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Having spent nine seasons being an unofficial member of the quirky Heck family, fans were sorely disappointed when ABC called it quits with The Middle. _A silver lining appeared in the form of a spinoff project focusing on daughter Sue Heck's presumably awkward emergence in the outside world. Unfortunately, that silver lining has been shattered, as ABC announced it will not be moving forward with the follow-up comedy _Sue Sue in the City.
Considering the premise for Sue Sue in the City was so different from The Middle, at least from the outset, it seemed like a good way to spin the "franchise," as it were, in a new direction. However, ABC had some concerns with taking the next step with the spinoff. Production studio Warner Bros. TV apparently does still have faith in the project, though, with Deadline reporting that Sue Sue in the City may get shopped around to other networks to see if more interest lies elsewhere.
The chances aren't always that great for networks to pick up another channel's passed-on projects, but WB TV could have a decent shot here. For one, The Middle somewhat quietly amassed a gigantic fandom in the near-decade it was on the air, so the built-in audience is there. Two, ABC faced a very similar situation last year with black-ish by giving up on its spinoff based on Yara Shahidi's Zoey. That show was later picked up by Freeform, where it's been a modest hit.
As far as plotlines go, Sue Sue in the City was set to follow Eden Sher's goob-tastic Sue Heck as she took her eternal optimism outside of Orson and over to the big and bustling city of Chicago. Audiences would have gotten to watch Sue try and figure out the complicated ins and outs of moving up in the world. Co-starring in the pilot were Silicon Valley's Chris Diamantopoulos, The Middle vet Brock Ciarlelli, SMILF's Kimberly Crossman, SNL vet Finesse Mitchell, and newcomer Aaron Branch.
The Middle spinoff was just ordered to pilot in August, and was still announcing cast additions in October, so it's fairly surprising that ABC has already made a decision. (Especially a negative one.) While no reasons were given for the lack of interest, it could possibly be tied into the recent announcement that Channing Dungey would be stepping down as ABC President after less than three years.
Channing Dungey was a major force behind spearheading the network's comedy spinoffs, and there's another one on the way in the form of The Goldberg's long-gestating follow-up centering on Tim Meadows' principal and Bryan Callen's coach. That project already got the series order green light, and is set for a 2019 premiere. So let's hope nothing about this Middle spinoff news affects Schooled in any way.