes, it's cool.  I think it's a neat -- it gets a little, I don't know, I don't know how to exactly describe it.  There's days where I really like it a lot and I think it's cool and then there's days where it's a little too much and I kind of just want to get rid of it.  So I feel like I'm constantly fluctuating back and forth between the two.  I think Eden has a very definitive opinion on the matter.

Eden Sher: I do.  Well, it's not definitive in that it's kind of convoluted and volatile in my brain, because on the one hand I'm really, really, really not a fan of the internet just like in general.  I have a sort of general phobia of the internet and I don't really want it that much.  But then on the other hand, I feel like that can sometimes not responding to fans on the internet can be misconstrued as ingratitude and I don't want to feel like ungrateful.  I am so grateful for all of the fans and I think it's so awesome that they want to know information, like personal or they want to be involved.  And I'm so happy to be involved, like I want to share myself and let them know that I'm grateful for them, but I really am not the biggest user of social media and the internet in general.

Favorite Aspect of Your Character: 
Lisa Steinberg: Well, what is your favorite aspect then of your character?  And obviously, that's for each of you, what's your favorite aspect of your portrayal -- of Sue and what's your favorite aspect of Axl?

Eden Sher: Mine is the -- is getting the professional opportunity to get paid to just fall on my butt multiple times a day, and squeal, and steal unicorn onesies from Sue's wardrobe pretty much.

Charlie McDermott: Did you do that?

Eden Sher: I have done that in the past.  It's true.

Charlie McDermott: I didn’t even know that you had a unicorn onesie.  

Eden Sher: I wore it in literally one scene for one episode and I think I haven't worn it since because I got so excited about it and I asked the wardrobe department where they got it, and I want to buy one.  They were like, oh no, you should just take that one.  We have a double. 

Eden Sher: I've worn it once and it hasn't come up again, but it was -- it's my favorite item of clothing I've ever worn for any job.  So that's an aspect of Sue that I really respect.  And Charlie, how about for you?  

Charlie McDermott: Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes.  Yes, Axl is fun, he's fun to play.  

Eden Sher: Charlie is a brilliant, brilliant wordsmith, really, really good actor.

Charlie McDermott:  I guess my favorite aspect of Axl is, I don't know, I always feel like a terrible person usually when I'm playing Axl because he kind of does a lot of terrible things.  He's fun in the sense that I get to just act like an imbecile I guess a lot and always get away with it.  And I guess that's my favorite -- yes.  He's funny.  I like playing -- yes, you want to help me, Eden?

Eden Sher: Yes, it's super hard to talk about yourself and also talk about the character that you play because so much of yourself goes into it and I know that that's a weird thing to come to terms with, when you can see objectively that your character is kind of an asshole.  But I would say you're really, really skilled at groaning.  I would say my favorite, every time, anytime you have to be outraged at something, something really, really minuscule, I can see the Charlie every part of you that is super -- as you, Charlie, rational, and grateful, and would never complain about anything just to get throw that out for a second so that you can just be a brat, and groan, and you just do it so well.  And it's with so much heart.  It's crazy how much (inaudible) can go into your groans, your really obnoxious groans.  

Charlie McDermott: No, that is fun.  I do like that.  Yes, the obnoxious groan is definitely my favorite.  I guess because this year, I think I just started to realize I've been doing this rolling growl thing with (inaudible) in one scene.  That's been my favorite thing lately.  I don't know where that came from, but I've been enjoying doing that to the point where they kind of tell me to stop.  I've been doing it too much.  

Charlie McDermott: Yes, the groans.  I'm going to go with that.  Favorite aspect, rolling groans.  

Eden Sher: Unicorn onesies and groans, that's what you get from the cast of The Middle.  

It's interesting to me that Eden is the middle child in her real life family and on The Middle, and Charlie is the oldest, with two younger sisters.

Ain't That a Kick in The Head:

Eden Sher: Another surreal thing of being on a show for five years is making a deal with one of the other cast members that if we reach season five in January, he will be able to kick me in the head.

Charlie McDermott: It was actually the face.  

Eden Sher: It was.

Sean Daily: When did that deal get made, in season one?

Eden Sher: Was that during the pilot, Charlie?

Charlie McDermott: No, it wasn't the pilot because we were on that set.  Because remember, we were -- for some reason, because there's a closet in the (inaudible).  

Eden Sher: Oh, right.

