We were first introduced to the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan in the Modern Family in 2009 and a lot has happened over the years. The mockumentary sitcom is lauded as one of the sassiest, quickest shows on primetime with over 18.5 million viewers per episode. Also, it was acclaimed by critics throughout its first few seasons, although reception became more mixed as it progressed but it has remained a fan favourite. Now in its ten years on air with over 200 episodes, it is currently ABC’s longest-running comedy series; season 10 premiered on September 26, 2018.
The show has won a slew of accolades including 22 Emmy awards, Golden Globe wins, among others and the actors who play them have grown up and changed before our eyes. Scroll through to see how the cast has changed through the series, latest trivia and news, as well as how to watch it online.
Modern Family Synopsis
Modern Family first aired on the ABC network on the 23rd day of September 2009. The mockumentary family sitcom was created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan to mirror their own lives and families which they realized could be a basis for a show. The series, in turn, follows the lives of the Pritchett patriarch Jay and his family, who made their home in suburban Los Angeles. The family also includes his much younger second wife (Gloria Delgado Pritchett (née Ramirez), their son (Fulgencio Joseph “Joe” Pritchett) and his stepson (Manny Delgado). Jay’s two adult children (Claire Dunphy (née Pritchett) and Mitchell Pritchett), as well as their spouses and children, also make up the interrelated modern family.
The series, set in Los Angeles also revolves around three different varieties of the family (nuclear, step and same-sex) which is comically portrayed by the various members of the large family as they deal with the day to day rigours of living in modern times, as faced by families in real life.
Modern Family was released to positive reviews and rave critical acclaim and has remained popular over its 10 seasons, especially among the 18 and 49 demographic. It was dubbed the funniest new family comedy of the year in its first season with a 100% rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. The second season received mostly positive critical reviews, ranking the series among the 100 Most Influential TV Shows. The other seasons received more mixed receptions as it progressed but the show remains a fans favourite nonetheless.
Modern Family Cast Members
The family sitcom employs an ensemble cast. The long-running show has an extensive list of cast members, both as main characters and recurring roles. It also features numerous guest appearances. The main cast revolves around three families that are interrelated through Jay, his two adult children Mitchell and Claire Dunphy. They include:
Ed O’Neill – Jay Pritchett
O’Neill plays the role of the Pritchett patriarch. He is well known for his role as Al Bundy on the Fox Network sitcom Married… With Children and is pulling yet another classic character who won’t soon be forgotten once the show is over.
Sofía Vergara – Gloria Pritchett
The younger, sexy, loud, loving second wife of Jay who is of Colombian descent brings besides familial diversity, cultural diversity to the table. After all, variety is the spice of life and Sofia Vergara really added spice to the Pritchett dynasty. The real-life Colombian actress has previously had small roles in various American TV shows but became a household name with her performance in Modern Family.
Julie Bowen – Claire Dunphy
The compassionate, aggressive, and sometimes overly-judgmental formerly stay at home mom of the three Dunphy kids is played by no other than Julie Bowen. She enjoys a wacky-but-loving relationship with doofy husband Phil, on the show.
Ty Burrell – Phil Dunphy
Ty Burrell brought in his goofy and lovable humour into Modern Family and has been able to hold that end through the decade lifespan of the show. He plays the dad-est dad of all the dads and loyal husband and is a realtor. His sense of humour has become his trademark and is easily recognizable in other side projects such as the animated film Finding Dory where he voiced Bailey. For his performance on the show, he has earned the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series twice.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson – Mitchell Pritchett
Jay’s older son, lawyer Mitchell Pritchett, played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, presented Modern Family viewers with a hilarious, weekly glimpse into the gay marriage between him and Cameron.
Ferguson who is openly and proudly gay has been married to his husband, lawyer Justin Mikita since 2013. Besides his role in the show, he had a successful theatre career, and more recently, has taken on Off-Broadway roles in The Tempest and Spamalot. Interestingly, he shares the same love for theatre and film with his character.
Modern Family Eric Stonestreet – Cameron Tucker
Eric Stonestreet made a sweet transition overnight from a guest star status to a prominent TV icon with his role as the lovable Cam, gay spouse of Mitch. While Mitchell is a lawyer, Cam is a football coach and is chronically optimistic, as well as bubbly and caring. His other screen credits include CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Almost Famous.
