Modern Family used to be the critical darling of awards shows, but in recent years, the comedy had gotten a whole lot less surprising. Still, the show occasionally finds ways to try something new, such as when it did the whole episode shot through technology devices a few seasons ago. Now, the comedy is going to be groundbreaking with its latest casting. News this week indicates that Modern Family is signing on the first transgender child actor on network television.
Eight-year-old actor Jackson Millarker has signed on to Modern Family for a guest role. The episode in question will feature Lily bringing her friend Tom over for a playdate. Things seem to be going well and Mitchell and Cam are super pumped with Lily's ability to be all-inclusive---that is, until she makes fun of Tom. The rest of the episode looks as if it will feature teaching moments.
Here's Jackson with director Ryan Case, who directed "A Stereotypical Day," the episode Jackson Millarker will appear in:
As TV has started growing more inclusive, transgender roles have become more prominent on TV. Shows like Orange is the New Black, Nashville and Elementary have all featured transgender characters, and prominent transgender teen activist Jazz Jennings has her own show on TV. Big Brother on CBS also recently added its first transgender contestant. While the presence of transgender characters on TV has been growing, most of the actors who have played these characters have not been children. In fact, Modern Family is the first time a transgender child actor has been signed on for a role.
"A Stereotypical Day" is set to air on ABC really soon. The comedy only returned to the schedule last week, and episode information shows us that "A Stereotypical Day" is actually the second episode of Modern Family to air in Season 8. Which means we'll be meeting Jackson Millarker's character on the series during this Wednesday's episode.
Network TV has started changing a lot in recent years. It's an adapt or die sort of world out there, and the various networks have changed a lot to compete with the cable stations, the subscription cable stations and the streaming services that are already out there and able to produce content with fewer restrictions than the networks deal with on a regular basis. We're living in the golden age of television, and there's really something out there for everyone.
To find out what's out there for you, check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see all new and returning TV dates.