ABC officially renews its long-running hit sitcom Modern Family for an eleventh and final season, likely to consist of between 18 and 22 episodes. Created by the duo of Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, Modern Family has been a smash hit since its 2009 debut, premiering to huge ratings and rave reviews. Engaged in perpetual rivalry with CBS' The Big Bang Theory for the title of highest-rated comedy on TV, Modern Family has remained a strong performer in the near-decade since its launch, even if the reviews aren't quite as good and the ratings not quite as high now.
That's not to say that Modern Family's current output is regarded as awful by any means. The show has just fallen victim to many of the usual problems that can effect long-running sitcoms, such as the characters essentially becoming exaggerated caricatures of their earlier selves, and the tendency to recycle plot and joke setups. The cast remains as on their game as ever, and most fans would agree that Modern Family still manages to hit episodes out of the park from time to time.
Fans who've stuck with Modern Family all these years will also remember that when the ABC series was renewed for season 10, creators Lloyd and Levitan said they thought it highly unlikely that a season 11 would happen, essentially declaring season 10 the final season. However, last fall brought the news that season 11 might materialize after all, which was followed in December by an update concerning the cast hammering out new contracts. Now, Deadline reports that Modern Family has officially been renewed for season 11, which will be the final outing for the Dunphy and Pritchett clans.
Considering what happened last time, some fans might be wondering if they should trust the declaration that Modern Family season 11 will be its final one. A big difference this time out is that ABC itself is confirming season 11's status as the final season, as ABC Entertainment president Carey Burke broke the news to Deadline herself during today's TCA festivities. The entire main cast has reportedly closed deals to return, as have creators Lloyd and Levitan. Modern Family season 11 is expected to consist of at least 18 episodes, although that order might be expanded to 22.
Interestingly, with this renewal official, Modern Family will outlast old rival Big Bang Theory, at least from a chronological standpoint. Big Bang Theory is currently airing its twelfth and final season, meaning that Modern Family will get to enjoy its final season unopposed by the CBS behemoth. Of course, it'll still have Young Sheldon to worry about, and could possibly be topped in the ratings by fellow ABC show The Conners, which looks likely for renewal. Even if Modern Family never manages to firmly plant its flag as the top-rated comedy on TV, the cast and crew certainly have nothing to be ashamed of, and plenty to take pride in.
Modern Family season 10 airs Wednesdays on ABC.