Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television's Groundbreaking Sitcoms

Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television's Groundbreaking Sitcoms

by Marc Freeman


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An oral history, with the full participation of cast and crew, of one of the most popular sitcoms in television history.

Since premiering in 2009, the groundbreaking television sitcom Modern Family has garnered tens of millions of devoted fans, earning 75 Emmy nominations and 22 Emmy Awards, including five in a row for Outstanding Comedy Series (one of only two sitcoms to ever achieve that feat). Professors have written about it. Psychologists have lectured on it. Leading publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, have explained their love for it. With funny, heartfelt and relatable stories about family, Modern Family has gained a worldwide following of hundreds of millions of viewers in countries as diverse as England, Israel, The Netherlands, Germany, and South Africa.

As much as people love the show, few know the stories behind it. How did a kernel of an idea by Emmy-winning writers Steve Levitan and Chris Lloyd morph into a television juggernaut? Where did they find the cast? How did they come up with story ideas and film favorite episodes? What went on behind the scenes? Up until now, there have been individual stories and interviews about the show, but nothing comprehensive that captures the complete story of the series.

Marc Freeman's Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television's Groundbreaking Sitcoms is the only major book ever written that explores this show as told by those who created it. More than seventy people, including the entire cast, crew, and creators, detail the full history of this iconic sitcom. The cast recalls their memories of the trials and tribulations of casting. They share their impressions from the first table read through the last light turning out. Writers, directors, and performers walk readers through storylines, production and favorite episodes. Guest stars such as Elizabeth Banks, Josh Gad, Adam Devine, Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane recall their appearances on the show while others recount their experiences working with Kevin Hart, Barbara Streisand, Ed Norton and more. Readers get to go behind the scenes and experience the show like never before, including personal photos. They’ll also discover the never-told fallout and divorce of the two showrunners, making the show two separate series blended into one. Even people unfamiliar with the show will gain deep insight into what it takes to put a series on television.

Typically, oral histories come out as retrospectives, based entirely on recall. This one will have the benefit of having the ending occur in real-time. From script development to final season (the 11th season will be the show's last) readers will get a glimpse of the cast’s relationships with each other and the emotions attached to saying goodbye to the best and longest-running workplace many of them expect to ever experience. Much like the series itself, this book shares a story of family, of conflict and collaboration, that went into this timeless, groundbreaking series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250260031
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/19/2020
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 102,182
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.20(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

MARC FREEMAN is a freelance writer for publications including Vanity Fair, The Hollywood Reporter, and Slate. He has written a series of critically acclaimed oral histories on many groundbreaking television shows, including M*A*S*H, Frasier, Cheers, and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Table of Contents


Introduction -The Long Goodbye

The Alliance

First Days

Written in the Stars

Diamond in the Rough (Mini chapter)

Not in My House

Family Portrait

The Wow Factor (Mini Chapter)

Tough Love

Coal Digger

Kids These Days

I Don’t Know How She Does It

Phil on Wire

The Future Dunphys

Best Men Part 1

Best Men Part 2

Great Expectations


The Verdict

Unplugged (Mini Chapter)

Under Pressure


Hawaii (Mini Chapter)

Lifetime Supply

Chirp (Mini Chapter)


Connection Lost

Perfect Pairs

This Old Wagon

Ed O’Neill’s Book of Acting (Mini Chapter)

Do You Believe in Magic

Caught in the Act

We need to talk about Lily

Dude Ranch


Express Yourself

Grab it (Mini Chapter)

Baby on Board

Phil’s Sexy, Sexy House (Mini Chapter)

Las Vegas


The Wedding

Game Changer

The Great Debate

Truth be Told

Brushes With Celebrity

Queer Eyes, Full Heart


Crazy Train (Mini Chapter)

The Day We Almost Died


Message Received

Knock ‘em Down

Torn between two lovers

The Last Christmas


A Moving Day


The Family


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