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Posts About Justin Berfield (Reese)

‘Malcolm in the Middle’ Crew Reunited on ‘Sons of Tucson’

6x09 Malcolm's Car still

Sons of Tucson is as close to a Malcolm in the Middle reunion as there ever has been, but its all behind the scenes. As I’m sure you know Son of Tucson is produced by Justin Berfield (Reese) and directed/produced by Todd Holland who worked on many Malcolm episodes.

Justin was responsible for this reunion and had this to say…

We all knew a show revolving around three young kids requires someone who’s done it before and Todd fit that bill immediately, I’d actually been dying to work with him again for the last three years, so I’m glad everything worked out.

The reason why we brought a lot of the people from Malcolm is, especially when you’re working with kids, time is extremely important, and that’s a group of people that worked together for seven years straight, and they all know what to do and the timing needed to get it done.

You can’t say enough about that when you’re on a TV show with kids. You want everything to run as smoothly as possible because, especially with Ben Stockham who plays Robby, you only have him on set working hours like four hours a day, and if he’s in three or four scenes, everything has got to be running smoothly, and so that’s why we brought on everybody from Malcolm, not only because they’re the best if not some of the best in the business at their jobs, but because they all have a short-hand knowledge with each other, and they just work together great.

People who made the move (and their Malcolm contribution):

Matthew Carlson (Producer/Writer/Director – 81 episodes) Janice Carr (Producer – 44 episodes) Peter Lauer (Director – 12 episodes) David D’Ovidio (Director – 12 episodes) Matt Marshall (Director – 11 episodes) Andy Bobrow (Writer – 15 episodes) Joaquin Sedillo (Cameras – Pilot) Ken Miller (Casting – 22 episodes) Nikki Valko (Casting – 23 episodes) Laverne Caracuzzi (Make-up – 22 episodes) Andrew Adams (Boom Operator – 126 episodes) Ken Sega (Sound Mixer – 150 episodes) Laura Dash (Stunts) Chris Haynes (Driver – 3 episodes) Jaime Abarca Jr. (Location Security – 25 episodes) Brooks Bonstin (Location Manager – 66 episodes) Robert L. Dohan (Location Manager – 151 episodes) [based on IMDB]


March 23rd, 2010 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

4.5M Watch Justin Berfield & Todd Holland’s ‘Sons of Tucson’

Sons of Tucson Season 1 Promotional Image

Justin tweeted the good news this week that early figures say 4.5 million tuned in for the Sons of Tucson premiere. Lets hope the success continues, the second episode airs tonight (March 21) 9:30/8:30 Central on FOX.

Here’s a round-up of what Justin has had to say about himself and the show in recent weeks…

During Malcolm in the Middle – I think I was around 15 or 16 – instead of running to my trailer after a scene I would stay on set. I would ask questions. I would hang out with the crew. I would hang out with the grips, you know, the guys doing all the work. I would ask questions, and I would look around. I would talk to the writers. I actually went to Linwood Boomer a few times with some treatments, ideas for some episodes. I’d submit it to him. He’d give me his notes. So it was actually really early in the process or early in Malcolm where I would start doing that. I was always thinking towards the future. So that was with it for me. – MediaWeek

The idea came up from our creators, Tommy Dewey and Greg Bratman. They brought this idea to us way back when, and we just sort of developed it from an idea to scripts. Finally, we took it to Fox because I had some relationships there obviously, and they purchased it from us. It was exciting. It was like our first scripted show that we sold as a company at J2, and we couldn’t be happier with the people that we’re working with and the two guys that wrote it. Visually and maybe tonally, everyone’s going to compare it to Malcolm, but I think story wise you can’t really compare it to any show that’s been out there. It’s a truly unique concept, and we’re excited that Fox and everyone has a vision to see this through because on the face of it, it is kind of crazy. It’s kind of out there, but they were behind it from day one. It’s not really a concept that comes up too much in the show, and it sort of naturally weaves its way into every script, so it’s not like if someone tunes in four episodes into the season that they’re going to be lost. It’s really easy to catch up on it. –

