Before Steve Levitan was a multi-award-winning showrunner and director, he was a college student reporting local news in Madison, Wis.
“Anything Hollywood seemed too far away,” he said.
But there was a moment when he realized he wanted to do something more. He had a passion for writing behind-the-scenes, yet he was wrongfully involved in local reporting, he says.
“I was in it for the wrong reasons…because I wanted to be on TV. I realized that was absolutely the wrong reason to be in it,” he admitted.
That was the moment Levitan went from being on-camera to off-camera. He went on to work at a small agency as a copywriter, which led him to move to Los Angeles and pursue a career in writing shows.
“Suddenly this thing that didn’t seem at all possible became more real to me. Suddenly, I was there on a TV lot.”
And little did he know, he would go on to develop Modern Family, ABC’s hit mockumentary family sitcom that’s launching its 11th and final season this fall.
Levitan discussed his career and journey to launching the hit show during the 2019 Promax Conference on Thursday in downtown Los Angeles. It was a series of steps that led him to take the leap, but it allowed him to do what he truly loves—tell unique, humorous stories in Modern Family.
But he didn’t do it alone, he says. In addition to his co-creator, Christopher Lloyd, Levitan largely credits the show’s cast, writing staff, and overall chemistry for its ability to run for over a decade.
“Things just magically come together….[there were] good dynamics set up from the beginning,” Levitan said.
The series finale of Modern Family premieres this fall on ABC.