Modern Family Vet Ariel Winter Set To Lead New TV Series After Recasting

Modern Family wrapped up its wildly popular and awards-filled run in 2020, after eleven seasons, and various stars from its ensemble cast have already made high-profile returns to TV, while others like her on-screen sister Sarah Hyland are putting such returns together as we speak. Ariel Winter, who portrayed the brainiest and most logical member of the show's extended bloodline, is now a member of the latter group, as she was recast for a lead role in the new network TV series Hungry that was initially fronted by singer Demi Lovato.

Hungry, developed by Hot in Cleveland creator and Will & Grace scribe Suzanne Martin, will star Ariel Winter as part of a set of friends belonging to a food-issues group. With part of its focus presumably on eating disorders and other calorically related problems, the project will also put its attention on how friends can lift each other up in times of need during the struggles to find love, success and all things tasty. It should be a nice change of pace for Winter to be part of a cast of similarly aged co-stars, as opposed to one with four generations of actors. 

This won’t be Winter’s very first scripted role in general after her decade-plus as one of the Dunphys, though, as she has several features on the way. She’s set for the party dramedy Pools, the Zoom-based thriller Don’t Log Off, and the upcoming crime drama Crimelands. As well, she brought her Sofia the First vocal skills to work for an episode of the spooky podcast R.L. Stine’s Story Club in 2021. Hungry, however, will be her first potential TV return after Modern Family.

For a bit of background, Demi Lovato was already on board as a star and executive producer when Hungry was picked up for a pilot order at NBC in April 2021. The topical comedy faced a major hurdle as March 2022 began, however, when Lovato pulled out of the show as its lead, citing scheduling conflicts as the cause. That said, they will be staying on board as an executive producer, along with their manager Scooter Braun.

That setback clearly wasn’t a long-term situation, thankfully, and Deadline reports NBC execs were all-in on rapidly finding someone else to fill the role, as they were eager to stick to the plans for the impending pilot’s filming. Ariel Winter is a solid choice, considering the actress has continued building up her fandom in the post-Modern Family years. More on the topic of Hungry, Winter has also opened up about the body-shaming that she dealt with from viewers during the difficult journey of growing up on the comedy series, as well as similar criticisms she’s heard after losing weight.

Ariel Winter is the latest Modern Family to land a starring TV role, with the news coming soon after the reveal that Sarah Hyland landed a role in Peacock’s upcoming Pitch Perfect spinoff series starring Adam Levine and Flula Borg. Their on-screen mom Julie Bowen, meanwhile, put forth some winning appearances in American Dad and Curb Your Enthusiasm already in 2022, and is set to lead the in-development comedy Wilde Things, also at NBC. 

The Hungry pilot —  also starring Valerie Bertinelli, Gabriel Iglesias, Alex Brightman, Ryan McPartlin and Ashley D. Kelley — is set to move forward with a table read on Tuesday, March 8, with the legendary James Burrows on board as director. While waiting to hear more about its fate, head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are heading to the small screen in the near future. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.