I don’t really consider myself the big boss, but that’s the title they’ve given me. I act the same way I did before – just be respectful to everyone. As long as everyone does their job, hopefully we will have a successful show. That’s all you can hope for. It should be simple. That’s my philosophy. –

“Being in front of the camera, you never got to see the whole process from the conception of the script all the way through to the filming process. And building the pilot…selling this little inkling of an idea has just been eye-opening for me, I especially love the whole casting process because I’ve been on the other side of the process in those rooms, and now I get to sit behind the camera and sort of–” “…Judge!” Tyler Labine pipes up, and they both laugh. –

Network brass were hovering around when the show was in its nascent stages. “That’s a heavy understatement” says Justin…Todd Holland adds “You have never had so much participation, shall we say. I mean, it really started to be like, ‘Please love us less.'” All that attention from the top caused a good bit of frustration, it would seem. “It’s like a parent that doesn’t give you clear instructions and you don’t know how to please them,”…“So it’s always like a weird thing trying to figure out: What do they want? What are they saying? Even if we did understand the instructions, would we agree enough to do it that way, or would we have to push back?” Berfield and his partner Jason Felts had tried to interest the illustrious Holland in directing other projects of theirs in the past, to no avail. “I think it’s good it didn’t work out in the beginning. It was a learning process for us. I was young, just starting out as a producer, seeing different material – striking out a few times, I think it helps you grow.” –

Todd Holland - Behind the Scenes - Sons of Tucson - 1x02

Todd Holland had a few other things to say on ‘Tucson

Holland acknowledged that after Berfield and his business partner presented him with the script to consider, he didn’t even read it at first, because he had what he described as a sort of patronizing “Uncle Todd attitude” resulting from having known Berfield since he was a kid. But he finally got around to reading the script, at which point, “suddenly, it was business.” –

“It was the simplest thing on the planet – it was funny.”…”So much stuff that has ‘comedy’ labeled on it is not funny to me, so I have a simplistic little litmus test: Did I laugh when I read it?”…“Humor is better as a side dish,”…”It’s like fettuccine alfredo, nobody wants it as a whole dish, but on the side, then it’s really yummy,” That said, “Sons” has a wacky premise that is inherently funny. “There are four little con artists, one of which is not little,”…But it is also about the idea of a chosen family. “In Sons, four people are slammed together to make a family, thrown together by circumstance, and they end up having a sense of place from sharing their lives together,”…”But, we’re not schmaltzy. We’re the anti-schmaltz.” –

“I never totally saw Sons of Tucson as clearly as when we saw Tyler Labine. When we found him, it was like, ‘Oh my God. I totally see the show,'”…”Now I can’t read our scripts without hearing him. He’s such a specific voice and he so captures the lovable scoundrel.”…”Sons is about the inevitable gravitational pull of family, even when no one actually wants to be a family. Even in this crazy, cut-throat, spiraling-down-the-drain world we live in – people still choose family,“…”They may not be bio-parents or blood relations — but family matters.” –

If anything, his new show is “the anti-‘Earl.’ ” “We heard about ‘Earl’ a lot” while the show was being developed, he said. “So we really worked hard” to distinguish it…the show was much more a hybrid of his previous series “Malcolm in the Middle” and “The Larry Sanders Show.”

US readers can watch Sons of Tucson for free on Hulu, iTunes and FOX.

Thanks Rye

March 22nd, 2010 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

Justin Berfield Gets ‘Key’ to City of Tucson

Sons of Tucson Screening Event Poster

March 10, 2010 – Justin Berfield attended the premiere of the first two episodes of Sons of Tucson at the University of Arizona‘s Gallagher Theater. Mayor Bob Walkup proclaimed it “Sons of Tucson Day” and presented Justin with a gold key, a symbolic gift of appreciation, he has given such a key to 11 people in his 10 years as mayor.

