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

  • The Bold Type Meghann Fahy

    'The Bold Type' Boss and Star on 'Normalizing Conversations About Gun Control'

    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 […]

  • Streaming Subscribers Overtake Pay-TV Customers for

    Streaming Subscribers Overtake Pay-TV Customers for First Time in the U.K.

    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 […]

  • The Fast and the Furious

    TV News Roundup: Paramount Network Sets Paul Walker Documentary Premiere Date

    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 […]

  • Elena Kampouris Sacred Lies Facebook Watch

    TV Review: 'Sacred Lies' on Facebook 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 […]

  • 2018 FIFA World Cup

    World Cup Final U.S. Ratings Fall From 2014

    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 […]

  • Tales From The Loop

    Amazon Orders Sci-Fi Series 'Tales From the Loop'

    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