Fall Faces to Watch: THE MIDDLE Star Atticus Shaffer


When your parents name you after a character in To a Kill a Mockingbird, odds are that a flair for the dramatic comes with the territory. Which is why it probably should come as no surprise that Atticus Shaffer, the pint-sized star of ABC’s new family comedy THE MIDDLE is this TV Addict’s first in what we hope will become a series of ‘Fall Faces to Watch.’ Just how talented is this kid? Not only is he the lone survivor of the original pilot — which featured chatfest host Ricki Lake in the Patricia Heaton role — but he manages to completely steal the new version from his on-screen parents, which is no small feat seeing as they’re played by Patricia Heaton (EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND) and Neil Flynn (SCRUBS). Said Eileen Heisler, THE MIDDLE creator/executive producer, “Atticus walked in the door and we were done, you know, we’ve got that one.” But don’t take our word for it, judge for yourself when THE MIDDLE premieres this September 30 at 8:30PM on ABC.

  • John

    No. No, no, no, a thousand times no. Of all the new faces, you pick this awful one? He’s a second-rate version of Dewey from Malcolm in the Middle, which I suppose is a bit of a compliment since this show is a third-rate version of Malcolm in the Middle, without the smart kid. The only redeeming this show has is…wait, even Neil Flynn isn’t enough to make this pale imitation of a great show watchable.

  • John,

    True THE MIDDLE is a massive MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE rip-off. But I stand by the fact that Atticus Shaffer is hilarious on it. Plus, it is far from the least watchable show of the season. Have you seen BROTHERS?

  • Hil

    Has anyone seen this kid in other stuff? If not I doubt it is a good idea to judge his acting on a few photos.

  • Common Sense

    I’ll be honest, I’m hard-pressed to name even ONE child “scene stealer” that I’ve ever been able to tolerate. I think back to Jonathan Taylor-Thomas on Home Improvement…and thank the TV gods that Seinfeld aired opposite the cutesy show. The kids on 2-1/2 Men? Wretch. Sure, I’ll give ya Jan Brady, but her role was just so LOL ludicrous.

    I think the only pint-sized kid who ever made me truly laugh was the tiny little girl (Solei something) from Still Standing. She was no more of an actress than I am, but her deadpan lines still crack me up.

  • TVFan

    Not that should become a debate about child actors, but since Common Sense opened the can of worms, let me say that my least favorite was the youngest kid from Summerland. Every line read had me wanting to gouge my eyes out with my remote control.

    Oh, and Common Sense, you did not just bash JTT?

  • Ace

    Common Sense — Clearly you were not a 10 yr old girl when Home Improvement was on or you would have loved JTT like the rest of us :-P. And are you sure it was opposite Seinfeld b/c I definitely watched both growing up?

    And I know it isn’t a very nice thing to say, but most kids on TV shows end up detracting from the show if anything. Maybe I would feel differently if I was a kid or had kids… I love Neil Flynn, but I don’t think I’ll be watching this one.

  • John

    Youngest kid from Summerland? It’s probably not, but was that a crack on Zac Efron’s acting skills?

    And for TheTVAddict: At least Brothers has CCH Pounder. However, I will raise you a Hank. Egads.

  • Nick

    JTT had his moments on Home Improvement, and I’m a fan of his. But that show, while at times funny, was too cute for my more-cutting comedy taste. And at least for a time, I’m almost certain it aired opposite Seinfeld, because our office was divided into two camps…soft comedy and real comedy.

    As for Summerland, it amazes me that a show that good failed to find an audience. Can you imagine: Zac Efron, Jesse McCartney, Lori Loughlin, Ryan Kwanten, Sara Paxton, Merrin Dungey…!!!!

    It just proves one thing, too many viewers live in a vaccuum…the type that will watch Charlie Sheen every week, and be completely oblivious to a star-laden family series on a smaller network.

  • Tiffany

    seriously.. if you guys think that this isnt a funny show.. you need to live outside the box and stop comparing it to shows that were made from what over a decade ago? and summerland did suck thats why it was only on for let me see? a season? the middle is effin hilarious! my mom cant stop relating it to her own life. and i was a malcom follower forever and i can see a great differance from the two shows. people are just forgetting what funny is these days. because if not then why do we continue to run shows like tru blood or remaking stupid 80’s shows like V.. come on ppl.. i say the middle’s awesome.. [[wispers]] awesommme.

  • Kooby

    “Atticus walked through the door and we said “He's just weird enough looking to be Dewey! We must have him!” Yeah, we're so awesome!”