It’s not something we do very often…It has to be someone who is a leader and has done great things…This new show gives Tucson visual recognition on national television…To get a show like this in Tucson is an extraordinary thing – Mayor Bob Walkup

The show is set in Tucson “because it’s a big city, and, as we all say, there’s stuff to do here, things to see…Everyone is really gracious and hospitable here,” said Justin. His favorite things about Tucson are the University of Arizona and El Charro Restaurant.

This is my first one, and I’m really excited…I only had to create the show, put the title of the city in it and I’m honored…I haven’t been offered one of these. I’m sort of excited to see what I can do with it – what I can get with it. – Justin Berfield

Audience members brought up Malcolm in the Middle. One girl asked Berfield, “What would Hal and Lois (his MITM parents) think of you right now?” “Um, they’d be proud. They want the best for their kids,” Berfield said, and everyone laughed. – Laura Donovan

However some locals weren’t so impressed…

It doesn’t take much to get a key to the city these days. Just make a sitcom with the word “Tucson” in the title, show up in town for a premiere of the first episode, and you’re golden…They never inquired about shooting here…We have so many really dedicated, hardworking filmmakers in this city who are nameless for so long and end up working in New Mexico and California because there isn’t enough work here. One of those people should be acknowledged instead –

They shot in the Los Angeles area, but include stock-footage shots of Tucson for scene transitions. “For economic reasons, we cannot film the show in Tucson,”. Justin said he hopes to film an episode in Tucson for the second season. He said there was no rhyme or reason for selecting Tucson; he has been here only once, as a teenager, to see a concert. But he said, “It’s sort of the opposite of New Jersey.”

Source:,, FOX11AZ

March 21st, 2010 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

Justin Berfield to Guest Star as ‘Reese’ on ‘Sons of Tucson’

Tyler Labine, Justin Berfield and Todd Holland speak onstage at the FOX 'Sons Of Tucson' portion of the 2010 Winter TCA Tour day 3

As hinted at by Justin in a tweet of his from late last year, it has now been confirmed that Justin will guest star in the season finale of the new series, Sons of Tucson.

Ok, so the character Justin will be playing is not actually Reese, but Barry “not a tall guy but always working on his biceps, he is the neighborhood bully now all grown up.” Sound familiar? Well according to reports its a reprise of Reese’s character. The name will be different, but the character will be the same.

Frank Dolce (know-it-all-middle-son Gary on ‘Tucson) has this to say about Justin’s performance, “He’s a little shy sometimes, but he guest stars in one of the episodes and when he steps in front of the camera, he is so upbeat and has so much energy.”

The announcement was made during FOX’s TCA (Television Critics Association) presentation panel for Sons of Tucson in LA. The broadcast date for his guest star appearance is yet to be announced.

This will mark Justin’s first time in front of the camera since Malcolm in the Middle’s series finale aired on May 14, 2006. Justin serves as executive producer of Sons of Tucson, which premieres in the US on Sunday, March 14 at 9:30/8:30 Central on FOX.

Excited to see Justin on TV again? I am!

Source: Laura Donovan, | Thanks Rye

March 15th, 2010 (17) Comments - Post a Comment

Justin Berfield on Sons of Tucson and Being a Child Star

Justin answering questions on Sons of Tucson

Justin Berfield (Reese) has been working as one of the producers of Sons of Tucson, a new family comedy on FOX that also features Todd Holland on the production team, one of the key people behind Malcolm in the Middle. And like Malcolm, it focuses around a group of brothers — in this case they need to find a ‘dad for hire’ in order to stay together.

The Sioux City Journal have a really interesting article/interview with Justin on his experience of being a child star on Malcolm, how he came to be interested in working behind the camera and how his experience with Malcolm in the Middle (and particularly being such a young actor) is very important to his current role on the new show.

During the first year of “Malcolm,” Berfield tried to keep his hand in both worlds. “I went to a regular public high school and it was extremely difficult. I felt I was constantly behind because the teachers didn’t give you your school work on time. I was constantly frustrated.”

The next year, he switched to an online school and worked at his own pace.

