“It’s work­ing-class peo­ple and the things they go through. They’re try­ing to stay above water. I wanted to bring those sub­jects to television.”

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - TELEVISION - Roseanne Barr

“It’s very oddly full cir­cle in a re­ally strange way, be­cause (The Mid­dle) is in­flu­enced by Roseanne and … and Roseanne is com­ing back just as we’re go­ing to end,” Heisler says. “I en­joy be­ing part of the legacy of Roseanne, be­cause it was such a great show. It does feel like a weird lit­tle bow, com­ing all around.”

When The Mid­dle pre­miered in 2009, “I think the world was ready again for a Mid­west­ern fly­over-state story. Peo­ple em­braced it and we heard from our fans — from the Mid­west, es­pe­cially: ‘You have a cam­era in my house!’ ” Heisler says. She be­lieves TV is start­ing to pay more at­ten­tion to work­ing fam­i­lies.

“When we came on the scene, we were say­ing, ‘Hey, ABC, you need to go back to these roots and re­mem­ber the fly­over states,’ and I think, with the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal cli­mate, ex­ec­u­tives have be­come aware, so I think there is a trend to­ward rep­re­sent­ing more av­er­age Amer­i­cans,” Heisler says.

“A lot of the shows that ABC did since we started stylis­ti­cally looked kind of like our show and ex­plored the fam­ily thing in dif­fer­ent ways, but maybe in­spired by what we did.”

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