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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 }

LUCY LOO August 14, 2009 at 3:01 pm

What the crap abc family was so stupid the only show left like the middleman is warehouse 13 thats giving syfy a million more veiwers then the crappy showws abc family has now they should start all the seasons on syfy atleast they didint even think to care abot the fans and the devoted fans gave them more ratings than they ever had maybe the ratings were viewd by a dingbat who couldnt do math i willl sign any patition to get matt keaslar natalie morales and the rest of the cast back together abc family is too stupid too realise the talent i will by 30 dvds just to get the show back

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christina August 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm

middleman was my favorite show ever WTF! abc doesnt know a thing about good television (just look at the shit they broadcast now). i want the middleman back D:<

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Thomas August 1, 2009 at 8:28 pm

This was by far one of the best shows i have ever watched….. was the ratings chart upside down when they looked at it WTF lets get a petition going for this

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Kara August 1, 2009 at 1:19 am

How can they cancel Middleman ?! It was one of my favourite shows… They made a BIG mistake.

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Alex July 31, 2009 at 3:05 pm

The Middleman was a great show. I enjoyed watching it every single week. Tons of fun. I mean seriously, WTF? If so many people talk about how great it is, how does it have low ratings? I will try and buy the DVD, like the article said, and hopefully we will be able to boost the series’ popularity through that.

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mae July 30, 2009 at 10:29 pm

My son (8) and I were waiting all year for the new season. We enjoyed watching this together. Please bring back the Middleman!!!!!

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Martin July 20, 2009 at 12:27 am

This sucks…
I just don’t get it, it was an amazing show!!!

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Kesslee July 19, 2009 at 11:04 pm

This show/graphic novel is AMAZING. The only reason it didn’t survive ’til season two was because of the network. I’ve shown all my friends this show, and they ALL agree that it is one of the best things to come out of television in a VERY long time.

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Jeff July 19, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Stupid, freakin’ network cronies only interested in the bottom line always ruin everything. HEY, DIPSTICKS!?! GET A CLUE! You put a new program on in the summer when people are doing practically ANYTHING BUT watching TV and then judge the ratings by that!?! Sell it to SyFy or someone with the kahunas to leave something on and, (pssst, hey . . . .) MARKET IT!!!!!! You might end up trying to do it again later! Case in point: CUPID! one of the best series on ever and it barely made a season before the ABC execs pull it. Jeremy Piven was the best, and Paula Marshall the bomb. This happens with everything I like, be it TV or a food product. Just because a niche market may be all that exists doesn’t mean can something – market the hell out of it to that niche! I hate you! I love this program thanks to my daughter showing it to me – and I’m nearly 50! Bring it back, bring it back, bring it back, brin . . . . . . . .

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Deon July 17, 2009 at 4:02 am

I am not surprised. Whenever a show as cool and unusual as Middleman airs on a mainstream network it rarely lasts longer than a season or two. Maby if it were on a more obscure channel, it might have survived.

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didarathbone July 12, 2009 at 2:30 am

Oh my god.. It’s so bad that middleman got canceled.. I used to watch it in Istanbul and 12 episodes aren’t enough- my friends agree me too, and if u check that poll above- you’ll see 94% of people agrees me! The same happened about beautiful people too (years ago).. I watched it and enjoyed it but poof- it got canceled! :(

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Jen July 10, 2009 at 10:20 am

I have finally come to the conclusion that whenever a well written, well acted show is on the air, people will watch, but, it will be cancelled no matter what. This was an AWESOME show, and I will truly miss it. I’ll have to get the DVD set, and hope that it will tide me over until the next “single season” show comes along and gets me hooked on the characters and story lines.

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Paul Fields July 4, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I dont know why ABC Family had this show anyway, they should’ve had it air on the main station more viewers would’ve tuned in!!! And if they hyped it up a little maybe they’d get better ratings. The critics agree!!!

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Natalee June 29, 2009 at 5:52 pm

BRING BACK THE MIDDLEMAN!!!!!!!!! It was a great show! That was a HUGE mistake.

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Steve June 20, 2009 at 11:12 pm

Crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What does it take to keep a quality show on the air these days?
I give up.

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