Gradually, his character — the rebellious Reese — got more screen time. Eventually, Berfield became adept at behind-the-camera work. “I give full credit to Linwood (Boomer, the show’s producer). He helped me. And whenever I needed a personal day off, he made sure I got it. He understood it was a job. But he also realized you’ve got to give a kid time to be a kid.”

Now, he’s doing the same with “Tucson’s” sons. He sees himself in Matthew Levy, one of the show’s stars, and he figures Levy will be interested in life behind the camera someday, too. “He asks questions. He wants to know why we do what we do. That’s similar to what I did.”

It’s a really interesting read if you’re interested in his experience behind the scenes of Malcolm, or Sons of Tucson, or just the unique challenges involved with working with young actors.

Sons of Tucson premieres in the US on Sunday, March 14 at 9:30/8:30 Central on FOX.

TV: ‘Malcolm’ star produces own family show
by Bruce R Miller – 5 March 2010 – Sioux City Journal

LOS ANGELES — Justin Berfield wasn’t just the other kid in the middle on “Malcolm in the Middle.” He was the one who decided there was going to be a life in show business after the series ended.

“Instead of running to my trailer, I would stay on set,” the 24-year-old says. “I’d hang out with the grips and ask a lot of questions.”

Like a latter-day Ron Howard, Berfield learned about the business side of entertainment. “He didn’t (mess) around like other people in the cast,” says director Todd Holland. “He always was very serious.”

Armed with considerable knowledge, Berfield decided to take the next step and produce.

This month, his latest series, “Sons of Tucson” premieres. Like “Malcolm in the Middle,” it showcases the antics of brothers. In this case, they’re three enterprising boys who pretend they’ve got a father if they want to stay together. They hire a “dad” and create a life for themselves in Tucson.

Berfield sees the similarities between shows. He also knows the pitfalls.

The younger the actors, the shorter the work hours,” he says. “We’re limited in the amount of time we have them on set.” Because those young actors have school obligations as well, “they’re actually balancing two jobs. They’re waking up before their friends. They’re on set all day long. They’re going home from work when their friends are having fun. They grow up much faster than other kids.”

During the first year of “Malcolm,” Berfield tried to keep his hand in both worlds. “I went to a regular public high school and it was extremely difficult. I felt I was constantly behind because the teachers didn’t give you your school work on time. I was constantly frustrated.”

The next year, he switched to an online school and worked at his own pace.

Because he wasn’t the star of the show, Berfield also didn’t have to fend off the taunts of other teenagers. “I stayed out of the public eye as much as possible. I was never the guy going to the clubs, being caught with underage drinking or things like that. I decided early on I wanted to be known for my work, not who I was out with at parties.”

Gradually, his character — the rebellious Reese — got more screen time. Eventually, Berfield became adept at behind-the-camera work. “I give full credit to Linwood (Boomer, the show’s producer). He helped me. And whenever I needed a personal day off, he made sure I got it. He understood it was a job. But he also realized you’ve got to give a kid time to be a kid.”

Now, he’s doing the same with “Tucson’s” sons. He sees himself in Matthew Levy, one of the show’s stars, and he figures Levy will be interested in life behind the camera someday, too. “He asks questions. He wants to know why we do what we do. That’s similar to what I did.”

Berfield, however, knew early on stardom can be fleeting. “There’s no book that tells you how to be a kid on a sitcom,” he says. “You just have to do it.”

Because “Malcolm” was a popular show with teenagers, kids were “generally positive. Some are a little jealous because they thought you didn’t have to go to school and you could afford to buy everything.”

Fame, though, should never be a career goal. “That’s the wrong approach…you’re not always assured of getting another show.”

When a successful series ends, “people come out of the woodwork, telling you what they can do for you. Ninety-nine percent of the time, these aren’t the people you should listen to. You need to listen to people who were around before you got on a show.”

Though he did get other acting work (he’s even in “Tucson” as a neighbor), Berfield sees his future behind the camera. “I like having a little more control over my life. I don’t know how I got two shows (he was also on “Unhappily Ever After”). There are so many variables that come into play.”

