As creators Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan retold stories about their families, they realized that the stories could be the basis for a show. They started working on the idea of a family being observed in a mockumentary-style show. They later decided that it could be a show about three families and their experiences. It was originally going to be called My American Family, and the camera crew was originally supposed to have been run by a fictitious Dutch filmmaker named Geert Floortje who had lived with Jay's family as a teenage exchange student and developed a crush on Claire (while Mitchell had had a crush on him). The producers later felt that this component was unnecessary, and it was scrapped. Lloyd now prefers to look at the show as "a family show done documentary-style".
The creators pitched it to the Big Three television networks (they did not pitch it to Fox because of issues Lloyd had with the network over Back to You). CBS, which was not ready to use the single-camera style of filming nor ready to make another large commitment, rejected the series. The network had recently aired Welcome to The Captain and Worst Week, two single-camera sitcoms that lasted only one season (CBS would not attempt another single-camera series until 2013, when it picked up both We Are Men and The Crazy Ones for its fall lineup; We Are Men was cancelled after two episodes, The Crazy Ones was also cancelled after one season). NBC, already broadcasting The Office and Parks and Recreation, decided against taking on a third mockumentary-style show. ABC accepted the series and picked it up for a full season.
The show revolves around three families living in the Los Angeles area who are interrelated through Jay Prichett and his children, Claire and Mitchell. Patriarch Jay is remarried to a much younger woman, Gloria, a passionate Colombian with whom he has a baby son, Joe Pritchett; and a 14-year-old son from Gloria's previous marriage, Manny; They also have a pet dog named Stella. Jay's daughter Claire is a homemaker married to Phil Dunphy, a real-estate agent and self-professed "cool dad". They have three children: Haley, the stereotypical ditzy teenage girl; Alex, a nerdy, smart middle child; and Luke, the offbeat only son. Jay's lawyer son Mitchell and his partner Cameron have an adopted Vietnamese daughter, Lily.
- Jay Pritchett - Patriarch and owner of a construction supply warehouse, father of Claire, Mitchell and Joe, husband of Gloria, ex-husband of DeDe, stepfather of Manny, father-in-law of Phil and Cameron and grandfather of Haley, Alex, Luke and Lily.
- Gloria Pritchett - Housewife, ex-hairdresser and ex-taxi driver, mother of Manny and Joe, wife of Jay, ex-wife of Javier, stepmother of Claire and Mitchell, stepmother-in-law of Phil and Cameron and step-grandmother of Haley, Alex, Luke and Lily.
- Claire Dunphy - Employee at Jay's company and ex-account manager and ex-housewife, daughter of Jay and DeDe, sister of Mitchell, mother of Haley, Alex and Luke, wife of Phil, aunt of Lily, stepdaughter of Gloria, stepsister of Manny, half-sister/godmother of Joe and sister-in-law of Cameron.
- Phil Dunphy - Real Estate Agent, son of Frank and Grace, father of Haley, Alex and Luke, husband of Claire, uncle of Lily, son-in-law of Jay and DeDe, stepson-in-law of Gloria, stepbrother-in-law of Manny, brother-in-law of Mitchell (via Claire) and Cameron (via Mitchell) and half-brother-in-law/godfather of Joe.
- Mitchell Pritchett - Environmental lawyer, son of Jay and DeDe, brother of Claire, father of Lily, husband of Cameron, uncle of Haley, Alex and Luke, stepson of Gloria, stepbrother of Manny, half-brother of Joe and brother-in-law of Phil (via Claire).
- Cameron Tucker - Physical education teacher and high school football coach, as well as ex-clown, ex-Christmas caroler, ex-music teacher, and ex-history teacher, son of Merle and Barb, father of Lily, husband of Mitchell, uncle of Haley, Alex and Luke,, son-in-law of Jay and DeDe, stepson-in-law of Gloria, stepbrother-in-law of Manny, brother-in-law of Claire (via Mitchell) and Phil (via Mitchell) and half-brother-in-law of Joe.
- Haley Dunphy - College student/Fashion designer, daughter of Phil and Claire, sister of Alex and Luke, cousin of Lily, niece of Mitchell and Cameron, granddaughter of Frank, Grace, Jay and DeDe, step-granddaughter of Gloria, step-niece of Manny and half-niece of Joe.
- Alex Dunphy - Student, daughter of Phil and Claire, sister of Haley and Luke, cousin of Lily, niece of Mitchell and Cameron, granddaughter of Frank, Grace, Jay and DeDe, step-granddaughter of Gloria, step-niece of Manny and half-niece of Joe.
