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"The Middle" will end its run after its ninth season, beginning Oct. 3, ABC says.

"After almost a decade on the air, the executive producers of the award-winning series have decided that the ninth season would be the best one in which to wrap up the story of the Heck family," the network announced Wednesday.

The comedy about the Heck family of Orson, Ind., was created by Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline. Star Patricia Heaton promised, via Twitter, "a great final season of this wonderful show.

In addition to Heaton as Frankie Heck, “The Middle” stars Neil Flynn as Mike, Charlie McDermott as Axl, Eden Sher as Sue and Atticus Shaffer as Brick.

“The Heck family has been part of the ABC family for almost a decade," ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said.

"It’s rare for a series to have this type of longevity, and we are proud to have been its home. We’ve watched Axl, Sue and Brick grow up right before our eyes under Frankie and Mike’s unique parenting style, I’m looking forward to the fitting and happy ending the producers will give the Hecks and our viewers.”

Heisler and Heline said the ending was planned.

“Last year we sat down with our cast and made the bittersweet decision together that in this ninth season it is time to bring the Hecks’ story to a close," they said. "It’s been an amazing run, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and we’re looking forward to having an entire year to say goodbye."

Plus, they added, "We wanted to go out before too many people knew we were on the air.”

Gail Pennington is the television critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.