The Middle returns for its final season tonight (October 3) on ABC, and audiences will surely want to see what the Hecks are up to in their last year on TV, a decision that was made between the cast, the creators, and the network, in order to ensure the best possible end.
“The decision for us to end the show was a very personal decision,” series co-creator Eileen Heisler said this summer at the Television Critics Association press tour. “We’d all talked together as creators and cast, and it was kind of feeling the moment when, for us, we felt like it was time and wanting to leave when people, hopefully, still want more of it rather than staying so long that people say, ‘Why did they stay here so long?’ It really was a very personally based decision,” she explained.
“We sort of had the feeling that it meant a lot to us to know that we had a season to say good‑bye and to not be here for nine years and all of a sudden that’s the end and you didn’t get to experience it,” she continued.
Fellow co-creator DeAnn Heline echoed those sentiments while still admitting that it would have been tempting to continue. “Look, this is a family show. The truth is we could write this family for ten more years. The actors are so great. We all love each other. We’re a great family. To keep it going was certainly appealing. But also, at a certain point, we didn’t want to be in the situation where ‑‑ it felt like we either had to end it now or just go for ten more years,” she said before warning of the consequences of going on longer.
“We didn’t want to be at a point where, a few years down the road, it was the kind of thing where we didn’t get to end it on our terms. So it felt like the timing was right. It was a really personal decision among all of us,” she continued.
You can see some photos from the Middle season premiere, “Vive La Hecks,” below.
THE MIDDLE - On the season premiere episode, "Vive La Hecks," airing TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network, Axl returns home from his summer trip to Europe, sporting a man-bun and embracing a new, chill European outlook on life. (ABC/Michael Ansell)EDEN SHER, PATRICIA HEATON, ATTICUS SHAFFER