Modern Family’s Ariel Winter Is Making A Big Return To TV That Involves… William Shatner?!?

Ariel Winter on CONAN/William Shatner in the 2023 SXSW Studio.
(Image credit: TBS/SXSW)

It’s been over three years since Modern Family ended, and Ariel Winter is finally making her return to television, and of all the people she could join on screen, she'll be sharing it with Star Trek icon William Shatner. As the Modern Family cast moved on to other projects, specifically of the scripted variety, I bet not many pictured the Alex actress being in the same series as Shatner for her next major project, I know I didn't. 

Winter is set to take part in the new Fox un-scripted series Stars on Mars. Premiering on June 5, the series will see 12 celebrities prepare to launch to the red planet to compete and conquer Mars until there is one space invader left, claiming the title of “the brightest star in the galaxy.” Shatner was previously announced to return to Fox for the new galactic series, and he will be the one to hand out interstellar quests as Mission Control. Although it’s not exactly Star Trek or Fox’s brutal celebrity competition series Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, a fun Mars-centric competition seems like an out-of-this-world idea. 

Joining Ariel Winter in the space station will be Lance Armstrong, Natasha Leggero, Marshawn Lynch, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Adam Rippon, Ronda Rousey, and many more, making for quite the ensemble. The stars will compete against each other in missions and vote to eliminate a crew member each week, and I have not doubt that William Shatner will also be having a grand time seeing everyone struggle and prove their worth for Mars.

Ariel Winter in the final season of Modern Family

(Image credit: ABC)

Ariel Winter is no stranger to working with a wide range of stars, as Modern Family had some great guest stars over its 11-season run. However, with this news series, I can't help but think about how wild it is that this ABC comedy alum will be joining William Shatner of all people on a space adventure. Knowing that Alex Dunphy is competing for a spot in the galaxy and Captain Kirk is handing her assignments is a strange thought, but it will make for good television, especially with everyone else involved in it.

Since Stars on Mars is a competition series with eliminations every week, it’s unknown how long Winter will be on the series and how much she will interact with Shatner. Even though no one really saw this coming, especially considering it's the actress’ first big role since the ABC series ended, her being surrounded by a wide range of celebrities is bound to be entertaining. 

Stars on Mars is set to premiere on Monday, June 5 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, so in just a month, Ariel Winter will be making her highly-anticipated return to television and appearing alongside the intergalactic man himself, William Shatner. The 2023 TV schedule is heating up for the summer, so while some shows will be ending soon for the season, summer is just getting started, and its programming just might be out of this world.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.