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Mason, Van Dyke to guest star on 'Middle'

Patricia Heaton of the show Back to You arrrives at the Fox 2007 Programming Presentation at Wollman Rink in Central Park in New York on May 17, 2007. (UPI Photo/Laura Cavanaugh)
Patricia Heaton of the show "Back to You" arrrives at the Fox 2007 Programming Presentation at Wollman Rink in Central Park in New York on May 17, 2007. (UPI Photo/Laura Cavanaugh) | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Marsha Mason and Jerry Van Dyke are to play the parents of Patricia Heaton's character, Frankie, on the U.S. sitcom "The Middle," ABC said Monday.

Mason's film credits include "The Goodbye Girl" and "Chapter Two," while Van Dyke was a cast member of the long-running comedy series "Coach."

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They are to play Frankie's parents, Pat and Tag, on the upcoming holiday episode of "The Middle" to air Dec. 8.

"The Hecks count down the 12 days of Christmas with Frankie's parents, Pat and Tag, when they come to town to spend the holiday with the family -- much to Mike's dismay. But when Frankie decides that she wants to take the focus off of the gifts and make it a simple Christmas, Pat and Tag have other ideas," the network said in a synopsis.

Neil Flynn plays Frankie's husband, Mike, on the show.

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