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Lloyd & Levitan: ‘Family’ ties mine comedy gold

Comedy Impact Report 2010: Tube Titans

Sitcoms were supposed to be on the wane, so when “Modern Family” debuted last fall on ABC, expectations were modest. One year later, with an Emmy for best comedy series along with a Golden Globe and the SAG ensemble award in hand, the atmosphere around the show is altogether different.

“The resurgence of comedy was going to happen anyway, but we’ll take the credit, yes,” co-creator Christopher Lloyd says, laughing. Adds co-creator Steven Levitan, “You get blamed for things you don’t deserve, so it evens out. No one said Hollywood was ever fair.”

“Modern Family” has been scoring with audiences, too, drawing more than 14 million viewers a week to rank 13th for the season. TV vets Lloyd (“Frasier”) and Levitan (“Just Shoot Me!”) partnered in 2006 under the Picture Day banner. Their first show, the newsroom comedy “Back to You,” didn’t make it past its first season, despite great reviews.

“You don’t ever know what the moment is, whether you’re casting just that right last person or telling just the right sort of story, but something suddenly happens where the thing feels charmed,” Lloyd says. “We’re not questioning it. We’re grateful. But you do scratch your head a bit and wonder, ‘Why this one?'”

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