Raymond's Patricia Heaton gets pilot

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It wasn't a matter of whether Patricia Heaton would be returning to television; it was a matter of when and which studio would be lucky enough to have one of traditional sitcoms' leading ladies starring in one of their shows. ABC has given the green light to shoot the pilot for the The Middle, a new vehicle for Heaton.

Heaton, of course, is best known as the sensible Debra to Ray Romano's goofy title character in Everybody Loves Raymond. The 50-year-old actress (editor's note: 50!?!?) was last seen on Fox's Back to You with Kelsey Grammer, but the newsroom sitcom was canceled before airing an entire season.

The two-time Emmy-winning Heaton won't have to stray too far from her sitcom roots for The Middle. The comedy stars Heaton as a mom in a Midwestern middle-class family.

Where does Patricia Heaton rank on your list of television moms?

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