The Middle is going to end after its upcoming season 9
ABC is calling time on its family sitcom The Middle after its upcoming ninth season.
EW reports that the comedy about the Hecks, a middle-class family who live in the fictional town of Orson, Indiana, will end after the new season – but, crucially, it hasn't come out of the blue.
"We sat down with the cast at the end of last year. It was important to have a year to say goodbye. We want to be able to tell all the stories," explained executive producer Eileen Heisler.
Executive producer DeAnn Heline said that the show could technically "go another 10 years", but added: "If we can be underappreciated for nine years and be on the air, we're lucky."
The sitcom follows working mum Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) and her husband Mike (Scrubs' Neil Flynn) as they try to keep control of their three children Axl (Charlie McDermott), Sue (Eden Sher) and Brick (Atticus Shaffer).
While it was always well-reviewed, The Middle hasn't reached the heights of fellow ABC comedy Modern Family which was launched at the same time, with The Middle's audience never exceeding nine million in the US.
"We feel proud of what we're doing. In its own way, the show has been recognised even though it's not a ratings magnet. It's very stalwart and steady," noted Heisler.
She also teased that the show's finale will be "an end that fans will like".
The Middle returns for its final season in the US on October 3 on ABC. Comedy Central airs the show in the UK.
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