Charlie McDermott: That opens up and when we have to enter from the hallway, we hide back there behind the refrigerator.  But when it's closed up, it looks like a normal closet.  And Eden, and Atticus, and I were for some reason -- had to just all crowd under this small closet.  And Eden was on the ground and me, like my normal self, realizing my leg and foot were a perfect distance to kick her in the face, because I was standing up --

Charlie McDermott: And we made the deal that if we got to season five, I could kick her in the face.  And then we got to season five and it was January, that was the deal, it was January of season five and we didn't do it because I realized I didn't really, actually want to kick her in the face.  It was more just -- yes.

Eden Sher: It was just such an unrealistic -- it was kind of like, if we get to season five, you get to kick me in the face.  For whatever reason, I don't think either one of us expected.

Charlie McDermott: Well, you actually summed it up.  You kind of said it -- you wrote me that little note and you kind of said it in there, how it wasn't about the actual kick in the face.  It was about us giving a reason to make it five years or something along those lines.  

The Original Auditions:
Sean Daily: Listen, as long as we're in the way back machine, can we talk about your auditions, when you first came to read for the show, and what do you remember about that?

Charlie McDermott: Well, I first moved here in 2006 and I auditioned for the original pilot a couple months after coming out here.  And the character was named Elvis then.  And I went in and made it two auditions in and I got cut.  I didn't make it any further.  And then the pilot went and they didn't get picked up.  And then a year after that, the audition came back again and it was the exact same audition sides except the character name was scratched out and it said Axl instead of Elvis.  And I still had the scenes memorized because I only had two or three lines in the pilot.  I went through five auditions over a couple months and got it.  And yes, and then that was it.  What were you going to say, Eden?

Eden Sher: I was just going to say I kind of agree.  I think had a little bit more of a tumultuous auditioning process than Charlie.  I don't know if they had such -- it was so vague, their idea, and also so specific, which is kind of the curse of having a character that you love but also having such little idea of how someone could execute it.  But I went through also just months and months of auditioning and just being 100% confident that they hated me because they kept bringing me in, and every time they'd say it was a callback there would be different, more and different girls there.  And I was just like, this isn't a callback.  These are just more auditions.  Are they just forgetting that they've seen me already?  Like they don't like me.

Charlie McDermott: That's what happened to me.  That's what freaked me out because the first time I went in there was like maybe 25, 30 kids and I made it through that one.  And I came back and there was like double that amount there.  And I had the same thing.  I was like, I thought this was a callback, why are there more people.  

Eden Sher: The role that I eventually I ended up -- I was like, okay, they're screen testing me, maybe they do actually like me.  I'm reading these sides for the 14th time.  The two other girls were 11 and 12 and I was like, well, all right, clearly they want whatever, an actual 12 year old and I'm 17 and have way too -- there's no way I can actually look this young.  And each -- they never even -- they did a process of elimination.  First, it was two girls.  Then there was just one other girl at the next one and then the other girl at that one was in the room for 30 minutes and I was in for I want to say literally four minutes.  So I was again just confident, oh my God, this whole emotional process was just not worth anything.  I can't believe I went through this for nothing, even though I really wanted the role and then ha, ha, it was the best wrong I've ever been.  

Charlie McDermott: And then the first time I met you, I was in my underwear.  

Eden Sher: That's true.

Charlie McDermott: Remember that?

Eden Sher: Quite a fortuitous meeting.  

Charlie McDermott: I thought it was a little strange that they just brought these two girls into the dressing room as I was taking my pants off.  Like, hi.  

Eden Sher: And just before the casting agent had to come up to me and been like, have you met the boy who's playing Axl?  And I was like, no, I haven't yet and she was like, oh, he's so cute.  And then I walk into -- and I was like, oh, okay, he's like my brother.  And I walk into the room and you're in your underwear.  And I was like, this is (inaudible).  This is weird.  

Charlie McDermott: That is really bizarre.  

The Acting Family Dynamic:
Ashley Schafer: Hi, guys.  I would like to just say this has been awesome listening to you.  You're hilarious.  

Charlie McDermott: Thanks.

Charlie McDermott: I keep forgetting there's a group of people listening. 

Ashley Schafer: Which you can kind of tell, but I wanted to ask you guys a lot of times when you hear about sitcoms and people who play a family onscreen, they kind of have that relationship off screen.  From listening to the two of you, it definitely sounds that way a little.  But if you could tell me a little bit about the cast of The Middle, and you guys, and your relationship off screen.  Does it kind of have that family dynamic to it?

