Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Jeff Korbelik: ABC's 'The Middle' coming to an end
editor's pick
Across the remote

Jeff Korbelik: ABC's 'The Middle' coming to an end

  • Updated
  • 0
The Middle

ABC's "The Middle" stars Patricia Heaton as Frankie, Charlie McDermott as Axl, Atticus Shaffer as Brick, Eden Sher as Sue and Neil Flynn as Mike.

We’ve hit that August lull when networks and streaming services won’t introduce much new programming until the TV season begins next month, so I’ll catch you up on some TV news.

The biggest headline this week came from ABC, which announced “The Middle” will end at the conclusion of season nine.

“We sat down with the cast at the end of last year (to tell them), executive producer Eileen Heisler told “It was important to have a year to say goodbye. We want to be able to tell all the stories.”

Sad news.

While “Modern Family,” which also began on ABC in 2009, became an Emmy darling, winning best comedy five straight years, “The Middle” has been just as good, if not better, especially in the latter years.

The Heck family (Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher and Atticus Shaffer), created by former "Roseanne" and "Murphy Brown" writers Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, connected on many levels because they seemed, well, realistic, with bills to pay, jobs to work and homework to do.

The success of “The Middle” and “Modern Family” led to influx of comedies about families, especially at ABC, which in recent years has launched “Last Man Standing,” “black-ish,” “Fresh Off the Boat,” “The Goldbergs,” “The Real O’Neals,” “Speechless” and “American Housewife.”

The nice thing is “The Middle” will live on in syndication.

* Audra McDonald, who will perform April 26 in Lincoln as part of the Lied Center for Performing Arts 2017-18 season, is joining CBS All Access’ “The Good Wife” as a series regular for season two. She was introduced in the first season as attorney Liz Lawrence. CBS All Access is a streaming service with a subscription fee.

* “Dynasty” is returning, so why not “Miami Vice”? According to the Hollywood Reporter, actor Vin Diesel is developing a reboot of the popular 1980s cop drama at NBC. If the network picks it up, it could be on the air as early as the 2018-19 season.

* Milana Vayntrub, who first gained famed as an AT&T pitch person and then as Kevin’s playwright/actress girlfriend on NBC’s hit “This Is Us,” has landed a series. She will play Squirrel Girl on Freeform’s “Marvel’s New Warriors.” The new comedy follows six young people who work and live together and possess abilities “on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers.” It’s scheduled to debut in 2018.

* CBS will deal with Erinn Hayes exit from “Kevin Can Wait” by killing off her character. Hayes played Kevin James' wife on the comedy, but was fired in favor of Leah Remini, who worked opposite of James for nine seasons on “King of Queens” and had a guest star role in the first season of “Wait.” Season two will begin with a time jump, with Hayes’ character having passed away.

* Scripted shows getting renewals include “Good Witch” (Hallmark Channel, fourth season), “Mary Kills People” (Lifetime, second) and “Harlots” (Hulu, second). Lifetime also renewed “UnREAL” for fourth season before airing the third, which will begin early 2018.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7213 or

On Twitter @LJSjeffkorbelik.


Stay up-to-date on what's happening

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Features editor

Jeff Korbelik is the features editor and covers dining, performing arts, TV and local media. Follow him at @LJSjeffkorbelik.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News

Husker News