Exclusive: The Middle Eyes Super-sized 'Family Vacation' Season Premiere

Fans of The Middle may be doubly rewarded for sweating out the ABC comedy’s summer hiatus, by way of a super-sized Season 3 premiere that finds the Hecks hitting the road in Griswoldian fashion.

“We may be doing an hour-long premiere,” series co-creator Eileen Heisler told TVLine at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, where The Middle vied for Best Comedy Series. “The network is asking for [us] to make it an event, so we’re working on that.”

The event at the root of this “event” episode promises to pack in laughs as The Hecks pack their bags for a last-minute, end-of-summer getaway (probably sans Bob, though he sneaked into the photo here). Per Heisler, well-meaning patriarch Mike “will have the family try to squeeze in one last bad vacation before the school year begins.”

Heisler says she and The Middle‘s writing team are approaching the double-wide season opener as a continuous hour-long on-screen boondoggle, but allows for the possibility that it will instead air as a two-parter. “But it’s [definitely] one story,” she maintains.

As for what else Season 3 beholds, Heisler hinted at an episode that will find Frankie — and her alone! — filling up a suitcase. “We have a little incident that forces Frankie to reexamine things and take off for her mom’s (played by Marsha Mason) for a few days.” (With reporting by Vlada Gelman)

Middle fans, are you curious to see the Hecks embark on a surely ill-fated family vacation? [Whispers: Family vacation…]

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. april-ann says:

    Count me curious, more than curious. Sounds like more of what we love: must-look-away-but-must-watch fun. Bring it on! And about the “little incident” that causes Frankie to leave for a few days, I’m wondering more about what it could possibly be that would make her go back!! LOL, I know she loves her family, but really, she probably needs more than a few days away from that bunch!

  2. abc123 says:

    I love The Middle but I’m really anal about all shows starting in the premiere week. So I’d rather have this as a two-parter, so that Suburgatory can start in premiere week.

  3. Amy says:

    I love The Middle! Such a wonderful show! Thanks for the scoop. Road trip spells disaster for the Heck clan. Remember the ill-fated trip to NY that poor Sue won?

  4. april-ann says:

    Is there any one premiere week in tv anymore? “Premiere week” seems to be staggered over several weeks (or months lol). So I think it should be an hour long season 3 premiere show, since they have been asked to make it an event. It won’t hurt potential future syndication (hour long episodes of The Office for example are aired as two eps in syndication reruns). They should have an hour long season premiere for The Middle and for Modern Family the same night (8 to 10 pm.) If it’s a success which it should be, the audience will be there for the second week when a new show debuts between them.

  5. Lyn2 says:

    This sounds like a fun premiere, but I just hope the writers pay more attention to geography than they have in episodes past. As a fellow Hoosier (Chicago suburbs), I have had issues with their inaccurate geography in the past specifically the episode that had them taking around 12 hours to get to Chicago from Central Indiana. Look at a map people!

    • Eileen Heisler says:

      Hi! Thanks for caring… the 12 hours were a result of terrible traffic and many stops along the way orchestrated by Sue… we do know that it’s not 12 hours away! :)
      The network sets the schedule… so it’s their plan to air us and Modern Family as two hour-long premieres. We do what they say!
      So nice to see people caring about the show so much. Thank you! We will try not to disappoint!
      Eileen Heisler
      exec producer/The Middle

  6. Bob M. says:

    I guess I still consider myself a “Middle” fan, what with the first full hour of the season premiere generating 1.5 laughs at our house. Something must have majorly changed since the first 1 1/2 seasons . . now it’s just way too predictable! But I haven’t given up . . .yet. :(