Eden Sher: I don't know, I hate Charlie a lot.  So maybe that's (inaudible).

Charlie McDermott: Because we're both just really good actors.

Eden Sher: Yes, exactly.  This is all a façade.  I can't stand this stupid person.  I can't wait to never have to see him again.  Oh, I can't even fake that.  I can't even maintain that joke for more than five seconds.  It makes me too sad.  

Charlie McDermott: Aw.  Yes, we're very close.  Yes.  

Eden Sher: I love Charlie.  I think we both -- I love all the whatever, the cast member that feels very, again, surreal and sometimes like I don't want to come off disingenuous by saying I love everyone and going to work every day is just a dream come true, and I'm really privileged, and grateful, and I can't believe that this is my job.  But that's pretty much how I feel.  I love it.  

Ashley Schafer:  What do you think it is that's made The Middle such a success, that's made you get to 100 episode plus and now in syndication on network?  What do you think has made that happen?

Charlie McDermott:  From what people tell me that love it, they feel like they can relate to it.  And it's also, the one thing that it definitely has going for it is I'm pretty sure as far as I know, the only network TV show that's enjoyable and appropriate for the entire family.  There's a lot of shows that are family shows, I'm doing air quotes by myself in the parking lot right now, but it gets too racy for some families, or some things go over the kids' heads.  I feel like this show is a good balance of appealing to young and old simultaneously.

Eden Sher: Also, there's a certain level of high browness, a certain level of class that comes along with actually making the connotation around family sitcoms can be a little bit like, oh, so it's going to be like (inaudible) or kid friendly, or whatever.  I like raunchy comedies too, but not have to resort to cheap cursing or just like raunchy, just for the shock value sort of things.  If you just make something funny because it's funny, when someone falls and it's funny or when someone is stupid and it's funny, that's kind of respect.  And I also am just going to add that it's a really difficult question to answer because it's always, at least for me, a pleasant surprise.  I'm not -- it's just a pleasant surprise that -- because I am me and Charlie is him.  We're putting ourselves into these characters.  So for someone to say, wow, I relate so much to that, it's always kind of like, really, wow, I'm so glad that you can derive joy from my absolute tomfoolery.  Because I'm just being me.  Thank you.  I'm so glad you can relate, but it's not the goal.  I mean it's probably Eileen and DeAnn's genius goal, they know that they're making it relatable.  But when you're actually in it, it's hard to say if anyone is going to feel the feelings that you're feeling at that time.  
Noel Manning: It's like a love fest going on here.  

Charlie McDermott: Yes.

Noel Manning: Like a love fest between you two.

Eden Sher: Oh my God, it's a love fest every day.  It's heartbreaking how much I love -- just have this fondness for Charlie as like -- he's like my third actual brother.  Man, I'm just -- I'm -- maybe this is a little TMI for a phone interview, but no, I can't (inaudible).  I'm a little bit of a gushy human.  

Charlie McDermott: No, I'm the same thing.  

Charlie McDermott: I feel like you're my third actual brother too.

Eden Sher: Exactly.  I always wanted to be someone's third brother.  

Becoming the Characters: 

Noel Manning:  One of the things that I've really enjoyed tremendously is the aspect of the writing, but also the aspect of the characters and how unique the characters are.  I think it's rare for a show to be able to nail that on both ends and I think The Middle has definitely done that.

At what point do you guys think that you truly became at home with the characters?  And I'm sensing today there's always been a little bit of the characters in you as people, but at what point did you say, yes, okay, I feel completely at home with these characters?  And this goes out to both of you.  

Eden Sher: I don't know, it's just a gradual kind of process.  It's one of those things that when you're growing, you're physically growing and then all of a sudden you look back and you're like, whoa, I'm a foot taller than I was.  When did that happen?

Noel Manning: Yes, yes.

Eden Sher: But I had a very specific sort of revelatory moment, the season finale of season one with the cross-country, just sitting for 12 hours in this -- in the -- getting grass, and mud, and fake rain just spilled on me for hours and hours and having to be on crutches, and just, that was the most true to Sue that I've ever felt and it was like, okay, I love this -- I like this character and I am like in it.  Like, I got it, I've got this shit down.  

