Although 20th Century Fox TV and ABC are still in the middle of negotiations, Modern Family executive producer and co-creator Steve Levitan might have just confirmed that the hit sitcom will be back for Season 9. The showrunner also revealed that we might just get to see a Donald Trump-inspired episode soon.
Modern Family’s Steve Levitan seemed confident that even after being on air for eight years, the comedy series still has a lot to give. During Modern Family’s FYC panel last week, the show creator revealed that the writers would be meeting by June to talk about where the series is heading.
“In about a month or so, the writers will re-gather and we will sit down and we will start the season with a big, ‘What now?'” he said.
Prior to the panel discussion, Variety reported that the Television Academy members were treated to an advance screening of the Modern Family Season 8 finale. Aptly titled “The Graduates,” the finale episode sees Luke (Nolan Gould) and Manny (Rico Rodriguez) get their high school diplomas. Levitan, who directed the Season 8 finale, explained that it was inevitable to see the kids grow up and eventually leave their home.
“That’s a reality, we can’t escape that. We’re not The Simpsons where everybody can stay young forever and nobody ages, so it forces our show to change,” Levitan explained.
Apart from that, the Modern Family co-creator also toyed with the idea of including more politically motivated storylines in Season 9, possibly similar to the “All Things Being Equal” episode. The show has always taken pride in showing real issues that families face from day-to-day. Levitan pointed out that the political movement in Trump’s era is pretty much a part of people’s lives that it will be inevitable to include it.
“I’ve been thinking about that lately. How is our political movement going to affect our taste in comedy? It’s so much a part of our life now in a really big way that I wonder if it will seep in more in next season with what we’re all going through,” he explained.
When Modern Family premiered in 2009, there was still only a handful of shows brave enough to put a gay couple like Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) front and center. During the panel, via Deadline, Ferguson recounted how difficult it was trying to hide his sexuality growing up. He pointed out that things would probably be easier if he had someone he could relate to on mainstream media.
“I always thought how great it would be if I could turn on my television and find someone who’s not just gay, but in a gay relationship. That would have made my coming out a lot easier,” Ferguson said.
Although Modern Family undoubtedly championed inclusivity, Steven Levitan quickly pointed out that they were able to enjoy that freedom because of shows like Will & Grace who paved the way and broke barriers.
Julie Bowen, who plays Claire Dunphy on the show, also recognized that people have been more accepting in comparison to when they first started. She said that putting a gay couple front and center was not as cutting edge as it used to be, which only goes to show that we are making progress.
“The fact that people think it’s old hat to have a gay couple, and they’re complaining, ‘Well they’re both white!’ and you’re like, ‘Yes, but eight years ago they were gay and that was the first thing that people noticed.’ The fact that they aren’t noticing their gayness, that’s great, that’s a stride, that’s steps forward, that’s wonderful,” she explained.
Modern Family airs Wednesdays 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
[Featured Image by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images]