Today, Berfield says, he talks regularly to Erik Per Sullivan (the show’s Dewey, who’s in college) and has run into Bryan Cranston at industry events. The others, he sees occasionally. “It’s hard because we’re all doing our own things. It’s just the nature of the business.”

To make sure he passes on the nurturing Boomer gave him, Berfield says he told his young actors to talk to him whenever they have problems with a situation or a script. “I know there are going to be issues,” he says. “I’ve been there. And I’ve done it.”

Source (image and quote): Sioux City Journal

March 5th, 2010 (8) Comments - Post a Comment

Happy 24th Birthday Justin Berfield

Justin Berfield (Reese) is 24 years old today (25th February, 2010). Everyone here at the VC wishes him a very happy birthday!

So just to embarrass him, in true MITMVC birthday celebration style, here is a picture of him from 15 years ago, when he was just 9 years old, auditioning for the role of Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.

Justin Berfield, 9 years old, auditioning for Star Wars Episode I

Obviously, he didn’t get that part — it was later filled by Jake Lloyd — but as we know, Justin went on to play Reese for all seven seasons of Malcolm in the Middle.

Recently, Justin has been keeping himself busy as one of the Executive Producers of Sons of Tucson, a new FOX comedy show featuring Natalie Martinez, Matthew Levy, Frank Dolce, Benjamin Stockham, and starring Tyler Labine. Also on the production team is Todd Holland, who directed many episodes of Malcolm and who was one of the key people behind its unique visual style. Sons of Tucson premieres in the US on Sunday, March 14 at 9:30/8:30 Central on FOX.

Thanks to our very own Gill here at the VC for pointing out Justin’s birthday, and once again we wish Justin a very happy birthday and great success with Sons of Tucson.

February 25th, 2010 (13) Comments - Post a Comment

Win a Chance to Meet Justin Berfield & Visit ‘Sons of Tucson’ Set

Justin Berfield - Reese Justin is to start a competition to win a chance to meet him and visit the set of the new show he is producing Sons of Tucson.

There are few details currently, but it seems the competition with be through Twitter and you need to go follow Justin to find out how to take part. He’s recently moved Twitter accounts, you can now follow him at (a faker got it at first) instead of his original account Justin will conduct some sort of 5 question challenge with his followers with 1 ultimate winner. During the set visit the winner will have a photo snapped and posted on Justin’s Twitter account. Its being run by Justin’s management and not affiliated with Fox Broadcasting, 20th Century Fox Television, J2TV or it’s affiliates. A background check may be required (yeah, weird right?)

We don’t know when the visit will take place or when the competition will start. We guess sometime later this year while the show is still filming. Its also unclear if its open to non-US residents.

On the topic of Sons of Tucson, Justin said on Twitter last month that re-casting had finished and that production was starting this month. They had been re-casting the older and youngest kids, THR announced that Matthew Levy has been cast as the older, the younger actor is still unknown.

Source: CelebrityLoop (Justin’s official forum)

September 5th, 2009 (1) Comments - Post a Comment

Frankie Muniz & Justin Berfield iPhone Apps

You may be surprised to hear but Frankie Muniz and Justin Berfield have their own iPhone apps, but the excitement should end there. A company called Arctic Gerbil Creations has produced a “SupaFan” application for each of them. It costs $0.99 (£0.59) I bought one so you wouldn’t have to. Frankie and Justin have nothing to do with them and they are essentially generic aggregators of information from the internet. Little effort was put into them, it just pulls in Google News/YouTube/Wikipedia results for them, it doesn’t even display it that well. Don’t buy it. Everything it offers can be accessed for free via the Safari browser with a nicer interface. You can see more screenshots in our GALLERY.

