Some shows don’t realize what they have until it’s gone. But for co-creator, executive producer and Promax speaker Steve Levitan, that wasn’t the case for Modern Family.
“Even our worst days were the kind of best days you wish for,” Levitan said during ABC’s portion of winter TCA on Wednesday. “And we knew it at the time. We would stop and look at each other and say, ‘How lucky are we?’ This doesn’t happen. We just knew it from the beginning.”
Ahead of its series finale, which airs April 8 on ABC, the cast and creators reflected on Modern Family’s success across 11 years. Aside from the “right characters and writers,” series star Jesse Tyler Ferguson credits the inclusion of a gay couple to part of its success.
“Putting a gay couple in the forefront, not having it be a sidekick, having them be an integrated part of the family… It’s something that’s incredibly relatable to so many people, gay and straight and nonbinary,” Ferguson said. “I think it was revolutionary back then, and I don’t think it’s as revolutionary now, which I think is a great thing.”
Levitan also noted the timing of the series premiere when looking back at its legacy, which he says is “an incredible alchemy of elements coming together.”
“It’s probably not a coincidence that Modern Family existed during a time where things felt a little bit happier in the world,” he said.
Season 11 will follow a lot of “lasts” with a family trip to Paris and episode titles like “The Last Halloween” and “The Last Christmas.” But going into the season, writers weren’t quite sure how to wrap up each character’s storyline.
“It sort of depended on which season we ended it on,” Levitan said. “Had we ended it last season, it would have probably revolved around the birth of the new babies. But since we went past that point, we were in uncharted territory. So it’s something we’ve been thinking about for about a year and a half…The writing staff, we talk about where we’re going to end it all the time so we can add some things in to wrap it up nicely.”
And for now, the series finale seems to be the last of Modern Family. When asked about a future spinoff, Levitan confirmed there are no plans in sight.