By Todd McFliker
Modern Family-mania has been sweeping the nation, as it’s been called the funniest show on prime time. Returning to ABC for its second season on September 22nd at 9/8c, the half-hour series takes a humorous look at the satirical American family of the 21st Century. Taped by a Dutch documentary crew for a reality TV series airing in the Netherlands, audiences have learned to expect the unexpected from this hilarious group of relatives.
Earlier this year, Modern Family took home the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Eric Stonestreet won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in Comedy Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series went to Modern Family’s Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd.
Most sitcom watchers will immediately recognize Jay Pritchett, played by Married with Children’s Ed O’Neill. Not unlike Al Bundy, the old-timer delivers plenty of one-liners. Avoiding a midlife crisis, Jay married a smoking hot wife, Gloria, played by Sofia Vergara. The much younger Columbian flower comes with her charming 12-year-old boy, Manny. Jay is also father to Julie Bowen‘s portrayal of Claire, a stay-at-home mother of three who tied the knot with the nerdy Phil, depicted by Ty Burrell. Jay’s son Mitchell lives with his partner Cameron, the award-winning Eric Stonestreet, and the pair have adopted a Vietnamese baby, Lily. The entire ensemble is based in Los Angeles, but certainly likes to travel to hotspots including Hawaii to close out their highly successful freshman season.
The first episode of the second season will entail a minor earthquake that sends Manny into a state of shock. Fortunately, Jay is around to help him cope with the aftermath. And then there’s a new love interest that’s introduced to the preteen. It’s just too bad that his stepmother feels threatened by the new flame. The Birdcage’s flamboyant Nathan Lane also makes a memorable appearance as Pepper, a buddy of Cameron and Mitchell who’s known for his vivid costume parties.
Off the set, Ed O’Neill has been married since 1986 to actress Catherine Rusoff, who appeared in a couple episodes of Married with Children. The couple separated for a few years, but reconciled in the mid-Nineties. The pair now has two daughters. The beautiful Sofia Vergara grew up on her father’s farm with five brothers and sisters. Julie Bowen has two sisters and one half brother. Her older sister is an interior designer who has appeared on Clean Sweep, while her younger sister is a practicing physician at the University of California, San Francisco. Bowen has been married since 2004 and has a 3-year-old boy, Oliver, as well as 1-year-old twin sons, John and Gus. In March of this year, Ty Burrell and his wife happily adopted a baby girl, Frances. Like so many millions of Americans, we are anxious to see what mishaps this contemporary ensemble gets themselves into in the upcoming season of Modern Family.
A newlywed, Todd McFliker is an award-winning reporter, photographer, and the author of All You Need is Love to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. He earned his Masters in Communication from Lynn University.