May 30, 2018 at 03:00 PM EDT

Roseanne may be canceled. But ABC has a follow-up to another Middle America hit comedy in the works.

EW has learned the network is in early stages of exploring a spin-off to its long-running underdog series The Middle.

No deals are yet done, but the current idea is to focus a show around Eden Sher’s awkward late-teen middle daughter character Sue Heck.

The plan has been gathering steam in recent weeks, but with ABC axing Roseanne there’s now at least one major gap in the network’s schedule. Even so, we hear the earliest ABC could have The Middle spin-off ready is by midseason next year.

Just last week The Middle wrapped nine seasons on ABC’s schedule as a show that was considered perpetually underrated by critics and in terms of pop culture buzz. Yet the program delivered a solid rating week after week on Wednesday nights while delivering a uniquely wholesome-ish family-friendly comedy.

The Middle‘s series finale showed Heck married to Sean (Beau Wirick) in a flash-forward, though it’s unclear if that will be factored into the storyline of a spin-off series.

As for filling the gap in ABC’s fall, the simplest move would be taking a comedy planned for midseason and moving it up the schedule.

But as EW exclusively reported Wednesday, the network is also contemplating cobbling together a new series using the cast and crew of Roseanne (without Roseanne Barr herself, naturally).

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