Charlie McDermott: I feel like I started to actually get how to play Axl midway through season three is when I started to feel kind of like I knew what I was doing.  And season four, I felt pretty good but I feel like this season has been, for me at least, the one where I kind of really understand what's going on in his head a little bit better, or I'm able to -- I kind of have a specific direction I guess with how I'm trying to portray him.  But I feel like especially season one, I even recall Eileen talked to me about this I think it was last season that they basically had no idea what to do with me for the first year.  Because I know Sue is kind of in a way, correct me if I'm wrong, Eden, but from what I've heard, Sue was kind of like an exaggeration of them when they were younger and then Brick is based off of Eileen's actual son in real life, and Frankie and Mike come from real places.  But Axl was a complete fabrication.  

Eden Sher: Well, I want to jump in just about Charlie, just a little bit just because the character, writing a character like Axl, having that sort of brat -- not brat, yes, kind of like bratty, attitudinal teenage son is a little bit of a trope.  So making a character like that, you totally run the risk of having a false caricature of that teenager, but I think they really, really hit the nail on the head with my good buddy, Chuck, because again, like I said, it takes a really special kind of person to bring really, really heartfelt humanity to a character like that.  So I think they really -- it took you a little -- maybe it took you longer, it took them to kind of figure it out, but I think when you did, when they sort of started giving you a little bit more of a whole person, you started seeing different sides of Axl.  I think that had a lot to do with seeing different sides of Charlie.

Charlie McDermott: What side of Charlie?

Eden Sher: It's almost like they can more accurately see the similarities between Axl and Charlie by seeing how different the real Charlie is.  If they see, oh, whoa, Charlie has so much heart it can maybe just inspire them to see, oh, well since Charlie plays this brat so well but his heart is so really in there, it allows them to write Axl with heart more easily, sort of combine it.  They can marry the two.  

Ed Martin: What is going on in Axl's head?

Charlie McDermott: At least the way I look at it, he's very, very much wants to get away, escape.  I mean he loves his family but I think he's wanted this whole time to kind of just be his own kid, and be his own guy, and make something of himself in a way.  And I think what comes out as a lot of selfish aggression because he's constantly separating himself from his family and constantly talking about how awesome it is.  But I think it all, at least in my opinion, comes from a place of insecurity, especially since because this season he's had trouble meeting any girls or really making any friends outside of his football team.  So yes, I always kind of took it as that.  I feel like he's in a way overcompensating for what he wants, I guess.  That's what I've taken from it.

Ed Martin: Do you think he's starting to face his adulthood or his impending adulthood?

Charlie McDermott: Yes, definitely.  Yes.  I mean he's kind of finally realized he can't just slack off constantly because he almost got kicked out of school.  I think that's a big part of it now. 

Star Struck by Famous Guests:
Kelly Schremph: The show has had some great guest stars on as well, Whoopi Goldberg, Betty White.  Who were you most star struck to work with?

Charlie McDermott: For me it was Norm McDonald.  I was a huge fan of Norm McDonald.  Yes, when he came on.  I was also a huge fan of Chris Kattan, both of them from SNL.  But I worked with Chris Kattan during the pilot.  So I got my star struckedness out of the way pretty early.  But yes, when Norm McDonald came on, I was pretty star struck.  

Eden Sher: I feel like I was -- I don't know why, I was not -- maybe I was star struck on an unconscious level with Whoopi Goldberg because I threw up, but I don't remember feeling.  

Charlie McDermott: That's a disease, the star struck.

Eden Sher: Yes, exactly.  It was like the actual like physical, oh my God, my body is struck.  It doesn't know what to do.  Just blech, going to release everything in my body.  

Charlie McDermott: I'm actually still pretty star struck by Whoopi Goldberg, but I think it's more so I'm just terrified of her because she's such an intimidating person to me.  So it's not so much like whoa, I'm like, oh my God, it's Whoopi Goldberg.

Eden Sher: Got to be on your best behavior, yes.

Charlie McDermott: Yes, she seems like an immortal to me.  I feel like she's been alive for hundreds of years if not longer.  

Eden Sher: She is, yes.

Charlie McDermott: Yes, she just has this confidence and wisdom of an immortal.  I remember it was on set, I just came in early one of her first days there and I was getting chips at crafty, and she came up behind me, and she always calls me Slick.  Like what's up slick.  I turned around and she was right there just wanting to talk to me and I had no idea what to say or do, and I froze, and basically gave her nothing.  She just kept asking me questions and I just stood there with a bag of chips.

Eden Sher: I don't believe that.  I think Charlie has a skewed memory of a lot of interactions where he paints himself as this awkward, not able to make conversation human being and I've never, ever seen him in a situation where he doesn't like handle himself with poise.  

