Entertainment Weekly is reporting that ABC family comedy The Middle is set to conclude its nine-season run next season. The decision had less to do with ratings, as the series remained one of the sturdiest properties in ABC’s highly successful comedy brand, and more about wanting to go out on their own terms with one full season to write toward an ending.
The Middle debuted in the same season as Modern Family but never received the lavish praise or award shower that its sister show did. However, The Middle was always a solid cornerstone of ABC’s Wednesday comedy lineup and garnered a devoted Nielsen and critical following that helped it become the second most important comedy on the network. So much so that ABC opted to use it to launch its Tuesday comedy lineup, with the series successfully helping American Housewife become an heir apparent.
From DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler (Roseanne), The Middle followed the Hecks, a working class Indiana family that struggled to get by. Parents Frankie (Patricia Heaton) and Mike (Neil Flynn) did what they could to support their family while teaching their three very different children that it was okay to be yourself.
In addition to Heaton and Flynn, The Middle starred Charlie McDermott as oldest Heck child Axl, an athletic underachiever; Eden Sher as eternal optimist Sue; and Atticus Shaffer as Brick, the Heck’s youngest child who excels at computers and loves reading.
The ninth and final season of The Middle is set to premiere Tuesday, October 3rd at 8:00 on ABC.