ABC has picked up its reliably solid comedy “The Middle” for 2017-18, greenlighting the show’s ninth season.

The renewal is ABC’s first of the season and goes to a comedy that has helped the network establish a second family comedy block on Tuesday nights.

“‘The Middle’ has been one of the network’s most consistent performers and helped us to launch a whole new night of comedy when it moved to Tuesdays this season,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey says in a statement. “The Indiana Hecks have found America’s sweet spot with their authentic, acerbic and always loving take on parenting, work, kids, marriage and life.”

The series moved from its long-time Wednesday home to Tuesdays this season and has continued to put up solid ratings. It’s averaging a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 and 6.38 million viewers for initial airings, rising to a 2.2 and 8.03 million viewers with a week of DVR and on-demand viewing.

It has also provided an upgrade in the timeslot. “The Middle’s” 18-49 rating is 23 percent higher than “The Muppets'” season average last year, and its viewer average is 22 percent higher.

Core cast members Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn, Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher and Atticus Shaffer are all expected back for Season 9.

“The Middle” joins these shows that have been renewed for 2017-18 and beyond.

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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