Modern Family co-creator Christopher Lloyd is admitting there is a certain “pressure” when it comes to the ABC comedy’s series finale. Earlier this year came the announcement that Modern Family’s eleventh season would be its last, and even though Season 11 only recently started, the anticipation is already ramping up for the show’s final episode.
Like The Big Bang Theory before it, Modern Family will soon have to bring more than a decade of storytelling to an end. As other shows learned this year, that comes with a lot of specific pressures, and the stakes have never been higher for the beloved ABC comedy. Not only does the series have to stick the landing in general, but the course has to be set to maintain its sitcom legacy.
Asked if it was harder to “break” this season of Modern Family in the writers room than previous installments, series co-creator, Christopher Lloyd said:
It's both easier and harder. Hard because there's pressure to cobble together an ending that makes people feel OK with where these characters are left in the world. Due to the nature of a family show, you draw people in like you do actual family members. We feel we owe it to our loyal fans to set our characters on paths that the loyal fans will be happy about. There's been a bit of debate about that. Of course, we won't nail that for everyone. We want to do that for ourselves as well as the fans. There's pressure on that. At the same time, it's easier to write toward an ending, and there's a lot of good adrenaline among the writers and cast to do the last season as well as we can.
What paths will Modern Family’s characters ultimately end up taking? Their journeys in the final season have only just begun, but the show’s creative team clearly wants to craft an ending path that fans can be happy with for the entire ensemble. (Yes, even you, Phil.) Albeit, Christopher Lloyd acknowledges it will not be possible to “nail” that for each and every family member.
What can fans expect from Modern Family’s final season as it progresses? Discussing the pressure-filled last chapter, the series’ co-creator shared general tidbits about what is in store. It sounds like fans are in for an emotional and funny round of episodes with a nostalgic sensibility. Explaining how those installments will drive Modern Family to its series finale, Christopher Lloyd told TV Guide:
Probably half the episodes in the final season will be standalone episodes, one will be a farce reminiscent of the Las Vegas episode we did years ago. We also have touchstone/milestone episodes that are more emotional. Those episodes have a bit more pressure on them because they push us toward what will ultimately be the end of the season and the series.
Modern Family has a lot on its shoulders, but the pressure isn't so much that it's causing chaos. For instance, Eric Stonestreet does want to work with his on-screen husband, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, after the final season wraps, so no bad blood there. Season 11 hopefully won't be the last that viewers will see of Stonestreet and Ferguson working together. Could a spinoff be on the horizon for their characters, Cam and Mitchell? Probably not right away, but only time will tell.
ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke has explained why Modern Family has not gotten a spinoff yet. For those anxious to hear an announcement on that front, there is some positive news. ABC wants one! For now, though, the focus has been on bringing the original series to a proper conclusion.
Modern Family’s final season probably won't go the controversial way of Game of Thrones, and will likely wrap up in the seemingly well-received manner that The Big Bang Theory ended its historic run? It seems like Modern Family’s creative team is taking the show’s fans into consideration. So, if fans aren't super-happy, it will not be for a lack of trying.
Final seasons are always tricky, and it is impossible to imagine the pressure that shows’ creatives are under when they arrive at them. Modern Family has been building to its series finale for over ten seasons, seeing the younger generations turn into completely different people. Hence, it has a great handle on what fans are likely to want to see in it.
For fans in no hurry to say farewell to their favorites, the series finale is still off into the future quite a bit. New episodes of Modern Family’s eleventh and final season airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. Season 11 is only one of this fall’s premieres, so check out all the rest.