22 October 2013 9:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

While cutting-edge shows grab all the attention, “The Middle” avoids sharp objects, instead celebrating the flaws, the mediocrity and the bad choices of its characters with a big dose of laughs.

The series, airing its 100th episode Oct. 23, is ABC’s stealth hit, logging increases in viewers and young adults so far this season and delivering solid ratings since 2009.

“You have to love the Heck family, warts and all,” says Peter Roth, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Television Group, which produces the sitcom. “They are one of the most three-dimensional and authentic families on television.”

That’s something the show’s creators, Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline, were definitely targeting when they pitched the show to Warner Bros.

“When we were developing it, there weren’t many family comedies on the air, and those that were on were really upscale,” says Heisler. “The show came from an »


- Carole Horst

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