Modern Family co-creator Christopher Lloyd said in September that a “significant character” would die in this season of the hit ABC comedy sitcom. It stirred up lots of discussion about which character might see their demise. When Wednesday’s episode revealed that Lloyd was referring to Shelley Long’s character DeDe, mother of characters Mitchell and Claire, many objected to Lloyd’s reference to DeDe as a significant character. Sarah Hyland (who plays Haley) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (who plays Mitchell) recently hinted to Hollywood Reporter, however, that a bigger storyline is coming this season. Hyland even hinted at which character it may involve.
Ferguson said he was surprised at all the commotion about the death of DeDe, saying that when he read it in the script, he thought “we would just handle it as it was just another storyline.” He added that all the talk and speculation about which character would die made it exciting for the cast and crew, though. He and Hyland both spoke about Wednesday’s episode and how well they thought DeDe’s death was handled. Ferguson commented on fan sentiment that DeDe was not a “significant” character.
“We have very bloodthirsty fans. Also, I feel like the mother of two of the characters that we’ve grown to love is a pretty significant character.”
He also praised show writers for finding tasteful ways to add humor to a grim subject.
Sarah Hyland Reveals a 'Bigger Thing Than the Death' Is Coming to Modern Family: 'It Was a Shock' https://t.co/HPIOv5oiNm— People (@people) October 28, 2018
Sarah Hyland agreed with Ferguson about how the show dealt with such an emotional subject.
“There’s so many things I loved about that storyline. I think especially the idea of a brother and sister having a very different relationship to the family member that has passed and being able to come to solid ground on how they feel.”
She also revealed that a future episode will look at Mitchell and Claire sorting through everything DeDe left behind. It was Ferguson who first hinted at a bigger development in this season of Modern Family.
“There’s a major thing happening this season. It’s beyond… I think you’ll be surprised.”
Hyland agreed and hinted at which character the storyline may focus on.
“It was a shock, that’s for sure… there’s a lot happening with Haley, but I can’t say.”
Both Ferguson and Hyland said they love the show’s characters and wish it could go on forever. Hyland added that she hopes that by the time the show finishes its run, Haley becomes mature and responsible, saying, “I think it’s about five years past her time.” Ferguson said he just wants it to go out “on a strong note.”