After over a decade of success, iconic ABC sitcom Modern Family came to an end with season 11’s finale, which saw lots of big changes take place.
After over a decade of success, iconic ABC sitcom Modern Family came to an end with season 11’s finale, which saw lots of big changes take place. Filmed in the single-camera, mockumentary style most associated with The Office, Modern Family showcased a large, diverse cast of related characters. At the beginning, there was head of the family Jay Pritchett (Married with Children‘s Ed O’Neill), his wife Gloria, their son Manny, and then two sub-families springing off from Jay’s kids Claire and Mitch.
Over the course of its long run, Modern Family‘s titular clan grew and grew, adding spouses, as well as multiple kids both adopted and biological. Surprisingly, each new addition to the cast managed to fit right in, as adding cute little kids into a sitcom can often be a sign of an impending downturn in quality. While Modern Family certainly wasn’t as sharp in season 11 as it was at its peak of popularity and acclaim, the show never really wore out its welcome, and many fans hated saying goodbye to the Pritchetts and Dunphys.
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When Modern Family ended, it was still a consistent ratings performer for ABC, even if far from what it used to draw before broadcast TV as a whole started to dip in viewership thanks to streaming. In that light, it might seem odd that it departed when it did, and didn’t continue on to season 12.
Why Modern Family Didn’t Return for Season 12
While Modern Family co-creators and showrunners Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan never offered a single conclusive reason for Modern Family ending after season 11, it had already been apparent for a while that the show was probably going to sign off soon. When Modern Family was renewed for season 10, Lloyd and Levitan indicated that it would likely be the final year, although a formal announcement was never made. That came after season 9 had seen Modern Family take a significant hit in critical favor.
Interestingly, the fact that Lloyd, Levitan and the writing staff went into season 10 believing it would likely be the last of Modern Family gave them an urge to try and shake things up, incorporating major life-altering events like the sudden and surprising death of DeDe Pritchett, Jay’s ex-wife and Claire and Mitch’s mom. Season 10 also saw Haley fall back in love with old flame Dylan, get married, and have twins. Season 10 saw Modern Family‘s review scores shoot back upwards, and the writers/producers were so interested in seeing where these events would lead the family that they decided season 11 would be worth making. For their part, ABC was more than happy to oblige that request. So, when Modern Family was renewed for season 11, and it was quickly dubbed the final season, that was more of a delayed proclamation than anything, giving fans one more year with their favorite characters.
More: Modern Family Ending Explained: What Happens To Each Character
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