Nine seasons in, Modern Family remains a tentpole and a great launch pad for ABC. Additionally, besides the short-lived Roseanne revival, it’s been the network’s highest-rated half-hour series for years. So, it’s not a surprise that, despite comments by co-creators Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd that they were looking to wrap the series with its upcoming 10th season, the network is eyeing an 11th.
“We have had some conversations with 20th (the studio that produces Modern Family). There are conversations ongoing,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey told Deadline at TCA on Tuesday. “I think that there is a sense that we all would like to do one more season if we can find a way for a deal that makes sense. This current season is the last season that we have the cast, so if we are to do another season there are more deals to be made, and we are trying to work through all that.”
I hear the Modern Family cast has been approached by the producers with an inquiry whether they would be open to another season, but there have been no formal talks.
The five-time best comedy series Emmy winner is produced by 20th Century Fox TV, which soon will become part of Disney and a corporate sibling to ABC. The series has a lucrative off-network deal, so it would be beneficial for corporate parent Disney to get another season.
The news of a potential 11th season of Modern Family comes on the heels of CBS revealing that the network is in preliminary discussion with Warner Bros TV about an extra season of The Big Bang Theory. That is not surprising as it’s getting harder and harder for the networks to launch new comedy hits, so they would love to keep a series that, in year 10-12 still among the top programs on broadcast TV, for as long as they can.
As for the pending merger, “it’s business as usual,” Dungey said, noting that 20th TV has been “very aggressive out of the gate.” ABC already has bought two big projects from the studio with put pilot commitments, a Nate Bargatze comedy and an Ilene Chaiken-Eva Longoria drama.