The Middleman (TV series)
The Middleman is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 television series. The series, which was developed for television by Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Javier Grillo-Marxuach
Javier "Javi" Grillo-Marxuach , born October 28, 1969 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a television screenwriter and producer, known for his work as writer and producer on the first two seasons of the ABC television series Lost, as well as other series including Charmed and Law and Order: Special...

 for ABC Family
ABC Family
ABC Family, stylized as abc family, is an American television network, owned by ABC Family Worldwide Inc., a subsidiary of the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company...

, is based on the Viper Comics
Viper Comics
Viper Comics, based in Dallas, Texas, has been an independent publisher of comic books and graphic novel trade paperbacks since 2003. Viper comic books are distributed by Diamond Comic Distributors and their graphic novels are distributed through Diamond, Ingram Books, Baker & Taylor, Inc., and...

 series, The Middleman
The Middleman
The Middleman is a comic book series written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach with art by Les McClaine and published by Viper Comics. The series was initially intended to be a television pilot. Grillo-Marxuach decided he wanted to write a series that represented all of the things he grew up loving...

, created by Grillo-Marxuach and Les McClaine
Les McClaine
Leslie "Les" McClaine was born September 30, 1977 in Ventura, California to Andrew and Lynn McClaine. He grew up in the historic town of Lexington, Massachusetts, where he worked in the public library. After graduating from high school, Les attended the Savannah College of Art and Design, where...

. The series ran for one season in 2008.

Originally confirmed for an initial 13 episodes, the order was reduced to a 12-episode season due to low ratings. In February 2009, a comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 based on the unproduced 13th episode was announced, confirming the series' cancellation. Billed as a "series finale", The Middleman – The Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse was released in July 2009. The season-one/complete series DVD set was released by Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory is an entertainment company founded in 2003 that was started by Richard Foos , Bob Emmer and Garson Foos initially as a specialty music label...

 on July 28, 2009.


A struggling female artist is recruited by a secret agency to fight against evil forces. The pilot episode features a super-intelligent ape who escapes captivity, murders several members of the Italian Mafia, spouts a half dozen catch phrases from American movies on the subject including Scarface
Scarface (1983 film)
Scarface is a 1983 American epic crime drama movie directed by Brian De Palma, written by Oliver Stone, produced by Martin Bregman and starring Al Pacino as Tony Montana...

, Goodfellas
Goodfellas is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is a film adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese...

and The Godfather
The Godfather
The Godfather is a 1972 American epic crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the 1969 novel by Mario Puzo. With a screenplay by Puzo, Coppola and an uncredited Robert Towne, the film stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Sterling Hayden, John Marley, Richard...

, before being revealed as the pawn of the true villain.

The Middleman is a freelance fixer of "exotic problems," which include mad scientists bent on taking over the world, hostile aliens and various supernatural threats. Because of Wendy Watson's coolness under pressure and photographic memory, Ida, a robot in the form of a grumpy schoolmarm, and the Middleman recruit her to become the next Middleman. The series includes various pop-culture references, including many comic books, such as when Wendy calls herself "Robin the Boy Hostage", a quote from The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
Frank Miller (comics)
Frank Miller is an American comic book artist, writer and film director best known for his dark, film noir-style comic book stories and graphic novels Ronin, Daredevil: Born Again, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City and 300...

, demonstrating how Robin was often kidnapped or held at gunpoint by Batman's enemies.

Wendy lives in an illegal sublet apartment with her young, photogenic, animal activist friend Lacey, across the hall from lyric-spouting Noser, and had a boyfriend in film school named Ben.


  • The Middleman - Matt Keeslar
    Matt Keeslar
    Matt Keeslar is an American actor.Keeslar was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Fred Keeslar and Ann Ferguson, who divorced in 1977....

  • Wendy Watson - Natalie Morales
    Natalie Morales (actress)
    Natalie Morales is an American actress of Cuban descent.Growing up, she attended St. Agatha Catholic School before going to Southwest High School, and participated in the University of Miami Dow Jones Minority High School Journalism Workshop...