- Luke Dunphy - Student, son of Phil and Claire, brother of Haley and Alex, cousin of Lily, nephew of Mitchell and Cameron, grandson of Frank, Grace, Jay and DeDe, step-grandson of Gloria, step-nephew of Manny and half-nephew of Joe.
- Manny Delgado - Student, son of Javier and Gloria, stepson of Jay, stepbrother of Claire and Mitchell, half-brother of Joe, step-uncle of Haley, Alex, Luke and Lily and stepbrother-in-law of Phil and Cameron.
- Lily Tucker-Pritchett - Student, daughter of Mitchell and Cameron, cousin of Haley, Alex and Luke, niece of Claire (via Mitchell), Phil (via Claire), Pam (via Cameron) and 2 unidentified individuals (via Cameron), granddaughter of Merle, Barb, Jay And DeDe, step-granddaughter of Gloria, step-niece of Manny and half-niece of Joe.
- Joe Pritchett - Baby, son of Jay and Gloria, half-brother of Claire, Mitchell and Manny, half-uncle of Haley, Alex, Luke and Lily and half-brother-in-law of Phil and Cameron; Joe is also Phil and Claire's godson.
- Stella - Pet dog of Jay, Gloria, Manny and Joe.
- Larry - Pet cat of Mitchell, Cameron and Lily.
Miscellaneous and Recurring family members and characters
- DeDe Pritchett - Ex-wife of Jay, biological mother of Claire and Mitchell, mother-in-law of Phil and Cameron and grandmother of Haley, Alex, Luke and Lily.
- Javier Delgado - Ex-husband of Gloria and biological father of Manny.
- Frank Dunphy - Husband of Grace, father of Phil, father-in-law of Claire and grandfather of Haley, Alex and Luke.
- Ed O'Neill as Jay Pritchett
- Sofía Vergara as Gloria Pritchett
- Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy
- Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy
- Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett
- Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker
- Sarah Hyland as Haley Dunphy
- Ariel Winter as Alex Dunphy
- Nolan Gould as Luke Dunphy
- Rico Rodriguez II as Manny Delgado
- Aubrey Anderson-Emmons as Lily Tucker-Pritchett
- Pierce Wallace as Joe Pritchett
- Beatrice as Stella
- Frosty as Larry
- Reid Ewing as Dylan
- Fred Willard as Frank Dunphy
- Nathan Lane as Pepper Saltzman
- Kevin Daniels as Longines
- Adam DeVine as Andy
- Chazz Palminteri as Shorty
- Benjamin Bratt as Javier Delgado
- Shelley Long as DeDe Pritchett
Ella & Jaden Hiller played Lily for the first two seasons, but were replaced by Aubrey Anderson-Emmons as of the third season. In Season 4, Joe was played by unnamed/uncredited twins, but as of Season 5, a baby boy Pierce Wallace took over. Stella was played by a French Bulldog, Brigitte from Season 2 to Season 3. As of Season 4, Brigitte has been replaced by a different French Bulldog, Beatrice. Larry is played by a cat named Frosty.
The series premiered on September 23, 2009. On January 12, 2010 ABC renewed it for a second season. The second season premiered September 22, 2010, airing in the same timeslot as the previous season. On January 10, 2011, midway through the second season, ABC renewed the series for a third season. The third season premiered on September 21, 2011 with two back-to-back episodes, beginning with a one-hour special. On May 10, 2012, Modern Family was renewed for a fourth and a year later, on May 10, 2013 for a fifth one. The fourth season premiered on September 26, 2012; the fifth season premiered on September 25, 2013. The sixth season premiered on September 24, 2014.
|DVD Name||Release Date||Episodes||Additional Information||DVD Cover|
Complete First Season
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Complete Second Season
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Complete Third Season
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Complete Fourth Season
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Complete Fifth Season
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3 adaptations of Modern Family have began episode making, launched in Chile, Greece and Iran.
- Chile: The channel MEGA was the first in the world to buy the rights of Modern Family to produce their own version of the series, with the title Familia Moderna.
- Greece: Mega Channel bought the rights of Modern Family for Greece and Cyprus and announced a Greek language adaptation, under the name Moderna Oikogeneia, which premiered on March 20, 2014.
- Iran: The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting produced a frame-by-frame remake of Modern Family, entitled Haft Sang, which premiered on June 30, 2014. However, on this version the same-sex relationship between Cam and Mitchell of the original series was replaced by a heterosexual relationship. Also, another thing that has gone AWOL is daughter Haley who, in this version, is replaced by a teenage boy. Also, due to this change, Haley's dim-witted boyfriend Dylan is replaced by a close friend of the teenage boy.