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Modern Family is an American single-camera mockumentary comedy TV series. The half-hour series, which was created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, is produced by Fox Television Studios. The mockumentary follows the families of Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill), his daughter Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen), and his son Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson). While Claire is a homemaker mom in a traditional family, Jay is married to a much younger woman and raising a pre-teen stepson, and Mitchell and his boyfriend have adopted a Vietnamese baby. The show premiered on ABC on September 23, 2009 to critical acclaim.

Cast and characters

The show revolves around three families that are interrelated through Jay Pritchett, his son Mitchell Pritchett and his daughter Claire Dunphy. The families meet for family functions, around the neighborhood, and cross-family bonding.

The Delgado-Pritchett family

  • Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill), patriarch of the family and father of Claire and Mitchell, who is a true guys' guy who is having a bit of mid-life crisis. Married to Gloria and stepfather to Manny, he is much older than Gloria and was mistaken for her father on one occasion. He has many hobbies, he likes watching football (used to be a quarterback in college), constructing model airplanes, and making T-Shirts for special occasions. He is not altogether comfortable with Manny's sensitivity and would like to toughen him up.

  • Gloria Pritchett (née Delgado) (Sofía Vergara), Jay's wife of 6 months, mother of Manny. She has a very thick Colombianmarker accent and is proud of her heritage. She often supports Manny when Jay tells him not to be different. She and Claire do not always get along, for instance Claire called her a "gold-digger" on one occasion, but the two have since agreed to become better friends. She was married before to Manny's birth father Xavier but they got a divorce.

  • Manny Delgado (Rico Rodriguez II), Gloria's son from her first marriage. Manny is very mature and intuitive for his age and is often shown doing adult-like things, such as having conversations with Claire about her marriage and kids, and drinking coffee. Manny also plays for a soccer team and fences. Manny, like his mom, is also proud of his Colombian heritage. He idolizes his absentee father often speaking about him in a positive light.

The Dunphy family

  • Claire Dunphy (née Pritchett) (Julie Bowen), daughter of Jay, and overprotective mother of the Dunphy family. She is seen as an experienced parent by Cameron and Mitchell and they go to her for parenting advice. She enjoys jogging and reading. In high school Claire was head cheerleader and was also part of the Ice-Skating duo 'Fire & Nice' with her brother Mitchell.

  • Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell), Claire's husband of 16 years who sees himself as the "cool dad." He is seen as very competitive, some examples of this would be how he always beats his son at basketball and in one episode he challenges Claire to a race.

  • Haley Dunphy (Sarah Hyland), older daughter of Claire and Phil, who is beginning to date boys. She has a boyfriend, Dylan, who has met her family. She is concerned about her popularity. She is also just starting to drive.

  • Alex Dunphy (Ariel Winter), younger daughter of Claire and Phil, who is very bright, and is the most intelligent of the three siblings. She is often trying to distinguish herself from her older sister. She plays the cello and lacrosse. She is also very future-oriented, for example she chose to play the cello because she would have a better chance at being in a university orchestra. She often takes advantage of her two siblings' naivety and inferior intellect by fooling them into believing unrealistic things. For instance, she convinced Haley that she could charge her cellular phone by rubbing the battery on her head.

  • Luke Dunphy (Nolan Gould), Claire and Phil's rambunctious son. He is seen as a troublemaker. Some examples of this are when he shot his sister with a toy gun and when he got in a fight with Manny at school. He is also thought to be a bit vacuous, because of many questionable actions.

The Pritchett and Tucker family

  • Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), Jay's gay son, and Cameron's partner of five years. He is also one of Lily's fathers. He is not a football fan and enjoys musical theater. He is not ashamed of his homosexuality and usually responds to homophobia (whether real or perceived) by giving "speeches". However, he is sometimes embarrassed by Cameron's flamboyancy. When Mitchell and Claire were young they were in an Ice-Skating duo called 'Fire & Nice', Mitchell was Fire because of his red hair.

  • Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet), Mitchell's partner of five years who has a big personality and is very dramatic, he is also one of Lily's fathers. Cameron collects antique fountain pens, is adept in Japanese flower arrangement, enjoys filming home movies, is a classically trained clown, and was a starting center for the University of Illinois football team (which he and Jay bond over, much to Mitchell's envy). He is also seen as a country bumkin by Mitchell.

  • Lily, the adopted Vietnamese infant daughter of Cameron & Mitchell. Cameron often dresses her up as famous people, such as Diana Ross.

Other characters

  • Dylan (Reid Ewing), Haley's boyfriend, a senior in high school who plays guitar in a band. He likes western films and doesn't mind hanging out with Haley's family.

  • DeDe Pritchett (Shelley Long), Mitchell and Claire's Mom and Jay's ex-wife. Mitchell seems to still be fond of her. It is implied that she was initially more accepting of his sexual orientation than Jay was when he first came out.

  • Sal (Elizabeth Banks), a close friend of Mitchell and Cameron's before Lily. Since Mitchell and Cameron adopted the baby they've drifted apart but later rekindled their friendship when she took them out for a night on the town, where they discover she is jealous of the baby and misses all of the attention. She is a party girl who is known to get drunk.



The series quickly became a priority for ABC after the pilot episode tested high with focus groups, resulting in the network ordering 13 episodes and adding it to the 2009-2010 fall lineup days ahead of ABC's official schedule announcement.

The series was given a full season pickup on October 8, 2009.

Special guest stars

Edward Norton and Elizabeth Banks appeared on the November 18, 2009 episode. Norton played Izzy LaFontaine, the fictional bassist of Spandau Ballet, whom Claire believed to be Phil's favorite band; Banks portrayed Sal, Mitchell and Cameron's old friend and reputed party girl, who takes them out for a night on the town.

Benjamin Bratt will appear as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett's ex-husband. Chazz Palminteri will also guest star.Minnie Driver will also guest star as a friend and former co-worker of Claire’s .Fred Willard will guest star as Phil’s (Ty Burrell) father .

Critical reception

The first season has been met with unanimously positive reviews. It received a 'critically acclaimed Metacritic score of 86/100, with viewers scoring it at a 8.6 out of 10. Entertainment Weekly gave it an A-, calling it "...immediately recognizable as the best new sitcom of the fall...". In Time s review the show was named "the funniest new family comedy of the year." It has also been compared to the 1970s series Soap, in regards to the multiple family aspect, as well as Arrested Development. Some have made comparisons to The Office and Parks and Recreation, due to their mockumentary formats.

U.S. Nielsen ratings

Seasonal ratings

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Modern Family on ABC.

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.

Season Original Airing Rank Viewers

(in millions)
Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season
1 September 23, 2009 May 2010 2009–2010 TBA TBA

Weekly ratings

Order Episode Rating Share Rating/share





1 "Pilot" 7.8 13 4.2/11 12.61 1 1 TBA
2 "The Bicycle Thief" 6.0 10 3.8/10 9.99 1 1 TBA
3 "Come Fly With Me" 5.4 9 3.4/9 8.82 2 2 TBA
4 "The Incident" 5.8 9 3.6/10 9.35 2 3 TBA
5 "Coal Digger" 5.4 8 3.4/9 8.66 3 4 TBA
6 "Run For Your Wife" 5.5 8 3.7/9 9.33 2 3 TBA
7 "En Garde" 5.3 8 3.5/9 8.77 2 4 TBA
8 "Great Expectations" 5.4 9 3.7/10 9.16 2 3 TBA
9 "Fizbo" 4.1 7 2.4/7 7.12 TBA TBA TBA
  • Episode 9 aired on Thanksgiving Eve in which most of the original shows hit series lows.

International broadcasters

|Network Ten
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|yes stars
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|colspan="1" rowspan="2"|Sky 1
|colspan="1" rowspan="2" align="center"| 1
|colspan="1" rowspan="2" align="center"|
|align="center"| 1
Country Broadcaster Season Premiere


Press Releases

External links

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