Patricia Heaton by Jean-Paul Aussenard/ Patricia Heaton by Jean-Paul Aussenard/
The Middle, an ABC pilot which was (unsuccesfully) developed for the 2006-07 TV season and then starred Ricki Lake, has been given new life. According to the Reporter, the Alphabet network has awarded the comedy (about a middle-class Midwestern family) a pick-up, provided that Patricia Heaton is landed as the lead. CBS' Two and a Half Men went through a similar process, when its pilot was picked up contingent upon Charlie Sheen joining the cast. Should producer Warner Bros. sign Raymond's wife, she would potentially reunite at ABC with Back to You bud Kelsey Grammer, who's headlining the pilot Roman's Empire. - Matt Mitovich