Though he is openly straight in real life, he totally nailed his character’s over-the-top personality for which he earned two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series out of three nominations.
Sarah Hyland – Haley Dunphy
The eldest Dunphy child, ditzy, boy-crazy Haley is played by Sarah Hyland. Since 2009, she has thrived on the show which threw her into the spotlight. She has also received critical acclaim as well as numerous accolades and nominations.
Ariel Winter – Alex Dunphy
The super-intelligent middle child of Dunphy’s, Alex is played by Ariel Winter. She started on the show when she was only 11 (b. 1998) but has made her way through her teen years as a practical perfectionist.
Nolan Gould – Luke Dunphy
Nolan Gould is not a kid anymore. He is one of those child stars who grew up before our very eyes. Gould joined the cast as an 11-year-old and portrays Luke, the rambunctious and dim-witted kid and youngest of the Dunphy kids who often spawned mischief in the family. Despite playing the clueless, off-beat lad on TV, he is a genius in real life. He graduated high school at 13 and has an IQ of 150.
Rico Rodriguez – Manny Delgado
Rico began playing Manny Delgado, mama’s (Gloria) boy in September 2009. He has grown on the show, bringing a whole new sophistication to his character.
There is also Aubrey Anderson-Emmons who joined the series in season 3 at the age of 4 as Lily Tucker-Pritchett, the adopted daughter of Cam and Mitch. She was initially portrayed by twins, Jaden Hiller and Ella Hiller in seasons 1 and 2. Jeremy Maguire plays Joe Pritchett as a recurring character in seasons 5 and 6 but rose to the main status in season 7. Rebecca and Sierra Mark portrayed his character in season 4 before Pierce Wallace took the reins in seasons 5 and 6.
Other notable cast members and characters on the show are Reid Ewing as Haley’s boyfriend Dylan, Fred Willard as Phil’s father Frank, Shelley Long as DeDe Pritchett, Jay’s ex-wife and Claire and Mitchell’s mother, Nathan Lane as Cam and Mitch’s wedding planner, Pepper Saltzman. Adam DeVine appeared as Andy Bailey, Jay and Gloria’s affable “manny” (male nanny) as well as Phil’s assistant, Benjamin Bratt as Gloria’s ex-husband and Manny’s father, Stephanie Beatriz as Sonia Ramirez, Gloria’s sister.
Modern Family Trivia, Info
DeDe, Jay’s ex-wife was revealed to have passed away in her sleep, while on a trip with her women’s group in the Good Grief episode of season 10.
Besides its many critical acclaims and positive reviews, Modern Family has also received numerous recognitions and accolades. The show has been nominated for more than 80 Primetime Emmy since its premiere and has won 22.
It also won four consecutive awards from the American Film Institute (2009-2012) as one of the top 10 TV seasons of the year. Other accolades include a Peabody Award in 2009, 6 Writers Guild of America Awards, 3 Television Critic Awards, 5 Screen Actors Guild Awards and the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
Modern Family has also been positively compared to other hit shows such as The Cosby Show, Parks and Recreations, and The Family for reasons ranging from its mockumentary style or simply, the similarities in characters.
The docu-comedy family sitcom was renewed for its ninth and tenth season in May 2017. Although season 10 was thought to be the final season by the creators, words surfaced that it could be renewed for a potential 11th season as of August 2018.
The 2015 stats of the show’s viewership released by Nielsen revealed that rich people love Modern Family. Moreover, it was the second most popular show, (The Walking Dead is on the first spot) among viewers in the 18-49 age bracket whose households earned an average annual income of over $200,000. As such, First Lady, Michelle Obama cited in an interview with Kal Penn at the 2012 Democratic National Convention that Modern Family was her favourite TV show.
How To Watch Modern Family Online
You can watch your favourite family sitcom online, thanks to the growth and advancement of the internet which makes available online everything you want or could ever need to know. Just with the push of the button, you can pretty much glean whatever information you need.
To either binge-watch, catch up or simply start the show, there are many websites that stream it online. There’s also the option of streaming or downloading it for free. You can also catch new and old episodes on the official Modern Family page on the ABC network’s official website, here.