After lengthy negotiations, ABC in May renewed Modern Family for two more seasons, taking the Emmy-winning comedy’s run to ten seasons. That will likely be the show’s final chapter, according to co-creator/executive producer Steve Levitan.
While a 10-year run was not something he and fellow co-creator Christopher Lloyd had envisioned from the get-go, it had been a milestone they had been building toward for the last few years. “Our original goal was to just stay on the air,” he told Deadline during ABC’s TCA party. “After awhile though, we felt we may be in control our own fate, and 10 sounded like a nice round number.” And while they could conceivably go beyond 10 seasons if asked to, Levitan said that he fully expects that the show will end with Season 10.
As for how exactly Modern Family will end, “We haven’t had that exact conversation yet how we want to end the show episode-wise,” Levitan said, adding that those discussions will start in earnest as the writers start mapping out the second part of the current ninth season. “We’ve talked about areas that we want to go and tonally what we want to do.”
He said that he and his team have bounced around different scenarios — ending the show with a death, in the vein of the shocking Season 3 finale of M*A*S*H*, or with a twist, like Newhart. Ultimately, “I think we will end the show the way we started it in the pilot, with a big family event,” Levitan said, declining to elaborate what that event might be.
The Modern Family pilot followed the stories of the different Pritchett families which did not intersect until they all got together in the final scene to celebrate the arrival of Cameron and Mitchell’s adopted baby daughter from Vietnam.
Modern Family just started filming on Season 9, with 13 episodes already broken by the writers. The Season 8 season finale centered on Manny and Luke’s high school graduation. In the new season, Manny is off to college while Luke is taking a gap year. With Levitan’s son also in college, he has plenty of stories to draw on.