The ABC network has confirmed that the upcoming ninth season of “The Middle” will indeed be its last. The series premiere, scheduled for this fall, will the the final for one of the networks longest-running current sitcoms, despite an uptick in Season 8.
According to Deadline, the series never scored huge ratings numbers since its premiere in 2009. Last year, it moved to Tuesdays, which increased its viewership a bit, but it seems it was not enough to keep the Heck family going for another year.
“The Heck family has been part of the ABC family for almost a decade. It’s rare for a series to have this type of longevity, and we are proud to have been its home. We’ve watched Axl, Sue and Brick grow up right before our eyes under Frankie and Mike’s unique parenting style,” said ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey in a statement to the outlet. “I’m looking forward to the fitting and happy ending the producers will give the Hecks and our viewers.”
As Variety notes, the show has been one of the network’s longest-running, next to “Modern Family.” Each of its seasons ran a full 24 episodes, with the exception of the latest at 23. Now, following the ninth and final season, it will pass the coveted 200 episode marker.
“Last year we sat down with our cast and made the bittersweet decision together that in this ninth season it is time to bring the Hecks’ story to a close. It’s been an amazing run, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’re looking forward to having an entire year to say goodbye,” co-creators Heisler and Heline told the outlet. “Plus, we wanted to go out before too many people knew we were on the air.”