In one week, Modern Family will premiere its 10th season on ABC. Behind the scenes, groundwork continues to be laid out for an eleventh season of the Emmy-winning family comedy, and all sides appear optimistic that it could become a reality.
I hear conversations are still ongoing between ABC and Modern Family producer 20th Century Fox TV for a shorter 11th season, with a final season order in the neighborhood of 18 episodes discussed. Modern Family creators/showrunners Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd have said publicly that they are open to one more season. I hear the cast is yet to be approached but all are said to be willing to return for a final chapter if new deals can be made.
Like CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family is heading into the last year of a multi-year pickup that had been originally envisioned to be the series’ final season. Both networks, Big Bang’s CBS and Modern Family‘s ABC, revealed last month that they hadstarted conversations with the studios behind the comedies about another season.
Shortly thereafter, CBS announced that the upcoming 12th season of Big Bang will be its last. As we reported, the surprise move stemmed from the decision by one of the show’s core stars, Jim Parsons, to leave after the end of his current contract. The deals of both the Big Bang and Modern Family actors are up at the end of this coming season.
It is believed that in both cases, the creators would not continue if a key cast member opts to move on, changing the makeup of the series. From what I hear, while the Modern Family actors would be seeking lucrative new deals and possible raises, there are no holdouts that have made a decision not to continue.
Still, I hear the ball is in ABC’s court.to declare its plans for Season 11. ABC and 20th TV have a history of difficult renewal negotiations but there is a factor that would help ease the process this time. 20th TV will soon become part of Disney and a corporate sibling to ABC. Modern Family has a lucrative off-network deal, so it would be beneficial for corporate parent Disney to get another season.
“We are very open to it; we have expressed that to ABC,” Lloyd told Deadline in early August about doing another season.
He said it was when he, 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.”
Lloyd was insistent then that if Season 10 will be the last, the decision has to be made fast. “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.”
A month and a half later, Modern Family is deep in production on Season 10, which is being promoted as a regular — not a final — season by ABC. As time goes by, there are more and more encouraging signs that an 11th season could happen.