Frankie Muniz SupaFan iPhone App Frankie Muniz SupaFan iPhone App

Source: iTunes Store

August 27th, 2009 (0) Comments - Post a Comment

‘Sons of Tucson’ from Justin Berfield & Todd Holland [Watch the Pilot]

(Sorry, video has been removed)

Sons of Tucson is in short a family comedy about three brothers who hire a charming, wayward schemer to stand in as their father when their real one goes to prison. Its being produced by J2TV Justin Berfield and Jason Felt’s production company. They got legendary Malcolm in the Middle director/producer Todd Holland to direct (and executive produce) the Pilot, which you can watch in full above. Its written by Tommy Dewey & Greg Bratman and stars Tyler Labine (Reaper) as Ron the wayward schemer. They have landed with FOX and is set to premiere midseason (spring 2010) and will air Sundays at 8:30pm, which you may recall was Malcolm in the Middle’s original timeslot when that series premiered back in January 2000.

They have had to recast the older (Brandon) and younger (Robby) kid characters, and are currently running an open casting call, so if you look around 14 or 9 and are an aspiring actor its well worth checking out! Audition videos have been popping up on YouTube. Frank Dolce as Gary continues his part.

Frank Dolce, Tyler Labine, Troy Gentile & Davis Cleveland.

I managed to get a few quick questions in with Justin over Twitter. Why the recast? According to Justin its due to scheduling issues. Justin also confirms that Todd Holland will be directing the Pilot remake and the first two episodes, which is great news.

The trailer for those who can’t handle the full episode…

Early reviews have been positive to very positive. Justin and Todd have the potential to turn out a killer show, I’m pumped.

Thanks to Rye (for his continued updates)

Interview with Justin from the Arizona Daily Star

Berfield spoke to the Star last week from his Venice, Calif., office.

Was it a huge relief when Fox picked up the series?

“Yeah, it is always nerve-racking. You never know. You work really hard to put a show together, but there are only so many time slots.
“I was excited about this one because it got me back to Fox, which is where I was for seven years (with ‘Malcolm’). It is great to be back home and to have a show I think will really find an audience.”

Do any of you have ties to Tucson?

“No. No ties whatsoever except that Tommy, Greg and I love Tucson. I haven’t been there in a little while. I’ll be organizing a trip for the guys and for all of us at some point.”

What were your first impressions when the series was pitched to you?

“I loved it. I loved the notion of three boys of three different ages having to make their way in their new lives.”

Why cast Labine as Snuffkin?

“Tyler is incredible. He is probably one of the funniest guys I’ve met or been around in a long time. He is great with the boys and a real leader.
“He is really, really talented, and we all had a hand in casting him in the show. The studio and the network are really excited about him. I can’t imagine anyone else playing Ron.”

Any favorite characters?

“Being a former child actor and having grown up on television myself, I think all three of the boys are great. They are all fresh and really good. We were able to pull Frank Dolce off Broadway. He was in ‘Billy Elliot.’
“Davis Cleveland is playing Robby. He is very funny. He is a great kid, and his timing is incredible. Troy Gentile has been in several movies, including ‘Hotel for Dogs,’ and he is doing very well.”

August 21st, 2009 (29) Comments - Post a Comment

Justin Berfield Puts His Calabasas House Up For Sale [Photos]

Justin's Calabasas House For Sale

Justin Berfield put his house on Lorena Drive, Calabasas, California up for sale in April for $3,995,000 but it hasn’t sold and its now listed at $3,495,000. Big Time Listing are pretty certain he paid $3,400,000 for it to former MTV Newlyweds couple Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey in 2006.

The Mediterranean he hopes to sell is in a guard-gated community and has its own gated driveway. The 6,483-square-foot house has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms and some grown-up toys: a home theater, an infinity pool and spa, a wine cellar and a bar with indoor-outdoor access. The home has a custom soundproof room that was formerly used as a recording studio. There are travertine floors, high ceilings, four sun decks and views from the master bedroom suite.

In May last year he bought the house where he currently lives, in the Venice area of Los Angeles, for $1,450,000. The reason for the move was to be closer to his production company J2 Pictures/J2TV.

More photos of the house in our GALLERY.

Source: Big Time Listing, The Real Estalker & LATimes

August 18th, 2009 (9) Comments - Post a Comment

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