This upcoming season of The Middle will be its last.
ABC announced Wednesday that the single-camera comedy is ending its run after nine seasons. The move might seem sudden for fans, but the cast and crew have known about it for a while now.
"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 and executive producers Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline said in a statement. "It was important to have a year to say goodbye. We want to be able to tell all the stories."
The story follows the daily mishaps of Frankie Heck (Patricia Heaton) and her semi-dysfunctional family who try their best to survive daily life in the town of Orson, Indiana. Though Heline said the show could go on for "years and years," she admits they also kicked around the idea of how to end it as early as a few years ago.
"We started having an idea a couple of years ago and honed it more in the last year," she explained to Entertanment Weekly. Now, it looks like this season will see the Heck family wrapping up their stories for good.
The Middle begins its final descent Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 8/7c on ABC.