The Middleman: ABC Family TV Show Cancelled, No Season Two

MiddlemanWe’ve suspected it for awhile but the cancellation’s now official. ABC Family’s freshman series, The Middleman, won’t be back for a second year. As a network spokesperson tells PopWrap, “ABC Family has decided not to renew the series for a second season.” Fortunately for fans, the story’s not over just yet. The characters are returning to their roots.

Based on the graphic novels by Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Les McClaine, The Middleman centers around a young artist, Wendy Watson (Natalie Morales), who is struggling to stay afloat. She lives with her best friend Lacey (Brit Morgan) in an illegal sublet apartment and goes from one short-term job to another. While temping at a lab, Wendy’s life is thrown into turmoil when a science experiment goes wrong. She’s saved by The Middleman (Matt Keeslar), a handsome hero who recruits her as his assistant. Fighting outrageous villains, he needs all the help he can get — even from his annoying robot helper, Ida (Mary Pat Gleason). Other characters are played by Jake Smollett, Brendan Hines, Drew Tyler Bell and Sean Davis.

Middleman debuted on June 16, 2008 on ABC Family. Though the show quickly developed a devoted following, viewership wasn’t very big by network standards and didn’t even reach a million weekly viewers.

Should Middleman have been cancelled?

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Though 13 episodes were initially ordered, only 12 ended up being made — because of the low ratings. The producers agreed to cut the 13th episode and a portion of that money was put into making the 12th installment, about an alternate universe, even bigger.

Grillo-Marxuach talked about the situation on his blog and wrote “We are a fantastically well-reviewed series that the network loves and supports. ABC family is the one place that allowed us to do this show in all of its quirky glory, and in spite of the ratings, they continue to tell me “don’t change a thing. and about those ratings? well…while improving incrementally, they have not been stellar, so we — and by ‘we,’ i mean the network and myself — have made the decision to make and air a twelve episode first season of the middleman. it is a decision that allows us to conclude our first season on a great creative note, and to pool our resources to make our season finale the best and biggest it can be.”

By November, the co-creator expressed doubts that ABC Family would be ordering any new episodes, at least in the immediate future. The network refused to concede that the show was over and maintained they were looking for some way to continue the series.

ABC Family has now confirmed that the show has been officially cancelled. But, the story isn’t over just yet. In a deal with Viper Comics (publisher of the original graphic novels), a special Middleman comic book will be released in July, just in time for the San Diego’s Comic Con.

Based on the unfilmed 13th episode (series finale), The Middleman – The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse graphic novel will be written by co-creator/executive producer Grillo-Marxuach and Hans Beimler. It’ll be illustrated by Armando M. Zanker and co-creator/executive producer McClaine. If they stick to the original script, we’ll find out how Middleman developed his old-fashioned, upright persona.

The Middleman DVD set will also be released in July and will be chock full of extensive bonus materials. Grillo-Marxuach has hopes that a successful disc release will mean the show might continue in some way. “As was the case with shows like Firefly, and Family Guy, the sales of the DVD will truly be the barometer for the future of The Middleman.”

85 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Heather says

    Wow – now that Middleman isn’t coming back and KyleXY has been axed, I am completely done with ABCFamily.

  2. Jenna says

    This really sucks!!!!! This was the only good show abc family had it was amazingly awesome in every way and my sister and I loved it! It was unique and actually worth watching! Oh how I miss it! :'(

  3. Fairy23 says

    To bad Middleman is canceled. CW finally had a decent show. Should maybe be put on SciFi. Sick to death of battlestar gallectica and the like.

    We were really looking foward to season two.


  4. Kristin says

    My sister and i have complete opposite tastes when it comes to tv shows, but when we discovered The Middleman we were both hooked. It was hilarious and amazing! I am so upset that it was cancelled. Does anyone know if the first season is being released on DVD? If it is when?

  5. amanda says

    I’m very disappointed, but somehow not surprised.I think if they had put it in the better primetime slot, it would have gotten better ratings, but nooooooo, had to put on the crap series ‘American Teenager’ in it. Bleh, that plot is so overated and cliched that it’s not funny. I rarely watch tv now since I consider most of the shows to be crap, but Middleman got me watching again. At least I have the shows downloaded from iTunes to hold me over till the comic and the DVDs come out…

  6. William Hale says

    I LOVED this show! It was classic! While I can’t wait for the DVD set, I am truly sad that there will be no new episodes. It SUCKS!

  7. says

    why canncel this show i and many others loved this show and looked foward to watching it every week god knows there is nothing else worth watching on mondays
    bring dub dub back plz

  8. Judy says

    I cannot believe they cancelled the Middleman. Networks just have no patience and yank things off before shows can get a true fan base. If the show doesn’t burst out of the gate, cancel it. Idiots.

  9. Amanda says

    I also agree with Talia how can shows like that live on while this show goes off the air. I mean who wants to watch a teenage girl get knocked up while there are vampire puppets to defeat… I mean you can see prego teenagers on springer.

  10. Amanda says

    NOOOOO! My whole family actually watched it. By the end even my sister and I were watching it together. This was one of those few things that everyone loved and watched. I hope there will be future chances for the show to go on WITH the original cast!

  11. Sally says

    This is disappointing news. Our entire family watched the Middleman every week. It was a very exciting, funny and clean show that we were able to watch with our kids without the fear that we would need to change the channel at any minute. There are not many shows out there that you can say that about. We have been looking forward to the second season for months now. This show needs to be picked up by another network and it needs to continue to be a show that can be watched by all ages. So sad!
    Bring it back, PLEASE!

  12. Scott says

    Kyle XY and Middleman? Does ABC Family just realize what it did? I guess not. I guess this is it for me and ABC Family once Kyle XY is finished airing. Why don’t these people get that they are canceling some of the best shows on tv?

  13. Ashley says

    The stories were fun, but the dialog rocked! Both funny and intelligent…ish :) and on top of that, the ALL the major characters with their distinct unique personalities, perfectly acted interactions, and entertaining backgrounds were so fascinating. Cancellation = total bummer. Haha, I’m really going to miss the hunk-of-a-boy scout-Middleman!

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