‘The Middle’ Set to End With Season 9

The Middle
Courtesy of ABC

The Middle” will end after its upcoming ninth season, which kicks off this fall.

Debuting in 2009, the family sitcom is one of ABC’s longest-running comedies, next to “Modern Family.” Though the series has never been a huge ratings breakout, it’s been steady on the network’s schedule.

Starring Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher and Atticus Shaffer, “The Middle” revolves around the middle-class, midwestern Heck family. Created by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, Warner Bros. Television is the studio.

“Last year we sat down with our cast and made the bittersweet decision together that in this ninth season it is time to bring the Hecks’ story to a close.  It’s been an amazing run, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’re looking forward to having an entire year to say goodbye,” said co-creators Heisler and Heline. “Plus, we wanted to go out before too many people knew we were on the air.”

“The Middle” has surpassed 190 episodes with each season spanning 24 episodes, except for the most recent eighth season, which had 23 episodes. The sitcom will hit the major 200-episode milestone during its final season next year.

Back when the show hit its 100-episode anniversary, Heisler spoke with Variety about why “The Middle” resonates with viewers, attributing the success to the lack of family comedies on broadcast at the time in 2009. “When we were developing it, there weren’t many family comedies on the air, and those that were on were really upscale,” she said. “The show came from an observational place and wanting to tap into our roots.”

“The Middle” has been an important property to ABC, having helped launched the network’s Tuesday night comedy block and many new shows, most recently leading into “American Housewife.” The show hovers around a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demo in Nielsen’s Live+Same Day ratings, and typically sees an increase of 50% or more with three-day delayed viewing.

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“The Heck family has been part of the ABC family for almost a decade. It’s rare for a series to have this type of longevity, and we are proud to have been its home,” said ABC president, Channing Dungey. “We’ve watched Axl, Sue and Brick grow up right before our eyes under Frankie and Mike’s unique parenting style. I’m looking forward to the fitting and happy ending the producers will give the Hecks and our viewers.”

Peter Roth, head of Warner Bros. TV, added: “For eight remarkable seasons, Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline have crafted a wonderfully relatable, honest, funny and authentic world of middle class life in the heartland of America. The writing, acting and craftsmanship have been superb, and the show has been vividly brought to life each week by the incomparable Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher, Atticus Shaffer and a creative team that has poured its heart and soul into each and every episode. We look forward to a memorable final season for ‘The Middle,’ and we thank our passionate and loyal fans!”

Speaking to the storyline that will wrap up the final season, Heisler told EW, which first broke the news, before ABC’s announcement, “We started having an idea a couple of years ago and honed it more in the last year … It will be true to our show. It’s an end that fans will like.”

“The Middle” begins its ninth and final season on Oct. 3.

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  1. Jennifer Sinclair says:

    I LOVE the Hecks! I wish they would go way beyond Season 9!!!!!

  2. Stan Heck says:

    The show became real bad after season 3. Sue became more like mental case.

  3. Laura Burks says:

    The Middle is a great show! I will definitely miss it. Part of the reason I like it so much is the Hecks make me feel better about my own life and kids. 😁

  4. T. says:

    We all watch this show as a family, how rare is that these days? We are the ones who often watch it on DVR later and laugh & cry. We always say “This is our family! That’s you Mom!” We didn’t start watching until season 4, but must have caught up in re-runs many times over. The re-runs are great when nothing on the 100 other channels is good. What a loss. We’ll miss this family each week!

  5. Maxine says:

    The Middle is one of a handful of shows we watch as a family. It’s funny and real. Eden Sher should have Emmy nominated long ago for her hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking portrayal of Sue. The show’s been a real pleasure.

  6. chrismireya says:

    I was hoping for a few more years of this show. It is certainly a guilty pleasure. I began watching it via the reruns on the Hallmark Channel. Now, I don’t miss an episode. I hope that ABC/Disney will reconsider and give the show another year or so.

  7. Was a great family show! But, as families do, the Hecks are all grown up and time to move on! Hope it ends with wedding bells for Sue and the neighbor! That would be a great finale!

  8. What the...? says:

    Seriously, I ran across this article by happenstance and thought “Wow, I have NEVER heard of this show!” Never. And it’s been on for nearly 9 seasons! I am not a huge TV watcher but to have never heard of this, well, what can I say. Maybe it’s not an appealing show for my age group (older than 60) so I never paid any attention to its existence. Oh well.

  9. Jane says:

    Realistic in terms of how harried families are.

  10. Jane says:

    So sad to see this show end:( My absolute favorite show on the air now. Story lines are hilarious! I couldn’t breathe, I was laughing so hard during the rerun episode in which Frankie mistakenly eats Axel’s toenails. Love Sue’s love life episodes. Every one of the cast is outstanding!

    Also glad there’s no preachy divisive politics on this show.

    and are realistic in terms of how harried

  11. getaneditor says:

    Wow, amazed it’s been on that long. (It just reminds me that “Scrubs” was THAT long ago!)

  12. RS says:

    The writers are from Indiana. I live in Indiana. They’ve got the Indiana experience down perfectly – from the county road with farmfields on either side to the stores to everything else. An excellent show.

  13. Jen says:

    Next to The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Westworld The Middle is my favourite show. I record every episode to watch. Its hard to get invested in tv these days when you know shows are going to be cancelled prematurely.

  14. J. Robertson says:

    They live on in reruns, thank you for 9 years of great, relatable entertainment.

