Hours after ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey told Deadline that the network has started conversations with Modern Family producer 20th Century Fox TV about an 11th season of the Emmy-winning comedy, the series’ co-creator/executive producer/co-showrunner Christopher Lloyd gave the idea thumbs-up.
“We are very open to it,” he said about doing another season beyond the upcoming Season 10, the last under the show’s most recent two-year pickup. “We have expressed that to ABC. I think it’s a complicated discussion, and that discussion is taking place.”
In addition to ABC and 20th Century Fox TV having to hammer out a new licensing agreement, which should not be as difficult as in years past because the two companies will soon be corporate siblings following the Disney acquisition, the studio also will need to make deals with the cast.
Lloyd said it was when he, fellow co-creator/executive producer/co-showrunner Steve Levitan and their writers came back this summer to plan Season 10, “we found out that we were getting into some very rich new areas with these characters, that there is a lot more to explore in the series.”
While the producing team would like “at least to explore the idea” for going to an 11th season, if Season 10 ends up being the last season, they would be OK too, Lloyd said.
One way or another, a decision needs to be made soon. “We need to know relatively soon because if it’s the last season we need to know it’s the last season so we can to both recognize the show but also recognize the people been together for 10 years.”
Lloyd teased “quite a few milestones in these people’s lives” in the coming tenth season as well as a Russian spy storyline.
“Big relationship changes, some life and death, one family faces death for the first time, which is a big point for us. Pretty significant changes in the lives of a couple of the Dunphy kids,” he said. “One big farce we will be doing which will be our Christmas show, and then some ridiculous things like Phil Dunphy struggling with pretty good certainty that he was an unwilling spy for the Russians when he was in high school.”