Charlie McDermott

ABC Television

Emmy-winner Patricia Heaton was the star of "The Middle," but the heart and soul of the rural Indiana sitcom ending tonight came from the creators, former Indiana University roommates DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler.

ABC

What the Heck? "The Middle," ABC's Heck family sitcom set in a small Indiana town, will end its nine-year run during the 2017-18 TV season.

DeAnn Heline, a 1983 Lakota High School graduate, told the Television Critics Association Sunday that she and fellow co-creator/executive producer Eileen Heisler made the decision to end the Patricia Heaton situation comedy while talking to ABC executives last season.