Looks like it’s official: The New York Post reports that The Middleman has gotten the axe.
While the show’s future has been uncertain since before the end of its first (now its only) season, this news is the final nail in the Clotharian coffin of this breakneck, snarky, hearfelt series. While there are rumors of a follow-up graphic novel next summer, and promises of an extras-heavy DVD release, the bottom line is the same: if you want more TV adventures from this pair of crimefighters, you’ll have to pay them yourself and film it in your garage. (If you do this, please post it to YouTube so we can all see.)
Now The Middleman joins the hallowed roster of other genre shows axed after a single season because they didn’t catch an audience fast enough. For a while I held out hope that, since The Middleman was on ABC Family and not Fox the Notoriously Fickle, that it would get another season to grow—maybe a season backed with promotion beyond some YouTube PSAs?—but now it’s a lost cause. We’re left to imagine how Lacey and the Middleman would ever lock lips, how Pip would grow to be even more like that guy who lived down the hall in my dorm freshman year, and how evil Tyler would turn out to be. (What? You know he was!)
I have a pet theory that X-Files, if it aired today, would have made it about eight episodes and then been burned off at 6pm on bank holidays. Perhaps unfortunately, The Middleman always had more in common with that series’ low-budget and wry monster-of-the-week episodes than with the more dramatic mythic-arc episodes that go on for four seasons and get turned into shows like Lost (which, according to my imaginary sources, is already renewed for a seventeenth season). In the end, The Middleman just lacked the immediate hook that builds a cult audience in time for sweeps.
You fought the good fight, Middleman. When my DVDs arrive in the mail, I’ll raise a glass of milk in your memory.