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Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Modern Family series finale. Read at your own risk!
Modern Family has concluded, but it's been no secret for quite a while that this may not necessarily be the end of the road for all characters. ABC has been candid about being open to a spinoff featuring one or more characters, and co-creators Steve Levitan and Chris Lloyd aren't denying that there have been discussions about a spinoff happening at some point.
Both creators made it clear that it's far too early for specific plot details or ideas to be shared, but Chris Lloyd did tell THR that this wouldn't be a single character spinoff scenario. Lloyd explained his thought is to do a spinoff with multiple characters, and explained the fine line between creating a spinoff that's not quite the original show, but also not so far removed either.
I'm loathe to discuss it too much because the conversations are early. Some of the [endings] are natural ones. It's something that were we to do it, it can't just be more Modern Family; it's got to be some of our show but with new characters mixed in, perhaps. I spent a lot of years on Frasier and that was a great version of a spinoff because you took a single character and put him around a bunch of other characters and it became a whole new world and it almost made you forget about the show that he had come from. We wouldn't go that far; it wouldn't be one character, but it might be a couple and we'll see where that goes. But it's a conversation now that could come to nothing but it could also come to something great. I hope it does come to something great but I'm really not sure.
As Chris Lloyd said above, the goal of a spinoff (for now anyway) would be to create a show that isn't just Modern Family 2.0, but also isn't so radically different it doesn't feel like Modern Family. That sounds like a complicated line to walk, though the analogy between Cheers and Frasier shows that Lloyd and Steve Levitan aren't looking to go quite that far. More familiar characters would, potentially, help keep that Modern Family feel, while still granting freedom to introduce new characters and a new story.
Modern Family viewers could make their guesses towards whose story would continue, though even Chris Lloyd admitted that's a tough decision for them as well. In fact, there's temptation on his end to do stories for every character, though Lloyd talked about the potential risk in doing so as well.
The idea of leaving viewers wanting more is the goal. I would love to write more [for] all of the characters, but there is some danger in doing that. Would we do a retrospective hour to bring people up to speed? Probably not. If we feel as though we left things in a good place with this finale and there is some danger in coming back and doing a postscript that doesn't leave things in as good a place. But it's tempting.
So, what can Modern Family fans gather from this? It appears that if a spinoff happens, it will pick up with one of the families of Modern Family. That means either following Cam and Mitchell to the midwest, Claire and Phil in adjusting to an empty nest, or maybe even Hayley or Dylan. Given Alex's move to Switzerland, Manny's film career, and Luke going to University of Oregon, they probably won't be the focus of the spinoff. Then again, talks are still early, and who knows if ABC, Steve Levitan or Chris Lloyd will change their minds on what a spinoff premise may be along the way?
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