Billy Gardell as Officer Michael "Mike" Biggs, a Chicago Police officer attempting to lose weight. He is humorous and good-hearted, though he doesn't appear to be a deep thinker. He often caves in to his mother's demands, much to Molly's dismay, but his relationship with Molly has made him much more independent.
Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn, a fourth-grade teacher at Walter Payton Elementary School, also attempting to lose weight. She is sweet, happy, intelligent and caring. She is the rational member of her family, but is known to have a quick temper and has built up a lot of debt from lavish shopping and traveling. Many students still refer to her by her maiden name, Miss Flynn. She quits her teaching job in season four to become an author.
Reno Wilson as Officer Carlton "Carl" McMillan, a Chicago Police officer and Mike's partner and best friend. He tends towards self-pity and lived with his grandmother for a long time until she made him move into his own apartment. He struggles in relationships with women and is depicted as lonely. He also is a big fan of soul and gospel music and openly dislikes bluegrass. He begins a steady relationship with Christina (Holly Robinson Peete), a single mother with a young son, in season 2. This relationship proved to be short-lived when Christina broke up with Carl in order to try and work out things out with James, her famous football player ex-husband and the father of her son, in season 3.
Katy Mixon as Victoria Flynn, Molly's dimwitted, kindhearted, party girl sister who is often high on marijuana. She is employed as a beautician at a funeral home. She likes to have fun and sleeps around, frequently with married men.
Swoosie Kurtz as Joyce Moranto, Molly's mother. She is a widow who began dating Vincent Moranto in Season 1. She attempts to stay in her youth and is very modern, while she also drinks heavily and has a hair-trigger temper. As of the Season 3 episode "Thanksgiving Is Cancelled", she is married to Vincent.
Nyambi Nyambi as Samuel, a sarcastic waiter at the restaurant where Mike and Carl eat. He is also a close friend to Mike, Carl, and eventually Molly. He is from Africa and often refers to the suffering in his home country of Senegal. As such, he does not sympathize with the "petty" problems of his restaurant patrons. In Season 3, he and Carl become roommates.
Louis Mustillo as Vincent "Vince" Moranto (Episode 14-present, recurring previously), Joyce's on and off boyfriend (later her fiancee, and now husband) and Molly and Victoria's step-father. He is a widower and tends to be very flirty, chauvinistic and sarcastic. He is also a high school dropout and is not very intelligent, but cares deeply for Joyce. He has occasionally shown a father's care towards Molly and Victoria. (Despite his meeting Molly after being set up on a blind date with her, and his constant comments regarding Victoria's great "rack".) He once married a much older and very unpleasant woman from whom he fled after borrowing $2,000. He didn't officially end the marriage until the truth came out, leading Joyce to toss him out of her house until Mike convinced his "wife" to sign the divorce papers in exchange for $5000 and a sharp kick in the nuts.
Rondi Reed as Margaret "Peggy" Biggs (episode 15–present, recurring previously), Mike's mother. She is very controlling and traditional, as well as grumpy and cranky. She often refers to her husband, Jack, leaving her and running away to Florida with a prostitute. Peggy is also very fussy over her dog "Jim" (a Brussels Griffon mix), who she treats more like a son than a pet. In season 2 Peggy begins working as a lunch lady at the elementary school where Molly teaches. In Season 3, she has started dating a CPD Captain who is Mike's supervisor.
Cleo King as Rosetta McMillan (episode 5–present, guest previously), Carl's grandmother. She is very traditional and has professed deep love for her grandson, but is outwardly annoyed by Carl's behavior and made him move out in Season 3, saying she still loves him and looks forward to him visiting but wants him to finally become a responsible adult on his own. She has a big heart and treats Mike, who calls her "Nana", like a second grandson. She often gives Mike and Carl advice (mostly regarding relationships with women). She once recalled that when Carl was young he could quote the entire speech of Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as every episode of The Dukes of Hazzard.