Charlie McDermott: Well, maybe I did.  I probably -- I'm sure I said something but all I remember is being in terror and not being able to speak.  But yes, I'm sure I didn't -- maybe I did speak.  She said that to me when we all went on The View, right before we walked out.  She said it again.  She's like, what's up slick.  I was like -- I have a very specific memory of -- my grandmother is a nun and we go to the beach every year with our cousins.  And she was -- or she was a nun.  She left the convent.  But she had a nun friend come over and visit us and that side of the family is not very appropriate for a nun to be hanging out around.  And basically, we just left the nun in the living room and had Sister Act on loop for an entire day.  That's my first real memory of Whoopi Goldberg.  I saw that movie so many times in one day.  

JJGhatt:  The question to you guys is, syndication is great for several reasons because it means you're being introduced to a whole new category of people in the future even after the show is done, you guys are gone onto other projects.  But another down part of syndication is with shows like The Brady Brunch and Different Strokes in the '70s, is that some of the child actors from those shows feel like they get pigeonholed into certain characters or roles and they find it difficult transitioning.  Of course, others don't.  So do you have any fears or what are your feelings about that regarding syndication and the outcomes of what it could mean for the future?

Charlie McDermott: I think luckily for Eden and I, I mean the show is successful but it's not anywhere near the success that Full House, or Different Strokes, or the Brady Bunch was because that was kind of the show and 30 million people watched that every week.  And also, Eden and I are very fortunate in the fact that we don't necessarily look that much like our characters outside of filming, especially Eden.  And we all are really -- I feel like a lot of -- we also started the show post-childhood, which helps too.  I mean I was almost 20 when we started the first season and Eden was 18.  So luckily, we also have -- I feel like a lot of the pigeonholing happens when you're a little kid because you're not really acting.  You're not performing a character.  You're just playing yourself.  So then you as a person becomes identified with the character and that's how the pigeonholing happens.  

But the fact that we were old enough to kind of know that we were playing a character and separate that from our own...very helpful.

Eden Sher: I don't know.  I'm not fearful.  I'm more really excited for the future when I am only -- when people just call me Sue Heck on the street and I'm getting paid to make birthday party appearances as Sue and that's my only source of income.  I don't know, I'm not fearful.  

Eden Sher: Yes, I think Charlie and I are lucky in that also -- not that look different, but I'm pretty confident in that we're pretty talented human beings who will be able to convince others that we can play other people.  

Charlie McDermott: Yes.  And if not, then we'll just do joint birthday party appearances.  

Eden Sher: Exactly.

Working With Patty Heaton & Neil Flynn:
Brian Gianelli: My question is working, what it's been like for you guys working five years with Patty Heaton and Neil Flynn, what you've learned from them and how it's been.

Charlie McDermott: An honor.

Eden Sher: Really a -- the cheesy and true answer, a privilege.  Not everyone gets their first big sort of ongoing acting experience to be with such welcoming and kind, and the opposite of -- because actors are all kind of, I would say, I'm just going to make this blanket generalization, kind of crazy people.

Charlie McDermott: Wacky, yes.

Eden Sher: What.

Charlie McDermott: Wackadoo, wackadoo.

Eden Sher: Totally wackadoo.  And they're always there are two sides to being wackadoo.  There's either the kooky, hilarious, just kind but just out of -- outlandish kook.  And then there's sometimes, I don't know, maybe -- because I have debilitating insecurity as well.  I'm constantly in search of external validation.  So if there are some actors who maybe have also that fear, that insecurity, maybe it's possible to take it out on other people.  And it's just been so the opposite of that.  I'm just in awe of how humble and talented everyone, Patty and Neil really are.

Less Glossy More Messy:
Jennifer Bragg: Hi, guys.  The one thing that always strikes me about your show is that I feel like it's the most realistic family show on the air.  You kind of talked a little bit earlier about how it's hard to see sort of what people relate to and what they don't.  But I feel like it's less glossy, it's a little more messy.  What do you guys think is -- that your show does well, the family dynamics and family like that other shows maybe don't touch on?

Charlie McDermott: I mean it shows that everyone in the family is crazy and there's no real -- the family has a lot of problems but it's basically because of everybody.  There's no one character that's the saving grace.  Everyone is pretty insane in their own way and they always have to come together to fix a problem.  It's not like one person hands out a rulebook and then they all follow it and then it works out.  I guess.  I don't know.  Is that right?

