The Middle Season 3 Premiere: The Hecks Go Camping And Ray Romano Guest Stars

The Heck family returns to ABC tonight in a special hour-long premiere of The Middle. Titled “Forced Family Fun,” the episode follows the Hecks on a family camping trip, plus, we get a look back at Frankie and Mike’s honeymoon. The season premiere also marks the small screen reunion of Patricia Heaton and her former Everybody Loves Raymond co-star and on-screen husband Ray Romano.

Among the many shows I've been excited to see return is The Middle, a simply formatted single-camera comedy about a middle-class family. The new season kicks off with Sue (Eden Sher) anxiously preparing to start high school, Axl (Charlie McDermott) enjoying his remaining days as a life guard, and Brick's (Atticus Shaffer) nose still buried in a book. After growing tired of hearing about everybody else’s summer vacations, Frankie (Heaton) convinces Mike (Neil Flynn) that they need to go away for some family bonding time before school starts. What better way to do a vacation on a budget than a good old-fashioned camping trip? Without giving too much away, the vacation takes some unexpected turns, plus we’re given a glimpse of the Frankie and Mike’s early years through flashbacks of their camping honeymoon.

This first clip includes Ray Romano, an old friend of Mike’s who turns up unexpectedly.

And in this one, you’ll see how the Hecks play board games.

The Middle Season 3 premieres tonight, Wednesday, September 21 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site. She an expert in all things Harry Potter, books from a variety of genres (sci-fi, mystery, horror, YA, drama, romance -- anything with a great story and interesting characters.), watching Big Brother, frequently rewatching The Office, listening to Taylor Swift, and playing The Sims.