About 13.3 million people tune in to Modern Family each week to catch the dysfunctional bickering, yet always uplifting comedy. Those numbers, helped make the TV show #1 in America for the past two seasons. The show also boast a cast where six adults were nominated for best supporting actor. However, the success didn’t come without headaches.
As shooting is underway in Los Angeles, Modern Family’s writing team is dealing with the possibility of losing their audience’s interest after experimenting with plot changes. In one scene reported by THR, Ty Burrell’s character Phil Dunphy says, “Always look people in the eye—unless they’re blind. In that case, look their dog in the eye,” as he flips through a homemade book of wisdom titled “‘Phil’sosophy.”
Thereafter, Dunphy’s wife Claire( Julie Bowen) replies, “I want a Phil-vorce,” A line that didn’t sit well with the actress. “It’s too mean,” Bowen states as writers scrabble to change the line. It was later revealed that the same line was debated amongst the producers and writers whether the slightest utter of divorce might go against the brand and be offsetting for the audience.
Many will argue, that the commercial success of the show was the catalyst to a dispute between the cast and producers, that forced the cast to skip out on the first schedule reading of this new season. Actors Burrell, Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara sued the network, as THR puts it, “in a heated all-for-one, one-for-all Salary renegotiations.” After the network met their demands the cast went back to work in a matter of days.
In this coming season, concerns are high amongst show creators as producers introduce key changes, including a pregnant Vergara and aging teens, elements that might also dismantle the core audience of the show. Show creator, Steven Levitan, expressed his biggest fear saying, “It would kill me if I heard people say, that show has really gone downhill, Or I’m just not interested anymore.”
Let’s just hope Levitan and his team have nothing to worry about after the season’s premiere air Wednesday, September 26th.