  15. lee says:

    Nooooooo

  16. Janet Fritts says:

    I guess it was just too clean to appeal to most viewers. We all enjoyed it and are sorry to see it go.

  17. Mr. Dave says:

    Sad to see this unoffensive, quasi-realistic, non-political, family-oriented show go, but better to go out with class than “jump the shark” trying to stay alive. One of the only shows I’ve watched over the past few years; I almost don’t need a TV anymore.

  18. This, along with Modern Family, may be among the last of the family sitcoms.

  19. Bill B. says:

    Not much of a sitcom person these days, but I watched the first season and maybe some of the second season and it was certainly not great, but it was way above most sitcoms with a well performed cast. Then I was surprised to find out that Heaton was a staunch Republican and I could never look at her the same way again and slowly abandoned it. I rarely care about actors’ personal lives, but this is where I draw the line.

    • What the...? says:

      I am amazed anyone would care what the political views of someone on a sitcom or any show are. It’s only a show and if you enjoyed it well, seems weird you would care how this woman votes. I never even HEARD of this show until I came across this article by happenstance. Just saying.

    • T-dawg says:

      Well, it’s true that democrats aren’t very tolerant.

      • RS says:

        Bingo. On the other hand I find it hard to allow myself to be entertained by someone who would think I’m a moron because of my views, so I get Bill’s point. I too have written off plenty of entertainers etc. who think their job is to rail on politics.

  20. Pippygirl says:

    No no I love this series. Why does a good show have to end. I always look forward to watching it. Sue hasn’t met her true love yet, Axel hasn’t gotten a job yet, and Brick is still growing. Why shut it down. There are so many crappy reality shows, that this series makes me laugh. Everyone who loves the Middle write in please. I want them to continue, they have so much more to do.

  21. Wendy says:

    Very upset. I was hoping for a few more seasons.

  22. Dunstan says:

    This is another one of those sitcoms, like “The World According to Jim,” or “How I Met Your Mother” and numerous others, where, for me, it’s unwatchable. All of those shows had long runs, provided work and a lot of money to the people and studios involved. I find the above-mentioned shows to be barely worth a smile, let alone an actual laugh.

  23. stef says:

    I started watching this show in Season 4 and can say this is one of my favorites. Sad to see it go, but at least it will live on in re-runs. Great cast and writing!

  24. Roy Jamieson says:

    I’ve always believed The Middle was sorely underrated by critics and by Emmy. The humour is often razor-sharp and the cast is a true ensemble. It’s always been overshadowed by Modern Family — which I also enjoy — but MF lost its edge and originality three seasons ago, in my opinion. I hope Heisler and the team can deliver a ninth season that is the series’ best.

  25. 8/02/17 11:45a Variety ”The Middle” Ends in it’s 9th Season on ABC
    1Ronald: Hey! Looney Toons!
    Crazy nonsense!
    “‘Malcom in the Middle” was on the air years ago!
    ”The Middle” is another show entirely!
    I suppose you get ”The Game of Thrones” mixed in
    with the ”Green Acres”

  26. Quarto says:

    Great show. No politics and no agendas trying to tell people who they need to accept. It will be missed.

  27. 1Ronald says:

    This was always a strange show. First it was “Malcolm In The Middle” and then the name change leading us to believe cast wars pushed for equal billing. Or no billing at all. Which is what they got. So the show just trudged along like a gasping Model T Ford sputtering until the end. Just as in Married With Children perhaps one will emerge (Ed) to go on to feast on a meaningful paycheck. While others came and went. And others never got off the ground once the golden goose was dead.

    • “The Middle” is a totally different show than “Malcolm in the Middle,” which ended its run several years before “The Middle” came on the air. Also, you don’t know much about the “Married… With Children” cast either-Christina Applegate has been busy with various series and movies; Katie Sagal has had a very prolific career since then, including as a regular on “Futurama” for 14 years, “Sons of Anarchy,” and much more; Ted McGinley always has work, and had a career before MWC; Amanda Bearse is a director; even David Faustino gets steady work.. Maybe be more informed before you comment?

      • RS says:

        I used to like Malcolm in the Middle but the story lines are so cynical and the humor is so dark, it wears me out to watch it anymore. They did have some great episodes though, I have to say.

    • TJ says:

      @1Ronald
      You didn’t mention if you ever watched the show, but it sounds as if you didn’t.
      I absolutely love The Middle and it’s actors!

    • TJ says:

      @1Ronald

      No it was not a “name change!”
      This is a totally different show with totally different characters.

  28. robinhelene says:

    My husband and I love this show and will really miss it. This family is warm, real and funny. My husband always asks me which of the Heck kids I’d want to adopt if I had to choose one. I really don’t want to adopt ANY of them, but I always choose Sue, who at least is sweet and caring, if sometimes TOO emotional.

    • TJ says:

      @robinhelene
      Hahaha, ‘no’ to adopting a ‘Heck’ kid? Too funny!
      I absolutely love this show too! I still watch repeats every night!
      It’s a great sitcom cause it’s just hilarious, doesn’t have any political stuff, no swearing or vulgar sexual innuendos!

  29. Terry Schilmeister says:

    So Sorry to hear that The Middle is coming to a close. What a Grade-A ensemble. I will miss the show. Thank You cast for giving me a fantastic 9 years of fun and laughter. Bless You All.

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