Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Without revealing any plot spoilers, the first episode of Modern Family’s upcoming fifth season will take on the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in California. At tonight’s onstage “table read” of the episode for an audience of Emmy voters at Fox Studios, executive producer Steven Levitan pleaded with tweeters not to spoil any surprises while at the same time acknowledging that a plot tweet was likely to escape. (Co-creator Christopher Lloyd, who sat in the audience, already had said in interviews that the “gay marriage” issue might crop up on the Emmy-winning ABC sitcom.) And after the reading, which featured most of the cast members, the writing staff was quick to talk about how the same-sex marriage issue came to the table. Jeffrey Richman — writer of the episode, titled “Suddenly Last Summer”, which premieres September 25 — joked of the June 26 Supreme Court ruling, “I’m gay, and I was happier as a writer.” Then he added, “It was great for the gays, too.”
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview
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GOP Candidates Seeking Hollywood Help
“We were discussing the new season of Glee,” tweeted Modern Family‘s Jesse Tyler Ferguson about what he and President Obama said to one another last night at the Sunset Strip’s House of Blues. It’s where the actor emceed one of two Hollywood fundraisers for Obama’s re-election campaign Monday. According to a White House pool report, Obama greeted Ferguson, turned to the microphone, and said, “I was telling him that Michelle and the girls love them some Modern Family.” Some in the crowd chanted “Four more years”. Roughly 900 people paid ticket prices starting at $250 and as much as $10,000 (to secure a photo with the president).
The second fundraiser cost $17,900 for each of the 120 people in attendance at Melrose Avenue’s Fig & Olive restaurant. The private event’s co-hosts included Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, his longtime political adviser Andy Spahn, and Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon. “I’m going to need your help, so don’t get tired on me now,” Obama was quoted by a pool report as telling showbiz attendees like Judd Apatow, Aaron Sorkin, Jamie Foxx, Jack Black, Eva Longoria, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, and Jon Landau (producer of Avatar and Titanic). “I urge some of you to watch the Republican debates,” Obama added.
Obama received a standing ovation from the industry types seated at round tables with white table linens. But news of the president’s impending Hollywood fundraising was punctuated by several media articles proclaiming that Tinseltown support for him had eroded greatly since 2008. Recently Democratic activists like Robert Redford, Matt Damon, and Michael Moore have criticized Obama’s inability to stay the liberal course. Katzenberg seemed to address that disappointment when he introduced Obama by saying, “We must keep fighting for him so he can keep fighting for us.” Katzenberg also noted, “I have a dependency on President Obama. He inherited a crashing economy and two wars and opponents who questioned if he was even born (in the U.S.). Yet he kept us moving forward. He was dealt adversity on all fronts, but he maintained his stature.” Read More »
Deadline gave you video of the opening musical number for the Writers Guild East Awards show from NYC. Now here’s video of the 2011 WGA West Awards show’s opening musical number from Los Angeles, “Write It Gay,” featuring Modern Family co-stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet:
Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, co-stars of the ABC comedy Modern Family, will co-host the 2011 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel-Grand Ballroom. Modern Family is tied with Breaking Bad and 30 Rock for most WGA nominations, 3. The ABC comedy also landed 3 nominations last year, winning 2 WGA Awards, for new series and episodic comedy, the latter shared with 30 Rock.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy and TCA coverage.
Ty Burrell isn’t quite an overnight success. It only seems that way. He had been working steadily in Hollywood for nearly 10 years before shooting to the next level this past year with his career-defining role as the cluelessly hilarious dad Phil Dunphy on the freshman ABC comedy hit Modern Family. He found out on July 8 that he’d earned his first Primetime Emmy nomination for supporting comedy actor, one of three noms for Modern Family Read More »