Warning: This article contains spoilers from last night's episode of Modern Family.
Modern Family co-creator and showrunner Steve Levitan reveals that season 11 is still possible for ABC's long-running sitcom. This contradicts earlier statements Levitan made this past January claiming that he couldn't see the show moving past the final year of its multi-year pickup.
In its historic 10-season run, Modern Family reinvigorated the sitcom format by introducing new character archetypes and intricate ensemble stories that felt more reminiscent of shows like Arrested Development than anything ABC had aired previously. It's been nominated for countless awards and won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series five years in a row, starting with its first season in 2010. Some of its prestigious guest stars have included Nathan Fillion, Benjamin Bratt, and Jesse Eisenberg, and the original cast and crew has remained consistent despite Levitan's public break with Fox. The announcement that season 10 would feature a major death - plus the fact that producing season 11 would require significant contract negotiations for everyone involved - made it seem very likely that season 10 would be Modern Family's swan song.
But in an interview today with THR, Levitan makes it seem like season 11 is more likely than anyone had previously thought:
"There's definitely interest from the studio and network and we're all trying to figure out if that's what we want to do. There's a general desire from just about everybody involved to not say goodbye yet. There are a couple hurdles that have to be climbed. We'll see if it all comes together."
Levitan goes on to say that some of the hurdles that would need jumping include making sure they could get most of the show's writers back as well as ensuring the entire cast and crew were able to come to a financial agreement. And considering the major death turned out to be recurring character Pritchett's mom, Deedee (Shelley Long), not a series regular, the core cast could remain together for at least one more season.
Levitan also mentions another important component in whether or not season 11 gets greenlit is the story. To its credit, Modern Family's managed to create a funny, oftentimes ridiculous universe that still feels grounded. That's in large part due to the fact that whatever ludicrous situation Phil's magic hobby drags everyone into on a given week, the show always comes back around to human family issues. Some of those fit into more traditional story dynamics like sibling rivalry and parental expectations, and some like LGBTQ adoption and blended families ensure the show remains relatable by today's social standards.
That said, audiences have seen the Prichetts and the Dunphys go through many, many permutations of family dramedy. Only two of the kids are kids anymore and the adults have all plateaued when it comes to careers, relationships, and personal lives. The question of just how much story there is left to tell about this clan is a real one, and hopefully if fans get a season 11, it won't feel forced. It's also worth noting that another thing going for Modern Family season 11 is that Disney would finally be in full control of the series. For those that don't know, Modern Family is produced by Fox but airs on Disney. Thanks to the Disney-Fox deal, Modern Family will become an in-house production.