Next year The Middle will end its run after nine years, and it was a sad farewell to the beloved show featuring the Heck family at TCA. But co-creators Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline were quick to point out that ending the show was definitely their choice and that the timing was chosen with care.
“The decision for us to end the show was a very personal decision,” Hiesler said. “When we spoke to [ABC president] Channing Dungey last season we were talking about having this season [be the last]. It meant a lot to us to know we had a season to say goodbye.”
If the opinions of middle America are now at a political forefront, then perhaps this was a time when the show might have been even more embraced, but Heline said the existing worldwide reception for the show had been gratifying either way. “What we find is that The Middle is now playing everywhere around the world,” she said, “and what’s amazing is that whether you’re someone who’s in an urban city or in another country, everyone can identify with it.”
“People in the middle of the country have been touched by the honoring of their everyday life, that’s what we’ve noticed,” Heisler added.
As for why they should give up The Middle when a show like Roseanne is coming back – a show that was essentially a forerunner of The Middle. “It’s great that Roseanne is coming back because it means in another eight years we can all come back!” she joked.
Joking aside, it’s clear the departure is bittersweet for Heline. “The truth is, we could write this family for ten more years, but we felt we had to either end it now or go for ten more years.” As for potential spin-offs Heline joked, “We’re just trying to get through this season right now and then we’ll figure out everyone’s spin-offs after that.”
For now, she confirmed the final episode will be an hour-long, saying, “It’ll be a special episode for sure. We know what the last episode is and I think it’ll be something fans of the show will love.”
* Minor edits have been made by digital editors.