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ABC Renews ‘The Middle’ for Season 9

ABC has given an early renewal to “The Middle,” Variety has learned. The Midwestern comedy will return for a ninth season in the fall.

“‘The Middle’ has been one of the network’s most consistent performers and helped us to launch a whole new night of comedy when it moved to Tuesdays this season,” said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey. “The Indiana Hecks have found America’s sweet spot with their authentic, acerbic and always loving take on parenting, work, kids, marriage and life.”

The series has indeed proven a solid performer, providing a stable launch platform for newcomer “American Housewife” this season. The show hovers around a 1.7 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic in Nielsen’s Live+Same Day ratings, and typically sees growth of 50% or more once DVR viewing within three days is factored in.

“The Middle” follows the Heck family of Orson, Indiana. Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) is a harried wife and mother of three who uses her wry wit and sense of humor to get her family through each day intact. Frankie works as a dental assistant, and her unflappable husband, Mike (Neil Flynn), is manager at the local quarry and her sardonic partner in the daily grind that is raising their average family.

“When we were developing it, there weren’t many family comedies on the air, and those that were on were really upscale,” co-creator Eileen Heisler told Variety around the show’s 100-episode anniversary. “The show came from an observational place and wanting to tap into our roots.”

The series also stars Charlie McDermott as Axl, Eden Sher as Sue and Atticus Shaffer as Brick. The Warner Bros. TV series was created and is executive produced by Heisler and DeAnn Heline.

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