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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…]