David Anthony Higgins as Harry (season 3-present, recurring previously), a friend of Mike and Molly's, who attends the same Overeater's Anonymous meetings. He is a nice, very socially awkward man who tends to say whatever he is thinking even though many of his thoughts make him seem pathetic. He was shown to have an almost obsessive crush on Victoria, until she finally kissed him in Season 3, bringing him to the realization that he is gay.
Casting announcements began in February 2010, with Katy Mixon and Reno Wilson being the first actors cast in the series. Mixon portrays the role of Victoria, Molly's sister, while Wilson portrays Carl, Mike's partner.Billy Gardell was the next actor cast in the series, as the titular Mike.Swoosie Kurtz then joined the series as Molly's mother, Joyce. Following Kurtz, Nyambi Nyambi boarded the series as Samuel, a regular waiter at Abe's Hot Beef, where Mike and Carl frequent.Melissa McCarthy completed the cast when she signed on to play the role of the titular Molly.
On May 13, 2010, CBS placed a series order on Mike and Molly. On May 15, 2011, Mike and Molly was renewed for a second season. On March 14, 2012, CBS renewed Mike & Molly for a third season, which premiered on September 24, 2012. CBS pulled the third season finale, titled "Windy City", from its May 20, 2013 showing. The episode featured a tornado descending on Chicago, and would have been broadcast the same day as the 2013 Moore tornado. The episode was rescheduled for May 30, 2013.
On March 27, 2013, CBS announced that Mike & Molly would return for a fourth season during the 2013–2014 television season. On May 17, 2013, Mark Roberts stepped down from showrunner duties to focus on other projects. Al Higgins replaced him for Season 4. The series received a 22-episode order from CBS for its 4th season. The show's fourth season premiere took place on November 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm ET/8:00 pm CT, in the time slot vacated by 2 Broke Girls when it moved to 8:30 pm ET/7:30 pm CT, replacing the cancelled sitcom, We Are Men. Following the breakout feature film success of McCarthy (Identity Thief, The Heat), Lorre intends for the show to more prominently feature Molly in season 4. In promos leading up to the season 4 premiere, CBS billed the series as The New Mike & Molly. Though the cast and setting remains essentially the same, the "new" refers to Molly quitting her teaching job and pursuing a career as a writer.
The off-network rights to Mike & Molly have been sold to FX, which will begin airing the series in 2014.
The light bar on the top of Mike's police car is blue, red, and white. Official Chicago Police vehicles have a blue and white strobe bar. Red is reserved for the Chicago Fire Department.
On March 13, 2014, CBS announced the fifth season renewal of Mike & Molly.
The show has received mixed to positive reviews from critics. It achieved a score of 63 out of 100 on the review aggregator site Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Critic Randee Dawn gave the show a negative review, stating the cast is likable, but the jokes are old and bland.
There was a controversy in 2010 around a Marie Claire blog post written by Maura Kelly, in which she refers to the actors on the show as overweight. Show creator Mark Roberts spoke out regarding Kelly's blog post, calling the comments "very high school". He also stated, "This wasn’t about the show, this wasn’t about the writing, this wasn’t about the acting. This was about someone’s hateful response to how these two human beings look."Billy Gardell also addressed the matter when he appeared on the daily talk show The Talk on November 1, 2010.
Marie Claire has stood behind the blog. Kelly has since apologized regarding her comments, stating that she "sorely regret[s] that it upset people so much".
In the Season 3 episode "Molly's New Shoes", the character of Peggy reacts to her fiancee's plans to retire and move to Arizona with the line: "Arizona? Why should I go to Arizona? It's nothing but a furnace full of drunk Indians." This prompted calls for an apology by the Native American Journalists Association, among others.
^Donovan, Bill (March 7, 2013). "Native leaders ask for apology for 'Mike and Molly' comment". Window Rock: Navajo Times. Retrieved 2013-03-09. "Indian leaders have reacted negatively to a recent episode of the CBS comedy "Mike and Molly" that they said included racist statements. In the episode in question, Mike's mother, Peggy, who is played by Rondi Reed, reacted negatively to remarks that she should go to Arizona. 'Arizona? Why should I go to Arizona? It's nothing but a furnace full of drunk Indians,' the character says."