Levitan’s “Modern” miracle

ABC’s comedy showrunners Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline (“The Middle”), Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) and Bill Lawrence (“CougarTown”) had reason to smile at the Television Critics Assn. panel Tuesday afternoon.

 

All three shows were picked up for a second season. The announcement was made to the assembled scribes by ABC topper Steve McPherson in the morning – and the exec producers learned of the pickups via Twitter and word of mouth.

 

Maybe that wasn’t the best way to communicate the good news, but certainly it wasn’t unexpected. All three shows – especially “Modern Family” – got off to a great ratings start and has continued its momentum.

 

Levitan reflected on how, after being hurt by Fox’s cancellation of “Back to You” last season, the success of this show – both critically and in the ratings — is a bit overwhelming.

 

“It’s been a dream year and could never have expected this. I had half given up that something like this was possible anymore. After having experienced ‘Back to You,’ having a show canceled rips your heart out. I’m thoroughly feeling both surreal and soaking in every single second of this year.”

 

Levitan credits much of the success to the cast. With an image of Al Bundy (“Married … With Children”) in his mind, Levitan saw Ed O’Neill in a David Mamet play and “thought he was phenomenal. He’s settled beautifully into the role and I don’t think people are questioning (the relationship) between him and (Sofia Vergara) anymore.”

 

Speaking on the state of the TV comedy business, Lawrence said too much is made of multicam vs. single-cam sitcoms. Only critics really distinguish between the two, he added, and it’s the script that differentiates between shows that succeed or fail, not the format.

 

“Nobody except the people in this room care about that,” he said. “(Others just) want to know if it’s a good show.”

More TV

  • A CHRISTMAS STORY LIVE!: L-R: Cast

    TV Review: 'A Christmas Story Live' on Fox

    ABC’s comedy showrunners Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline (“The Middle”), Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) and Bill Lawrence (“CougarTown”) had reason to smile at the Television Critics Assn. panel Tuesday afternoon.   All three shows were picked up for a second season. The announcement was made to the assembled scribes by ABC topper Steve McPherson in the […]

  • netflix-the-little-prince

    Mediawan Closes In on Acquisition of Dimitri Rassam's ON Kids & Family

    ABC’s comedy showrunners Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline (“The Middle”), Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) and Bill Lawrence (“CougarTown”) had reason to smile at the Television Critics Assn. panel Tuesday afternoon.   All three shows were picked up for a second season. The announcement was made to the assembled scribes by ABC topper Steve McPherson in the […]

  • Chris MatthewsTime 100 Gala, New York,

    Female Staffer Who Accused Chris Matthews of Sexual Harassment Received Severance from NBC

    ABC’s comedy showrunners Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline (“The Middle”), Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) and Bill Lawrence (“CougarTown”) had reason to smile at the Television Critics Assn. panel Tuesday afternoon.   All three shows were picked up for a second season. The announcement was made to the assembled scribes by ABC topper Steve McPherson in the […]

  • SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1734

    'SNL': Alec Baldwin's Donald Trump Declares 'The War on Christmas Is Over' (Watch)

    ABC’s comedy showrunners Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline (“The Middle”), Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) and Bill Lawrence (“CougarTown”) had reason to smile at the Television Critics Assn. panel Tuesday afternoon.   All three shows were picked up for a second season. The announcement was made to the assembled scribes by ABC topper Steve McPherson in the […]

  • Rupert Murdoch

    21st Century Fox Clarifies Rupert Murdoch's 'Nonsense' Remark About Fox News Sexual Harassment

    ABC’s comedy showrunners Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline (“The Middle”), Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) and Bill Lawrence (“CougarTown”) had reason to smile at the Television Critics Assn. panel Tuesday afternoon.   All three shows were picked up for a second season. The announcement was made to the assembled scribes by ABC topper Steve McPherson in the […]

  • HBO Documentary President Sheila Nevins Stepping

    HBO Documentary President Sheila Nevins Stepping Down

    ABC’s comedy showrunners Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline (“The Middle”), Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) and Bill Lawrence (“CougarTown”) had reason to smile at the Television Critics Assn. panel Tuesday afternoon.   All three shows were picked up for a second season. The announcement was made to the assembled scribes by ABC topper Steve McPherson in the […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Sets Up Scramble for

    Disney-Fox Deal Unleashes Flood of Free-Agent Executives, Talent

    ABC’s comedy showrunners Eileen Heisler, DeAnn Heline (“The Middle”), Steve Levitan (“Modern Family”) and Bill Lawrence (“CougarTown”) had reason to smile at the Television Critics Assn. panel Tuesday afternoon.   All three shows were picked up for a second season. The announcement was made to the assembled scribes by ABC topper Steve McPherson in the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content