Why Sofia Vergara Chose To Judge America's Got Talent After Modern Family's Ending

modern family sofia vergara playing with her hair
(Image credit: abc press)

Modern Family will soon bid its final farewell to ABC and its millions of faithful viewers, meaning roughly 27,000 actors are in need of follow-up work. Okay, so that was an exaggeration, but the hit comedy easily has one of TV's biggest multi-generational ensembles. In all these years, though, no one has pulled the spotlight off of co-star Sofia Vergara, who rather quickly has signed on for her next high-profile TV gig as an America's Got Talent judge, filling the void left after Julianna Hough and Gabrielle Union were fired.

One can assume that Sofia Vergara has had plenty of options for follow-up jobs after Modern Family, so it's pretty intriguing that her top choice was to jump networks to NBC to sit next to returning star Heidi Klum and pass judgment on ventriloquists, singers, acrobats, shadow-dancers and more. When asked by Extra how she felt about landing the new job, Vergara explained why she chose that over another job.

Super excited! Something completely different than I thought I was going to do after Modern Family. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do something different after 10 years of such a fantastic TV show. I didn't think I was going to get something like that, but I think it's better to mix it up for a while. I think I am going to have a lot of fun. I’ve been watching the show for a long time, and it looks like the judges have so much fun — like the contestants.

Variety is the spice of life, after all, so it makes perfect sense that Sofia Vergara would want to shift career gears after filming around 250 episodes of Modern Family in an 11-year span. A far more baffling move would have been if she'd joined another broadcast network family comedy in which she's married to an older white guy and Benjamin Bratt plays her ex. Typecasting isn't anyone's friend...unless Benjamin Bratt plays your ex, I guess.

Sofia Vergara was rumored in the past to potentially be joining America's Got Talent, as the actress reportedly met with execs from both NBC Universal and the production company Fremantle USA back in December. AGT wasn't the only project on the discussion docket that day, though, so there were no guarantees that Vergara would opt to go for the reality competition over something else.

The actress is also happy to be able to represent her heritage on the show, even if its most recent season was marred by controversy after Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough were fired, with lots of troubling accusations being made in the aftermath. In Vergara's words:

I am very excited I am the first Latina... on the show — that’s very exciting.

Heading to America's Got Talent will hardly impede on any inclinations Sofia Vergara might have about joining another scripted series in the near future. Prior to Modern Family, she was on such (admittedly short-lived) projects such as the female-driven Hot Properties and the celebrity-robbing comedy The Knights of Prosperity, but I doubt we'll see revivals from those. Personally, I'm hoping she hits it off with on-stage host Terry Crews and finds her way to joining Brooklyn Nine-Nine in some capacity.

With its series final set to air in April, Modern Family officially wrapped filming recently, allowing all of the lead actors the opportunity to fill their schedules with other jobs for the first time in over a decade. Does this mean we'll see Sofia Vergara's co-stars following suit, so that Ty Burrell will join The Voice as a coach next season, and Sarah Hyland can become a regular judge on Top Chef. There are worse trends in Hollywood than "former Modern Family stars becoming reality TV judges."

Modern Family airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.