‘The Middle’: Frankie’s Not-So-Perfect Thanksgiving Includes Axl’s New Girlfriend (VIDEO)

The Middle
Michael Ansell/ABC
THE MIDDLE - “Thanksgiving VIII” - Frankie has come to the conclusion that April (guest star Greer Grammer) is not good enough for Axl and does everything in her power to keep her out of their annual Christmas family photo. But she finds herself vying for Axl's attention by trying to rearrange timing for the family's Thanksgiving dinner when she discovers that he plans to go to April's multiple family get-togethers that day. Meanwhile, Sue goes ballistic when she discovers that Brick will now be her new co-worker at Spudsy's, on ABC's "The Middle," airing on TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22 (8:00–8:30 p.m. EDT). (ABC/Michael Ansell) NEIL FLYNN, ATTICUS SHAFFER, EDEN SHER, CHARLIE MCDERMOTT, PATRICIA HEATON, GREER GRAMMER

Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) has never been a whiz at Thanksgiving. Last year, the family skipped dinner altogether. But this time it’s back to the grind, with even more company than usual. “We learn not only what Frankie is thankful for,” executive producer Eileen Heisler says, “but what she isn’t thankful for.”

Eldest son Axl (Charlie McDermott) and his flighty girlfriend, April (Greer Grammer), decide to split the day between their families. Then, Frankie’s “perfect” next-door neighbors, the Donahues, have an oven malfunction—and ask to use the Hecks’. “This leads to many wonderful dishes being heated up in the Hecks’ kitchen,” says Heisler.

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The result: dinner…at 8am. At least daughter Sue (Eden Sher) escapes the craziness to work at their food court’s hot potato counter, Spudsy Malone’s. That is, until she finds she has a new coworker—brother Brick (Atticus Shaffer)!

Watch an exclusive clip from the episode, where Frankie tries to keep April out of the Hecks’ holiday picture:

The Middle, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 8/7c, ABC