Eden Sher: Yes, no, and that's sort of like another version of what I was thinking of why it seems real is that -- yes, there's not one whatever and that's sort of because there are a lot of -- there's a formula for a sitcom.  There's an established formula that is to be followed.  But while totally sticking to that formula or tradition, because I don't want to give it a negative connotation, it still flips these tropes on its head.  It's like every time there's going to be that -- I feel like there's going to be, oh, the classic, oh (inaudible) dynamic.  It's not what it is at all but it's also very honest together. 

That's what it is, I think.  The honesty part is that we're literally honest to each other.  Mike is not shy about saying to Brick, you're not my favorite kid or you're really weird, you're super weird, like I can't relate to you and just like he tells Sue, she's like come see my volleyball practice and he's like, that doesn't interest me, or Patty, whatever, (inaudible) and how they're tired of talking to each other.  

Show Secrets:
Ashley Schafer: Especially for people that have been following The Middle and watched it for a while, you mentioned earlier the refrigerator, and the hallway, and how that's kind of the secret annex almost.  What are a few secrets or things that we don't know about The Middle, whether it be about the set, or about the story?  What are some things that we really don't know?

Charlie McDermott: The ceilings are all fabric, the white ceilings.  It's just cloth.  

Eden Sher: The walls are completely movable. 
Charlie McDermott: Yes, you could punch a hole through the walls without even really trying that hard.  They're so thin.

Ashley Schafer: And then you cover it with a poster, like Sue's room.  

Charlie McDermott: Exactly, yes.  They actually had to -- what's funny is they actually had to, when they put the hole in that wall, they had to add a wall behind it to make it dimensional.  Because if you just poked a hole through the wall you'd just see wires and the soundstage, and crafty.  They actually had to build a box behind it to make it look like it was a real wall.  

Eden Sher: I was just going to say that we burp so much.

Charlie McDermott: Wait, what?  You burp so much?

Eden Sher: Yes, I think this is maybe the belchiest set in Hollywood.  

Charlie McDermott: Yes, I used to not do that.  I used to not do that stuff.  Then I got -- yes, Patty and Eden are the biggest burpers and just being around them it caught on and I started doing it without realizing it.  And my mom, when I was home, was like, Charlie, what, I hope you don't do that on the set.  I hope you don't do that there.  I was like mom, Patty and Eden do it constantly.  She was like, they do not, don’t say that.  I was like, no, they do.  They do it more than anybody.  She's like, no, no, no, no, that's not true.  She was appalled.  She was like, no, that can't be, that can't be true.  It was like in Rosemary's Baby when she's like this is no dream.  This is real.  

Ashley Schafer: And then what are you guys most looking forward to for your characters in the future?  What are you excited about for Axl?  Not that you necessarily know with the writers and everything, but what are you excited to see?

Eden Sher:  Mine's just, mine's super predictable.  Mine's just I'm really excited for, one day, if it happens, Sue to get her braces off.

Charlie McDermott: Never.

Eden Sher: And I really do, I have no idea if that -- I actually have no idea if that's going to be a reality or not.

Charlie McDermott: You'll get your braces off when I get a haircut, never.

Eden Sher: Solid point.  

Charlie McDermott: Never.

Hallmark Channel & The Middle:

Hallmark Channel will begin airing the popular comedy series "The Middle" as part of its primetime line-up starting March 3rd, 2014. The network will air the first 88 half-hour episodes of the off-network series, with additional seasons added as they become available for syndication. Joining classic favorites "The Golden Girls," "Frasier" and "Home Improvement" on Hallmark Channel's evolving programming schedule, "The Middle," starring Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn, has already garnered an impressive amount of praise in its five-season run, including a Primetime Emmy(R) Award nomination, Critics' Choice Television Award, four Young Artist Awards and a 2011 Gracie Award for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Hallmark Channel, owned and operated by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., is a 24-hour basic cable network that provides a diverse slate of high-quality entertainment programming available in high definition (HD) and standard definition (SD) to a national audience of 88 million subscribers. Hallmark Channel is the nation's leading destination for quality family programming with an ambitious slate of original TV movies and specials, as well as some of television's most beloved sitcoms and series, including The Golden Girls, The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, and Frasier. The channel is also home to a range of lifestyle programming, anchored by Home & Family, a daily two-hour live show shot in a fully functional house located on the Universal Studios lot. Hallmark Channel's sibling network, Hallmark Movie Channel, available in HD and SD, focuses on family-friendly movies with a mix of original films, classic theatrical releases, and presentations from the acclaimed Hallmark Hall of Fame library.

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