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The Real Reason Lois Was Missing From Malcolm In The Middle Season 4

The 2000s were a phenomenal decade for non-laugh track sitcoms, and "Malcolm in the Middle," with its single camera, movie-like quality, helped usher in this trend followed by a whole host of imitators. Across seven unforgettable seasons, the shenanigans of Malcolm (Frankie Muniz), Reese (Justin Berfield), Francis (Christopher Kennedy Masterson), Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan), and their father Hal (Bryan Cranston) still resonate all these years later. But it was matriarch Lois (Jane Kaczmarek) who arguably had us laughing the most when we weren't marveling at her incredible intuition.

Lois was the definition of every stereotype as well as everything that is great about an overbearing mother. She could be a nightmare one minute while pointing out all her children's vices, and a fierce protector of those same kids' imperfections the next. Lois is such a memorable TV character that the Primetime Emmys nominated her in the lead actress in a comedy series category seven times for each season of the show. Sadly, she never won.

Lois was certainly a standout character in the show, but her actor's real-life situation also got in the way of the series from time to time, particularly during the 4th season.

The show blended reality with fiction when Kaczmarek got pregnant

Season 4 of "Malcolm in the Middle" aired during the 2002-2003 TV season. Jane Kaczmarek discovered she was pregnant before filming began. The showrunners were then presented with the dilemma of Malcolm's mom becoming pregnant with no backstory hinting at this at the end of the 3rd season.

Since the series explored the unexpected events that occur in family life, the writers took the news and ran with it. Lois would become pregnant towards the last half of the 4th season, but the earlier episodes would need a solution since the scripts were already written. Instead of using camera tricks, it was decided that Lois would need to be missing from some episodes during the middle part of Season 4.

Since social media was far from being a thing and immediate news releases were not common in 2002, this is what happened to Lois if you were lost in the dark about her disappearances back then. Interestingly enough, this was not the first time Kaczmarek found out she was pregnant during filming.

During the production of the 1st season back in 1999, Kaczmarek became pregnant with her second child. Unlike the handling of the news during the 4th season of "Malcolm in the Middle," showrunners had no choice but to use camera trickery to hide her pregnancy. In a 2000 interview with TV Guide, the actress revealed, "If you check out the [episodes], you can see me indulging in the fine art of keeping my tummy off-camera."