The final season of “The Middle” will last a little bit longer than initially planned.

ABC has ordered two more episodes of the long-running comedy, which is in its ninth (and last) season on the network. That brings its total to 24 for 2017-18.

It joins fellow Tuesday comedy “Black-ish,” as well as “American Housewife” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” in receiving an extended order for the season. Unlike the others, “The Middle” is not produced by ABC Studios; it comes from Warner Bros. TV.

Like those other three shows, “The Middle” has a lot of experience going beyond the standard network order of 22 episodes per season. Each of the show’s first seven seasons ran 24 episodes, and it aired 23 in 2016-17.

“The Middle” is still a solid ratings performer, but creators DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler and ABC made the decision at the end of last season to bring the show to a close in 2017-18.

Through five episodes this fall, “The Middle” is averaging a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 the night it airs — tied for third among ABC’s comedies with “American Housewife,” behind “Modern Family” and “The Goldbergs” — and 5.7 million viewers.

The first three episodes have grown by an average of 0.7 points in adults 18-49 and about 1.8 million viewers over seven days of delayed viewing.

The show will celebrate its 200th episode on Dec. 5 and end its run with a total of 215.

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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