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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.”

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara June 16, 2009 at 8:59 pm

AAAAAHHHHH!!!! This cannot be happening! The Middle Man was a great show, it waws creative and fun. I was so hooked, and i soo wanted to see Lacy and the Middleman hook up. I want it back!!! I loved watching the characters be put in the most bazar and weird confrontations with the most absurdly funny villans. It was the only show of its kind were you could just laugh till you cried througout the whole thing. The world needs more shows like The Middleman. I’ve ravenous to get my hands on the dvd. Bring Back The Middleman!!!!

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Cheryl June 16, 2009 at 7:19 pm

This was a great show! It’s a shame it’s cancelled. More people just needed to get hooked onto it.

I blame publicity.

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Scyllaya June 16, 2009 at 9:28 am

Middleman is awesome!
I can’t believe they stop something great as this.
Well, there are some good series left, but yeah not on ABC.

Middleman must return!!!

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arby's June 15, 2009 at 10:52 am

nooooo i luv the middleman i think it was plan stupid to cancel the middle man i would stop andy thing just to watch it my moms thing is american idol and mine was the niddleman

bring back middleman!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Bob Ferguson May 20, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Ditto on all the preceding ‘no reason to watch ABC Family’ now…
unfortunately there is no room for ‘originality’ on television these days.
Thank Heavens for ‘Fringe’ on FOX…

Look forward to buying the DVD – to show these buffoons with bucks as ballots – what a huge mistake they ve made.

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Ashley May 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm

ABC family has made a huge mistake. The Middleman was a great show. My 10 year old neice watches ABC family and I personally would rather her have a good show to watch like the Middleman instead of that gay Secret life show.

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Sam May 3, 2009 at 6:03 pm

Ugh! This show was literally amazing. It makes me sad to discover that it’s gone and won’t come back. That’s so depressing. I loved the whole strangeness of the show and I certainly loved the characters. There hasn’t been a show in a while that has come out and I’ve like it so much. Why do television people always get rid of the best shows? That just makes me so mad. And ABC family has the CRAPPIEST shows lately. Why, oh why, does life have to be so unfair sometimes? Ugh, just ugh.

BRING BACK THE MIDDLEMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Copper Top April 21, 2009 at 10:53 am

Hey This show was the first show that I actually found appealing since bones debuted like 3 years ago. I couldn’t wait for new episodes to come out and now that it’s gone, I fee as though my summer is going to SUCK big time tv wise. I hate GREEK, and the secret life of the american teenager, and kyle XY has become soo confusing I dont even know any more. PLEASE BRING BACK THE MIDDLEMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Max March 30, 2009 at 6:15 am

Bugger! i’ve just got the download of the first series here in Australia, and I reckon its the best new show to come from the USA in 30 years or more. PLEASE, PLEASE do another season.
Our TV here SUCKS big-time unless you pay $125 A a month for pay TV, so we will probably never even get season one on network TV.

MORE, MORE MIDDLEMAN!!!!!!

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Scotto March 30, 2009 at 5:34 am

Too beeping edgy for ABC Family, I’d like to see it on another channel or as a film. Did they get too funny and obscure for the stuffed shirts on ABC. I’m sure it had amazing ratings on-line. It got on the top 10 for a streaming video site that I saw it on. Maybe they should have promoted it better. It was getting real wild at the end. My favorite series last year. I sure want the DVD,

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Jef Wagner March 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm

A very good point was made above: Find another network! Middleman already has a following; that gives it a leg up on a newly developed show. It is only one year old, so they wouldn’t be buying a show that was getting long in the tooth (like Buffy was when it went to UPN.) The stars won’t be looking for big season two salary bumps, because they will be out of a job because of the cancellation. With the end of BSG and the first two Stargate shows it would seem a perfect fit for SciFi. It’s cool and quirky. Doctor Who is on an abbreviated season this year, so it could really stand out for them as appointment tv for all of the geeks and fanboys who would never give ABCFamily the time of day. Think about it!!!!!!

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Beth Williamson March 27, 2009 at 2:18 pm

The MiddleMan was a TV treasure — good writing, good acting, good characters which made for good watching. Surely every show doesn’t have to chase the 14-year-old male watcher. You can find in our Very Vintage age group some who have kept their 14-year-old minds, but nobody listens to them. Aren’t we seniors the new majority?, let’s see some catering to us this time — you won’t have to lower your standards to do it.

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taylor March 26, 2009 at 3:45 pm

This is dumb. this was a great well written show with great actors. Abc family is very dumb for letting this show go. Why does every single american like watching a pregnant girl on secret life of the american teenger? In my opinion i believe the Middleman was way better than Secret life of american teenager.

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Anna March 25, 2009 at 7:53 pm

How lame to kill a show when it was so well written, with amazing actors….I was more addicted to this show than Lost! ABC Fam was lame to put it on Monday nights and didn’t do a good job promoting the show. I caught it by accident when it was on at 11pm and already into the 2nd episode one night when I was flipping channels. This is a show that deserved better promotion/more attention and most def a better slot than Monday nights!!!! I wrote Sci Fi and requested they consider picking it up like they did Stargate from Show Time. I bought several episodes off of iTunes. I miss the show. This show was so fresh and different. Shame on ABC Family!!!!

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zyron March 21, 2009 at 11:37 pm

I love this show, I just saw Keesler on Dollhouse, a great show too. He was psycho. lol

Natalie is hot, she could have shown more leg, in my taste. I will miss this series. a comic book is no way in making up for this. I want more eps. Damn ABC. *tounge stuck out*!

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