Lisa Giordano-Navarro is stuck in the middle: between marriage and divorce, between career and unemployment, between the various members of her family – particularly her conservative immigrant parents. As she embarks on a long visit with the Giordano clan in LA, she struggles to reconcile who she is and where she came from. That’s the through line of MIDDLEHOOD (middlehood.tv), the independently-produced television series from Michele Palermo, which combines the raw bite of All in the Family with the intimate relevance of Better Things and the family-centered history of This is Us. All eight episodes of MIDDLEHOOD have been completed and the show is now seeking a platform for distribution.
Palermo is an accomplished television writer and playwright who has created and worked on shows with Peter Horton, David E. Kelley and Lifetime. She wrote the pilot for
MIDDLEHOOD because she wanted to tell a version of her own story – a woman in the throes of midlife dealing with her aging immigrant parents and a broken family.
“It’s such a relevant, universal story – but I kept getting this weird response from TV development folks,” said Michele. “That this is definitely a moment for inclusion, but I had written the wrong kind of inclusion – middle aged women aren’t interesting, I had the wrong kind of immigrant parents, I needed to build the show around a star. But I looked at the demographics of television viewing and streaming, and I could see that the prevailing vision was wrong – that Gen X and Boomers are watching TV like crazy*, and women in those demographics are dramatically underrepresented. So I took a page out of the indie film movement and made the show myself.”
Palermo built a tiny but mighty creative team, funded and shot the pilot and episode 2 of the show, then took it to festivals around the country, where it won multiple awards, including Best TV Show at the NY International Film Festival, and Audience Awards at Dances with Films and Series Fest. Then COVID happened.
The COVID production shutdown gave Palermo the time to finish writing all eight episodes and raise the funds to complete production, adding additional self-funding and launching a uniquely successful Kickstarter campaign that was supported through social media from the show’s cast and crew, some of whom have immense followings.
MIDDLEHOOD boasts a cast of accomplished working actors, including Elena Wohl (The Session Man, Spotlight), Mark Damon Espinoza (The Endgame, Beverly Hills 90210), Krista Warner (The Lincoln Lawyer), Jazmín Caratini (Súbete a Mis Moto), as well as rising talent like Instagram favorite Samantha Gangal (@littlesamkay).
“This is an incredibly strong cast,” said Palermo, “One of the strongest I’ve ever worked with. In a family-centered show like MIDDLEHOOD, you’ve got to have strong players of all ages, and this group – as well as the wonderful production team – certainly delivered.”
MIDDLEHOOD is now ready for a home on a streaming service or a television network. The first two episodes and details are available at middlehood.tv. Distribution inquiries can be directed to Michele Palermo at firstname.lastname@example.org.