Brainiacs and Maniacs

Like the prodigy he plays on the zany Malcolm in the Middle, young Frankie Muniz stands apart

There's nothing wrong with being cut from the herd," frazzled mother Lois tells her son Malcolm, who has just tested--to his chagrin--as a genius. "It makes you the one buffalo that isn't there when the Indians run the rest of them off the cliff." That, or it makes you the easiest target for sharpshooters; whoever coined the term "gifted" clearly never received a wedgie for being a brain. As the oddball sitcom Malcolm in the Middle (Fox, Sundays, 8:30 p.m. E.T.) shows, being pegged as special is more a "gift" in a Let's Make a Deal sense. Behind one door is...

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