There are a lot of reasons not to take morning news seriously, but my favorite might be how happily they shill for their networks' primetime lineups.

Once, an idiotic gimmick like "Good Morning America" sponsoring a search for a "real American 'Modern Family'" — tying in with the ABC sitcom — would have been an object of derision. Now, it's the kind of thing that scarcely arouses notice except from curmudgeons like, well, me.

In case you missed it, here's the announcement:

Modernfamily Quirky, funny, unique, different… what makes a family a “modern family?” Beginning today, ABC’s “Good Morning America” has teamed up with ABC’s hit show “Modern Family” in search of a real modern American family. Millions of fans tune in each week to “Modern Family,” and many see parallels to their own families. It’s time for them to tell “GMA” why their family stands out.

How: Starting today, viewers can log on to and tell “GMA,” in 250 words or less, why their family is a one-of-a-kind modern family. Submissions can include family photographs. During the week of February 14, the top three families will be profiled on “GMA.”

Additionally, “GMA” will travel to the set of “Modern Family” the week of February 14 to give viewers an exclusive, all access, behind-the-scenes look at the popular hit show, including candid, off-beat interviews with members of “Modern Family’s” cast.

But why stop there? ABC has lots of shows just ripe — if you're willing to bleed fiction into reality — for such "real American" searches. Listen up, "GMA," we've got gold for you:

"Real Grey's Anatomy" — The search for a hospital where every single doctor and resident has slept with at least two co-workers.

"Real Cougar Town" — Actually, I think this is already on Showtime. Or should be.

"Real No Ordinary Family" — Find an average American family with super-powers. Go ahead. We'll wait.

"Real Castle" — Come to think of it, that might be a pretty good show for Investigation Discovery or A&E.

"Real Detroit 1-8-7" — I think that's called "Cops."

"Real Private Practice" — See "Real Grey's Anatomy."

"Real V" — Find an alien invasion intent on colonizing Earth and turning us all into half-lizard hybrids. Go ahead. We'll wait.

"Real Desperate Housewives" — Otherwise known as Bravo.





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