- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ABC’s “The Middle” is reaching the end of its TV run as network executive announce that the sitcom’s forthcoming ninth season will be its last.

The single-camera sitcom, which debuted in 2009, stars “Everybody Love Raymond” alumna Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn — best known for his role as the janitor on “Scrubs” — as small-town Indiana parents Frankie and Mike Heck.

“Some know about us, some don’t. We are at heart a midwestern show,” executive producer DeAnn Heline told Entertainment Weekly, which broke the story Wednesday. “If we can be underappreciated for nine years and be on the air, we’re lucky.”

“We feel the reception toward our show is positive and kind,” executive producer Eileen Heisler said. “We feel proud of what we’re doing. In its own way, the show has been recognized even though it’s not a ratings magnet. It’s very stalwart and steady.”

The end of the road for “The Middle” comes months fellow ABC family sitcom “Last Man Standing” ended up on the chopping block at the end of its sixth season. Starring conservative-leaning actor and comedian Tim Allen, some of the show’s jokes at times made sport of liberals, and the program’s cancellation was seen by some conservative activists as evidence of a liberal bias against conservatives in mainstream media sitcoms.

While Ms. Heaton is also a conservative actress in a predominantly liberal industry, similar concerns do not seem to have been raised about the end of her program.

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