“The Middle” will come to a close following its upcoming ninth season, ABC announced Wednesday.

The long-running comedy about an Indiana family will pass the 200-episode mark in the upcoming season. The decision to end with Season 9 came at least in part from the show’s creators.

“We sat down with the cast at the end of last year,” co-creator Eileen Heisler tells EW, which first reported the news. “It was important to have a year to say goodbye. We want to be able to tell all the stories.”

Heisler and co-creator DeAnn Heline have been thinking about a way to end the series for a couple of years, and “honed it more in the last year,” Heline says.

“It will be true to our show. It’s an end that fans will like,” Heisler adds.

It has been a reliable ratings performer throughout its run, but nine years in it’s also a fairly expensive show. ABC also doesn’t own it; Warner Bros. produces “The Middle.”

Last season, its first anchoring a Tuesday comedy block for ABC, “The Middle” averaged a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49 and a little over 6 million viewers the night it aired. A week of DVR and on-demand viewing pushed it up to 2.1 and 7.76 million viewers.

“The Middle” stars Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn as Frankie and Mike Heck of Orson, Ind., the harried parents of Axl (Charlie McDermott), Sue (Eden Sher) and Brick (Atticus Shaffer).

Last season ended with Axl graduating from college, Sue midway through college and Brick on the verge of high school.

“The Middle” joins “Scandal” in pre-announcing a final season on ABC in 2017-18.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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