Whatever Happened To The Cast Of The Middle?

After an impressive nine-season run, the beloved ABC comedy "The Middle" wrapped in 2018. The show's cast starred sitcom heavyweights like Patricia Heaton of "Everybody Loves Raymond" fame and Neil Flynn from "Scrubs," and it put a spotlight on middle-class American families while resonating with households across the country. 

"I think a lot of people felt we were representing them — their families, their lives," co-creator and executive producer Eileen Heisler told Deadline during the final season. "The word we most heard from fans is that our show was relatable." Despite the changing world and political climate during the show's run, Heisler explained the enduring success of "The Middle" was due to the likable characters and their touching stories.

Fans came to know and love the five members of the fictional Heck family and the actors who played them, including Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher, and Atticus Shaffer. Take a look at what the cast has been up to in the years since the series finale of "The Middle."

Patricia Heaton continues to act and pursue other creative projects

"The Middle” centered on Indiana mom Frankie Heck, played by Emmy winner Patricia Heaton. Heaton scored more TV roles after the show, including a starring one in the series "Carol's Second Act," portraying 50-something Carol Kenney as she switches careers to become a doctor. Unfortunately, the 2019 show, which Heaton also executive produced, lasted only one season. However, Heaton has had her hands full pursuing other creative endeavors, including authoring the similarly titled memoir "Your Second Act." As she told Watch! Magazine in 2019, "It's important to keep the creative juices flowing and not get complacent."

Heaton has channeled part of that creative energy into the home and kitchen industry. The food enthusiast — who previously hosted her own Daytime Emmy-winning Food Network show, "Patricia Heaton Parties" – debuted the housewares line Patricia Heaton Home at Walmart.

According to Today, she's also embracing sobriety during her second act — celebrating three years of being alcohol-free in 2021. "I've stopped, and my life has improved significantly," Heaton explained. "My kids are in their mid-20s and I'll probably be in my 70s by the time I have grandchildren. I want to be healthy for them."

Neil Flynn has enjoyed a successful acting career

Fans of Neil Flynn likely remember the comedic actor for his portrayal as the janitor on "Scrubs." While on the popular show, Flynn landed the role of the Heck family patriarch, Mike, on "The Middle," which he played throughout the series from 2009 to 2018. "There was a transition from 'Scrubs' to 'The Middle,'" Flynn told Entertainment Weekly in 2019. "The characters were quite different. I was a down-to-earth man of few words on 'The Middle' and the Janitor could do or say virtually anything and it would fit the character."

The sitcom actor has continued to work in television since "The Middle," appearing in the 2019 comedy "Abby's" and lending his voice to the animated shows "Solar Opposites," "Superman: Man of Tomorrow," and "Chicago Party Aunt," according to IMDb.

Flynn also flexed his voice acting skills on the fantasy podcast "Carcerem," playing the role of Vorlauf. "It's a different world," Flynn said about working on the audio drama in a behind-the-scenes video. "You have to clue the audience in through verbal sounds, and the easiest thing to do most of the time is to actually do it."

Charlie McDermott focused on music

Charlie McDermott started playing Axl Heck, the oldest of the three Heck siblings, on "The Middle" when he was just 18 years old. While fans of the show became familiar with Axl, the character was far from McDermott's personality. "Axl is an enigma to me for the most part," McDermott told the The Philadelphia Inquirer in a 2017 interview. "I think generally he makes decisions that I disapprove of ... but he's fun, too, in that aspect."

McDermott has acted here and there since the series finale of "The Middle.'" In 2018, he appeared alongside Mark Wahlberg in "Instant Family," and he played Ty in the Netflix mini-series "Unbelievable" the following year, per IMDb. However, the actor has since shifted his focus to other pursuits. "I would like to keep acting. But acting is so spontaneous," he also told The Philadelphia Enquirer. "When I was younger, I really wanted to have like a specific trajectory, but now it just seems impossible to ever do that, so I just want to keep working, and, hopefully, enjoy what I'm getting to do."

Besides acting, McDermott has also worked on music. In 2020, he released the digital album "Some Things Just Fall Out of Your Hands," for which he wrote, performed, and recorded all eight tracks.

Eden Sher almost got a spin-off show

"The Middle" fans might be surprised to learn actress Eden Sher wasn't an immediate shoo-in for Sue Heck. In a 2016 Gold Derby interview, Sher explained, "It is a miracle I was cast; it was not an easy process."

After playing the Heck sister for nine years, the actress almost continued the role in a spin-off that focused on Sue. "We are shooting a pilot," Sher told TVLine in 2018. "I hope it gets picked up. I think it's going to be great." Unfortunately, the series never made it to the small screen, but Sher kept busy. The actress voiced the empowered titular princess in the animated Disney show "Star vs. the Forces of Evil" for four seasons (via IMDb). Keeping her comedic sitcom talents on display, Sher also appeared in episodes of "Jane the Virgin" and "Superstore."

In June 2021, Sher announced via her Instagram that she and her husband, comedian Nick Cron-DeVico, were expecting twins. The following November, she posted the first picture of her and her husband with the twins, which was simply captioned, "Family."

Atticus Shaffer made a name for himself as a voice actor

When 11-year-old Atticus Shaffer began playing the eccentric character Brick Heck on "The Middle," viewers and critics alike quickly gravitated to the youngest character and all of his quirks. "People just like Brick because he follows the beat of his own drummer," Atticus told The New York Times in 2010. "He's different, and he's quirky, and people seem to think that's adorable. Trust me because I know. It's my life."

While his role on "The Middle" wasn't his first — he notably appeared in the Will Smith movie "Hancock" — his portrayal as Brick was a standout part. Since the "Middle" finale, Shaffer has racked up a steady stream of voice acting gigs, which he also did during the show's run. According to the young actor's IMDb page, he's worked on several popular animated series, such as Disney's "The Lion Guard," "Pete the Cat," and "Star vs. the Forces of Evil" with "The Middle" castmate Eden Sher.