Modern Family Vet Ed O'Neill Landed His Next Big TV Role, And It'll Involve Some Way More Serious Topics

Modern Family ended on ABC in 2020, and since then, the stars are scattering throughout Hollywood and moving on to new projects. Ed O’Neill just landed his next big one, but don’t expect him to get up to the same type of antics that Jay Pritchett did. In fact, it’ll involve some way more serious topics as O’Neill steps into the role of an ousted NBA owner in The Sterling Affairs

Ed O’Neill joins The Sterling Affairs in the role of Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Deadline reports that the FX limited series will profile the controversy that surrounded the owner during the Clippers' quest for the championship under Doc Rivers. O’Neill joins Laurence Fishburne, who will play Rivers, and Jacki Weaver, who will play Sterling’s wife, Shelly. The story, as sports fans might know, is rooted in leaked conversations between Sterling and his mistress, V. Stiviano, that featured Sterling making racist statements. 

The Sterling Affairs comes from the 30 for 30 podcast that is reported and hosted by Ramona Shelburne. Though it’s unknown how far the series will go, the controversy ultimately earned Donald Sterling a lifetime ban from the NBA, and the team was sold to Steve Ballmer. Based on Ed O'Neill's casting and early descriptions, this limited series sounds like an intriguing window into what went down even for viewers who aren't already familiar with the Clippers controversy. For sports fans, it certainly seems like another can’t-miss series. 

For some Modern Family fans (who can revisit the long-running comedy with a Hulu subscription), it might be jarring to see Ed O’Neill in such a dramatic role. Of course, O'Neill has a long list of credits over the years of his career. While this project isn’t the Married... with Children revival that some might’ve wanted, it certainly has potential to be another hit under his belt. FX has a pretty consistent track record with drama, and with increased interest in NBA shows as of late with HBO’s Winning Time, this might be one that attracts a wide audience. 

The Sterling Affairs is the latest role for Ed O’Neill, who was attached to the streaming series Night Sky, formerly known as Lightyears, with Sissy Spacek a year ago. O’Neill left that project, and it replaced him with J.K. Simmons, so it’s good to see him attached to a new series that will, hopefully, find its way to television and streaming before too long. 

The Sterling Affairs is still in the early stages over at FX, but anyone can watch Ed O’Neill in Modern Family right now streaming. It might be best to binge the series ahead of this upcoming, project because it sounds like we’ll be seeing another side of O’Neill’s acting that might not be so hilarious to watch. You can also check out O'Neill's time as Al Bundy with Married... with Children streaming with a Peacock subscription.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.