Patricia Heaton's new ABC sitcom going ahead

Actress Patricia Heaton of the series "Back to You" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" arrives at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 16, 2007. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It’s a go for ABC’s “The Middle.”

After closing a deal with Patricia Heaton for the lead role, the network has greenlighted the comedy pilot about a middle-class Midwestern family as seen from the mother’s perspective. The role is conceivably not a big stretch for Heaton, who played Ray Romano’s long-suffering wife in CBS’s sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

ABC, which originally developed “The Middle” during the 2006-07 development cycle when it was picked up to pilot and starred Ricki Lake, resurrected it in the summer with a pilot order contingent on casting Heaton. Production is slated to begin in February.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter