The Middle is a primetime American comedy series created by DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler for the ABC network. The Middle stars Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn as Frankie and Mike Heck, a used-car saleswoman and the manager of a small mining firm respectively, who struggle to raise their children in the fictional middle-class town of Orson, Indiana. Their three children include underachieving, slow-witted Axl (Charlie McDermott), cluelessly unpopular daughter Sue (Eden Sher) and frustrated, eccentric child-genius Brick (Atticus Shaffer). The Hecks find themselves embroiled in somewhat unusual events as they attempt to navigate their day-to-day lives. The series was met with a positive reception from television critics when it premiered on September 30, 2009, with a score of 70 on the aggregated reviews website Metacritic.