Diane Haithman is an AwardsLine contributor.
How many writer-producers does it take to make an Emmy-winning comedy? In the case of Modern Family, it’s a staff of 12 including co-creators/executive producers Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd. Like many series creators, Levitan and Lloyd mostly tapped colleagues from comedies they had either created or worked on to assemble a writers room where the team speaks the same language. Before creating Modern Family, Levitan and Lloyd worked on three comedies together: Wings, Frasier and the short-lived Back To You, which the pair co-created. Most members of Modern Family’s creative family are descendants of those three shows and/or two other comedies created by Levitan: Just Shoot Me and Stacked. AwardsLine has ventured deep into sitcom history — stripping the banana peel all the back way to 1990 — to trace the writing roots of Modern Family. Please note that this is not intended to represent each writer-producer’s complete, or necessarily best, credits. It covers only comedy series that have at some point included two or more Modern Family writer-producers on staff (as writer-producers unless otherwise noted).
Related: EMMYS: Comedy Series Overview
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Michael Ausiello is Editor-in-Chief of TVLine.
The gap between Modern Family and the rest of the Emmy comedy field has been so wide that even an imperfect third season landed the ABC family comedy a third consecutive best series win last year. But Modern Family is wrapping another uneven season, and with its ratings slipping and challengers gaining on it, a fourth statuette is far from guaranteed. HBO’s Girls is coming off a Golden Globe win, there’s a growing sentiment that CBS’ Nielsen juggernaut The Big Bang Theory is past due to be recognized, and former best comedy series Emmy winner Arrested Development is back. Will Modern Family’s winning streak come to an end this year? Here’s our assessment of the show’s chances, as well as the rest of the contenders. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Modern Family star Ed O’Neill has signed with Paradigm, joining his longtime agent Iris Grossman who moved from ICM Partners to Paradigm earlier this month. O’Neill, who is managed by Brillstein Entertainment Partners, … Read More »
The Monte-Carlo Television Festival wrapped in Monaco tonight with the Golden Nymph Awards handed out at the Grimaldi Forum. Hungarian coming-of-age TV movie Aglaja, directed by Krisztina Deák, was the big winner with four prizes. Breaking Bad, Modern Family, Borgen and Fresh Meat were also singled out. The festival has been attracting an increasing number of high-profile talent to the principality with cast members and execs in attendance this year from such shows as The Big Bang Theory, Breaking Bad, Crossing Lines, Dallas, Grimm, Hatfields & McCoys, Once Upon A Time, Revenge, Revolution and Scandal. Donald Sutherland received a Crystal Nymph Award earlier this week. Below is the full list of tonight’s winners for excellence in international television:
Best Television Film
M-RTL ZRT, Hungary
Krisztina Deák, Aglaja
M-RTL ZRT, Hungary
Arsher Ali, Complicit
Many Rivers Films, UK Read More »
Elaine Ko has closed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the company announced today. Having worked at Modern Family as a staff writer then producer and now supervising producer, Ko will be returning … Read More »
With Up All Night put to sleep, creator-writer Emily Spivey is moving into the multiple households of ABC’s three-time defending Emmy champ. The ex-Saturday Night Live-er joined Modern Family patriarch 20th Century Fox … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: MGM has acquired screen rights to Things I’ve Learned From Women Who’ve Dumped Me, the best-selling humor anthology edited by Ben Karlin. Script will be written by Kyle Pennekamp & Scott Turpel, who scripted the upcoming Get … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company‘s Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters has added the final pieces to its casting puzzle. … Read More »
How would hit ABC comedy Modern Family look and sound like if it aired on cable? The show’s writers offer a peek in a promo for the Emmy-winning series’ upcoming off-network launch on USA Network in September. The video was a highlight at today’s USA upfront presentation, where … Read More »
Comedy is expected to take center stage at USA Network‘s upfront presentation this afternoon as the cable network touts to advertisers the fall launch of its big off-network acquisition, Modern Family, and unveils its newly picked up original comedy series Sirens and Playing House. The cable network has been getting extra attention from comedy fans in the past week following ABC’s decision last Friday to cancel cult series Happy Endings. Talks between USA and leading Happy Endings producer Sony TV continue. At this point, I hear a pickup appears unlikely but the network is carefully exploring the opportunity to migrate a show with some success on broadcast TV and a dedicated fan base the way ABC’s Cougar Town moved to TBS.
Related: ‘Happy Endings’ Cancelled At ABC, Will USA Step In?
Of its three comedy pilot/presentations it had in consideration, USA picked up two, Sirens and Playing House. The third, Paging Dr. Freed, which was the first one ordered almost two years ago, is still in contention. I hear USA brass liked the pilot for the family medical comedy but thought it felt more like a season finale and didn’t properly introduce the characters. I hear the network approached Paging Dr. Freed creator Michael Feldman and studio Fox 21 about redeveloping the project and writing a new pilot script. If USA likes the new script, I hear it is intent on picking up the project straight to series. The options on the Paging Dr. Freed producers have been extended while those on the cast have lapsed. I hear USA is keen on bringing Annie Potts back if she is available. (Her ABC pilot Murder In Manhattan did not get picked up but is being considered by cable networks.) Read More »
How I Met Your Mother executive producer Stephen Lloyd has closed a new two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the pact, Lloyd will continue as executive producer on the upcoming final … Read More »
UPDATE, 3 PM: How did AMC get wrong what networks air The Voice and Modern Family in its full-page The Walking Dead ad that ran in today’s New York Times? It was the undead’s fault, says the network. “It appears our fact checking department was overrun … Read More »
When a show creator thinks about distribution methods “then you’re not doing your job,” the executive producer told Bloomberg Television’s Trish Regan on Street Smart. ”At the end of the day you have to be truthful to the characters and the story.” But Steven Levitan recognizes that platforms have different demands. … Read More »
PGA Awards‘ weird eligibility window on the TV side made for another field with an outdated feel, like the comedy series nomination for HBO‘s Curb Your Enthusiasm, which has not aired originals for the past year and a half. The PGA Awards follow the Primetime Emmys calendar despite taking place six months later, honoring programs that aired between June 1, 2011-May 31, 2012.
With that in mind, there were only minimal surprises in the series nominations this year, most notably the omission of HBO’s freshman comedies Girls and Veep and last year’s best drama series winner Boardwalk Empire. Modern Family has a shot at a third consecutive PGA Award with another best comedy series nom alongside returning nominees 30 Rock and The Big Bang Theory as well as FX‘s Louie. This extends Louie‘s momentum. After largely flying under the radar for the first two seasons, the series’ third season earned a first Emmy award in September, its first SAG and Golden Globe nominations last month and now a first PGA nomination. Missing the cut this time are last year’s nominees Parks & Recreation and Glee, though Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk landed a TV movie/miniseries nom for the first season of American Horror Story. Read More »