Believe it or not, it’s been almost nine years since ABC’s Modern Family debuted, introducing audiences to the Pritchetts. As the show prepares to air its milestone 200th episode, its creators say that next season will likely be the last.
ABC has already renewed Modern Family for a 10th season, set to debut later this fall for the 2018-2019 television season.
Contracts for the cast will expire after that, though, and it would be an expensive, arduous task to negotiate new deals for an 11th season.
Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd, who created the sitcom and serve as showrunners, say their plan is to end the series after 10 seasons.
“If we can leave with most of our audience wanting more, I think that’s the right way to do it,” says Levitan. “Never say never, but I just can’t imagine that we’d go past that”
Citing the large ensemble cast, Lloyd acknowledges that it could make sense to take one of the characters and spin them off into a new series.
In fact, Lloyd has experience doing just that, as he previously spent time as a producer on Frasier, itself a spinoff of the ensemble comedy, Cheers.
One actor who’s unlikely to appear in a spinoff would be Ed O’Neill, who plays family patriarch Jay Pritchett and was previously known for his role on FOX’s Married…With Children.
After 11 seasons on that series, O’Neill says he never intended to do another sitcom and had to be convinced to join Modern Family.
Levitan and Lloyd say they some “loose ideas” about how to end the series next season but have yet to put any serious thought into it. Lloyd mentioned that the Shakespearean method would be to include a birth, a death, or a wedding, something he previously managed to do in the series finale of Frasier.