As the first season of ABC's Wednesday comedy 'The Middle' comes to a close, viewers are starting to catch on to the show's easygoing comedy and family-friendly vibe. Much of that vibe has to do with the show's star, Patricia Heaton.
As the harried but loving Indiana mom Frankie Heck, Heaton has reminded audiences that can a show be funny without being mean. At the same time, she's broken away from the image people had of her for nine years, as high-strung Long Island housewife Debra Barone on 'Everybody Loves Raymond.'
Heaton spoke with me last week about how the first season has gone, how the word "security" doesn't exist in show biz and about the Japanese exchange student that came to live with her family. She also talked about tonight's episode, 'Mother's Day,' airing at 8:30PM ET, and what it's like to work with Marsha Mason, who guests as Frankie's mother in the episode.
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