(Photo: ABC)

The Middle may not be ABC’s buzziest comedy, but it has been on the air since 2009. In that time, the likes of Happy Endings and Trophy Wife have come and gone, but the Hecks have held strong and aren’t going away. The network announced today that it is sticking with the series for a ninth season, which, according to Deadline, will consist of 24 episodes. “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 said 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 show stars Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn and Eden Sher, and currently leads a block of family-centric fare that includes American Housewife, Fresh Off The Boat, and The Real O’Neals.