Set in a suburban neighborhood in the fictional Tri-County Area, Malcolm in the Middle is about a boy named Malcolm and his dysfunctional family. The show stars Frankie Muniz as Malcolm, the third of four (later five) boys, his brothers, and their parents, Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) and Hal (Bryan Cranston). The oldest, Francis (Christopher Masterson), was sent away to military school, leaving at home his three younger brothers, Reese (Justin Berfield), Malcolm, and Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan), Malcolm being the middle child still at home. In season four, the character Jamie (James and Lukas Rodriguez) was added to the show as the fifth son. The show's early seasons centered on Malcolm dealing with the rigors of being an adolescent and enduring the eccentricities of his life. Later seasons gradually explored the other members of the family and their friends in more depth, including others such as Craig Feldspar, Stevie Kenarban, and Stevie's dad Abe.The series was different from many others in that Malcolm broke the fourth wall by talking directly to the viewer, all scenes were shot using a single camera, and the show employed neither a laugh track nor a live studio audience. Emulating the style of hour-long dramas, this half-hour show was shot on film instead of video. Another distinctive aspect of the show is that the cold open of every episode is unrelated to the main story. Exceptions were episodes which were the conclusions of "two-parters"; each part two episode opened with a recap of its part one episode.


Opening titlesEdit

The opening titles feature short clips from cult films or television shows, edited together with clips from the early seasons of the TV series. The original opening includes, in order of appearance:


[1][2]The house at 12334 Cantura Street as it appeared in 2009.

Much of the filming for Malcolm in the Middle was done on location in various parts of the Thirty Mile Zone around Los Angeles. A privately owned home, located at 12334 Cantura Street in Studio City, was rented for upwards of $3,000 a day to film as Malcolm's house.[13] School scenes were filmed atWalter Reed Middle School,[14][15] also in Studio City, and the Lucky Aide was represented by a Drug Emporium at 6020 Lankershim Boulevard inNorth Hollywood. In "Stock Car Races," when Hal and the boys are entering a race track, the billboard behind the entrance displays the place asIrwindale Speedway, a real race track in Southern California. The last episode in the first season ("Waterpark") was filmed at a water park called Wild Rivers located in Irvine, California.

Studio filming for Malcolm in the Middle took place at the Radford Avenue CBS Studio Center in Studio City.[16]


The show's theme song, "Boss of Me", was written and recorded by the alternative rock group They Might Be Giants. The song won the "Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media" award at the 2002 Grammy Awards. The band also performed nearly all of the incidental music for the show in its first two seasons.

Mood setting music is sprinkled throughout the series, in lieu of audience laughter, in a way that resembles feature film more than other TV sitcoms. Some examples of this highly varied music include ABBABasement JaxxSum 41Kenny RogersLords Of AcidThe Getaway PeopleEn VogueElectric Light OrchestraPhil CollinsQuiet RiotQueenTitán, and Citizen King whose song "Better Days" is played at the end of both the pilot episode and the series finale. The Southern California pop-punk band Lit have many of their songs featured in several episodes. Lit songs that were never released as singles were also used.

A soundtrack, Music from Malcolm in the Middle, was released on November 21, 2000.[17]

Home media[edit]Edit

Only the first season of Malcolm in the Middle has been released on DVD in the U.S. Season 2 was set to be released in the fall of 2003, but was cancelled due to high costs of music clearances.[18]

DVD name U.S. release date UK release date Aus. release date Ep # # of discs Additional information
The Complete First Season October 29, 2002 September 24, 2012[19] September 4, 2013[20] 16 3 Extended pilot episode, A Stroke of Genius featurette, commentary on select episodes, gag reel, deleted scenes, alternate show openings, bloopers, Dewey's Day Jobfeaturette.
The Complete Second Season TBA November 19, 2012[21] September 4, 2013[22] 25 4 Easter Egg: Bloopers. Shown when Play All is selected on Disc 3. (Shown after all episodes)
The Complete Third Season TBA February 4, 2013[23] September 4, 2013[24] 22 3
The Complete Fourth Season TBA March 4, 2013[25] September 4, 2013[26] 22 3
The Complete Fifth Season TBA April 29, 2013[27] September 4, 2013[28] 22 3
The Complete Sixth Season TBA May 27, 2013[29] September 4, 2013[30] 22 3
The Complete Seventh Season TBA October 7, 2013[31] September 4, 2013[32] 22 3
The Complete Collection Box Set TBA October 17, 2013[33] September 4, 2013[34] 151 22
The Complete Collection Box Set (Blu Ray) TBA October 17, 2013[35] September 4, 2013[36] 151 22 Blu Ray edition was only available with the complete collection box.

In February 2012, it was announced that Fabulous Films would be releasing the first season of the show in the UK in April, as well as releasing each subsequent season the following month, ending with a complete series set near Christmas 2012.[37] However, in late March 2012, several retailers had removed the release date from their websites; this was later revealed to be because of "technical issues with the Masters" and that the release date had been pushed back to June.[38] Other seasons will now follow on either a monthly or bi-monthly basis.[39]

All the UK DVD releases are intact as originally aired with no cuts, with the original music, with the exception of one Season 3 episode "Company Picnic" which was originally aired as a one-hour special, before being re-edited and split into two parts for syndication. The DVD presents the syndicated version.

All seven seasons as well as the complete series set were released in Australia in September 2013. The complete series set altered the separate seven season sets to fit into four volumes. As with the UK releases, all episodes are in NTSC format, despite several sets being listed as PAL. They are also in 16:9 widescreen format and lack optional subtitles, although they are mistakenly labeled as including them (with the exception of the first season, which is ported from the U.S. release and includes subtitles).

The show is rated  PG  for Parental Guidance in Australia and  PG  in New Zealand for violence, coarse language and sexual references.

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