The Middle could live on in holiday specials

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Sad The Middle is about to enter its final season?

Well, you might not have to say goodbye to the Heck family after all. Patricia Heaton told EW that there’s hope the series could continue in the form of periodic holiday specials.

“Who knows, maybe we’ll come back and revisit the Heck family on holidays or something?” Heaton said when discussing creators’ decision to end The Middle after nine seasons. “You could still do a lot with the kids.”

Currently in the midst of filming the show’s final season, Heaton is excited at the prospect of getting an update on the Heck children every once in awhile.

“I mean that would be kind of an ideal way to give fans a little something,” she hypothesized. “There’s been a little bit of talk about it, but I don’t know how serious it is. There’s a possibility of doing Heck holiday specials or something, which would be a lot of fun. We’ll see if that ever happens.”

Though the cast has known for awhile that the upcoming ninth season would be the show’s last, Heaton claimed it’s already been an emotional journey for the team. “It just feels great and exciting and also scary and also sad,” she says. “I look back at the first season and I see how young the kids were, and they didn’t seem that young to me at the time. I look at Atticus [who plays her son Brick], and I think, ‘Oh my word, he was just a baby.’ When I started, I still had all my kids at home and now all my kids are gone, they’re all out of the house, so we’ve lived a lot of life together here on The Middle.

Even if the holiday specials never materialize, Heaton is hopeful the cast will maintain the strong bond they’ve formed over nine years. “I hope we are able to stay in touch the way we have been on Everybody Loves Raymond,” she says. “Ray [Romano] graciously hosts a party every year for everyone, and we usually get to see everyone at least once a year at his house. And we stay in touch through email or whatever. So I’m hopeful, and I’m pretty sure that that will also be the case for The Middle.”

The Middle‘s final season premieres on Oct. 3 on ABC.

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