According to The Hollywood Reporter, ABC had signed Heaton for the lead in the comedy pilot "The Middle" and given the show a greenlight.
"The Middle" won't actually shoot until February and would feature Heaton as the matriarch of a middle-class Midwestern family. Julie Anne Robinson will direct.
If the show sounds vaguely familiar, it was originally developed as a Ricki Lake vehicle back in the 2006-07 development cycle, only to get resurrected this summer with an eye toward casting Heaton in the lead role.
A two-time Emmy winner for "Everybody Loves Raymond," Heaton had a short-lived return to the small screen last season in FOX's "Back to You."