8:53am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Middle' to End With Season 9 on ABC
It's the end of an era at ABC.
The upcoming ninth season of family comedy The Middle will be its last, ABC announced Wednesday.
The single-camera effort scored a key early renewal in January — a rare move for the Disney-owned network for a show that is produced by outside studio Warner Bros. Television.
The Middle moved last season to open Tuesdays at 8 p.m., serving as a launchpad for rookie American Housewife, which scored a season-two renewal. The Middle has long been used as the anchor to ABC's critically acclaimed Wednesday comedy block, which now sees The Goldbergs serving in the same capacity. The network shifted it to Tuesdays in a bid to open a second night of comedy consisting of Housewife and Fresh Off the Boat. This upcoming season, The Middle again anchors the Tuesday block consisting of Fresh Off the Boat, Black-ish and rookie comedy The Mayor leading into drama Kevin (Probably) Saves the World at 10 p.m.
Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher and Atticus Shaffer star in the comedy. With ABC's recent ability to launch and renew family comedies, that the veteran The Middle would end should come as little surprise — especially as broadcast networks shift to own more of its content.
The Middle joins Shondaland drama Scandal as long-running ABC shows set to end during the 2017-18 season.