  • Ida - Mary Pat Gleason
    Mary Pat Gleason
    Mary Pat Gleason is an American film and television actress. From 1983-85 she appeared on The Guiding Light as Jane Hogan.Since the early 1980s she has appeared on such television series as Full House, Murphy Brown, Empty Nest, L.A...

  • Lacey Thornfield - Brit Morgan
    Brit Morgan
    Brit Morgan is an American film and television actress.-Early life and career:Brittany Morgan Dengler was born and raised in the Marlton section of Evesham Township, New Jersey...

  • Noser - Jake Smollett
    Jake Smollett
    -Early life and career:Smollett was born in New York City to a family full of actors. Jake Smollett began his career as a baby diaper-model. He got his scripted start on the series Hangin' with Mr. Cooper before starring alongside his five brothers and sisters in their ABC sitcom, On Our Own....

  • Tyler Ford - Brendan Hines
    Brendan Hines
    Brendan Hines is an American actor and singer-songwriter. He has had a number of small television roles and leading roles in a handful of independent films.-Biography:...

Critical reaction

  • Daily Variety wrote that "this series could potentially work on any number of networks, and it's almost too smart for the room at ABC Family
    ABC Family
    ABC Family, stylized as abc family, is an American television network, owned by ABC Family Worldwide Inc., a subsidiary of the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company...

    ; nevertheless, this sprightly summer arrival should fit nicely into the evolving niche the channel established with Kyle XY
    Kyle XY
    Kyle XY is an American television series with a science fiction premise and mystery-drama style. The central character is a teenage boy who awakens naked in a forest outside Seattle, Washington, with no more knowledge or abilities than a newborn. He is taken in by a family and given the name Kyle...

  • TV Guide
    TV Guide
    TV Guide is a weekly American magazine with listings of TV shows.In addition to TV listings, the publication features television-related news, celebrity interviews, gossip and film reviews and crossword puzzles...

    had it as its "Mega Rave" for the week of June 15, 2008, and wrote that "It's loaded with clever banter — like Men in Black
    Men in Black (film)
    Men in Black is a 1997 science fiction comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith and Vincent D'Onofrio. The film was based on the Men in Black comic book series by Lowell Cunningham, originally published by Marvel Comics. The film featured the creature effects...

    if Will Smith
    Will Smith
    Willard Christopher "Will" Smith, Jr. , also known by his stage name The Fresh Prince, is an American actor, producer, and rapper. He has enjoyed success in television, film and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him the most powerful actor in Hollywood...

    's character was a geeky girl."
  • UGO
    UGO Entertainment, Inc. is a website providing coverage of online media in entertainment targeting males age 18–34. The company is currently based in New York, New York, United States. On July 24, 2007 it was announced that Hearst Corporation would acquire UGO Entertainment...

     gave it an A- overall and an A for story, calling it "fun to watch."
  • The Boston Herald gave it a B- and wrote that "all that's missing are some onscreen blurbs like 'BAM!' and 'POW!'"
  • Newsarama
    Newsarama is an American website that publishes news, interviews and essays about the American comic book industry.-History:Newsarama began in Summer 1995 as a series of Internet forum postings on the Prodigy comic-book message boards by fan Mike Doran. In these short messages. Doran shared...

     wrote that "stylistically, the current show this most resembles is Pushing Daisies
    Pushing Daisies
    Pushing Daisies is an American comedy-drama television series created by Bryan Fuller that aired on ABC from October 3, 2007 to June 13, 2009. The series stars Lee Pace as Ned, a pie-maker with the ability to bring dead things back to life with his touch, an ability that comes with stipulations...

    , with its colorful sets and rapid-fire screwball dialogue" and that "it's about goofy ideas and having a good time, the kind of show you'll want to watch repeatedly to catch a line you missed the first time."

External links

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