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The end has come for The Middle. The sitcom has been a dependable part of ABC's comedy lineup ever since its premiere way back in 2009, and the cast led by Patricia Heaton of Everybody Loves Raymond and Neil Flynn of Scrubs has been delivering laughs on a regular basis. Unfortunately for fans, ABC has decided to cancel the comedy. Season 9 will be the very last season of The Middle.
That said, fans don't necessarily need to despair. Season 9 hasn't even begun to air yet, so it's not like the cancellation news is coming when we only have a few episodes left. ABC gave the renewal order in January, and it's not going back on its decision to bring the show back for Season 9. We still have one whole season ahead of us before the door closes on the Heck family. The end is nigh, but it hasn't come yet.
The news won't have come as a shock to the cast. Executive producers Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline evidently sat down with the actors last year and made the decision that Season 9 would be the right time to bring the story to an end. The final year will be used to say goodbye to the characters and (hopefully) bring the series to a satisfying end. For fans who have been watching for the better part of the decade, a final season planned out well ahead of time could make it easier to say goodbye.
The Middle follows the Heck family and is narrated by Patricia Heaton as matriarch Frankie. She's a middle class and middle-aged woman based out of the Midwest, which makes it pretty easy to understand how the show got its name. Frankie and her husband raise their three kids, whose personalities and preferences are strikingly different. Their lives in Orson, Indiana have provided a lot of laughs over the years. Really, no matter how the final season goes, we can say that The Middle had a good run.
It sounds like the decision to end The Middle was mutual on all sides, but we have to wonder if perhaps the lower ratings of Season 8 were a factor in letting the show go. The Middle was a consistent performer during its first seven seasons, and it proved to be a winner on Wednesday nights for ABC. The show was moved to Tuesdays for Season 8, and both the ratings and viewership took a pretty significant dive. While the numbers weren't terrible by any means, they did mark the biggest season-to-season drop of the series to date.
Well, at least fans don't have to worry about the ratings for Season 9. The show has already gotten the axe; it doesn't really matter if the numbers take another dive. Viewers can enjoy the ride of the final season for what it is. Season 9 of The Middle will premiere on Tuesday, October 3 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. We have the full ABC listings for fall 2017 here, and our fall TV premiere schedule can clue you into everything else that will be on the airwaves as well.
It's unfortunate that The MIddle was canceled. However, if you are looking to add the series to your dvd or blu-ray collection, you can check that out here.