Fans of The Middle on ABC have just gotten some great news. The comedy has just been renewed and will return for Season 9 on the network.

ABC released the news that The Middle would, in fact, be getting another season today, noting how strong of a performer the show has always been for the network. The Middle, which started in 2009, helped ABC launch its popular Wednesday night comedy block, which also includes Modern Family. The show was used, at the beginning of the 2016-2017 fall television season, to launch a Tuesday night block of comedy programming and anchor the night, as it had for seven seasons on Wednesdays. The Middle improves its half hour numbers year to year by 22%, and it's now the network's most watched comedy in its time period since the 2011-2012 TV season.

The Middle focuses on the Heck family, living in tiny Orson, Indiana. Frankie (Patricia Heaton), the put-upon, tired and sometimes not very attentive mom, and her husband Mike (Neil Flynn), an emotionally distant, but caring and straightforward father are the parents to oldest son Axl (Charlie McDermott), a lazy, sarcastic, popular athlete, middle child Sue (Eden Sher), who's persistently optimistic even though the world frequently lets her down, and youngest son Brick (Atticus Shaffer), who's intelligent but odd and very awkward socially. The show follows the personal and sometimes professional ups and (frequent) downs of the family as they live the most average of lives in an average small town in the middle of America.

Unlike with most family sitcoms, The Middle doesn't make any effort to hide the dysfunction of the Heck family. They don't drive perfect cars, live in a perfectly scrubbed and updated house or wear the most fashionable clothes. Nope, the Hecks drive cars that saw their heyday almost two decades ago, live in a chaotically messy home and wear clothes that could easily be from some time in the '80s. One of the things that makes this crazy family lovable is how normal they are, and how they struggle with basic things like money, staying close and getting ahead in life. They have a bathtub ring that even professional maids struggle to clean, wallpaper that's peeling off and only got a new washing machine when one landed in their yard courtesy of a tornado a few seasons ago. It can be a real pleasure to watch a family who's so far from having it all together.

Even though The Middle has never been a splashy hit like Modern Family, critics are also behind the show and praise the performances and writing that make the comedy a funny and heartfelt look at middle class life. You can keep up with The Middle when it airs Tuesdays on ABC.

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