Despite spending 11 years watching the Dunphys, Pritchett-Delgados, and Tucker-Pritchett families grow, there are many other details about the Modern Family that viewers may not be aware of. Before ABC’s popular sitcom made its television debut in 2009, there was no other program like it. Seeing three very different families develop and clash on screen was a treat for many families watching at home.
Starring sitcom veteran Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett and Sofia Vergara as his wife Gloria, along with Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen as Phil and Claire Dunphy, respectively, the sitcom ran for 11 seasons until 2020. When the Dunphy, Delgado-Pritchett, and Tucker-Pritchett families were first introduced in the first episode of the award-winning TV show in September 2009, it received overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Thus, every episode of the program was promised to be cleverly funny and sly, with both small and significant life lessons thrown in to give some wholesome entertainment value.
The Untold Story of Modern Family: From Different Title To Cast Choices
You might be shocked to learn that Modern Family was not always known by that name.
The show’s initial title was My American Family, back in the day. The show’s co-creators, Steve Levitan, and Christopher Lloyd, initially thought that this name would accurately capture the essence of their goal to present a relatable sitcom centered on various family dynamics. But as the show developed, it became clear that a shorter, more memorable title would more accurately capture the essence of the program and draw in a larger audience.
In addition, it was initially unclear how many families would be included, according to a 2020 USA Today review of Marc Freeman’s book Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television’s Groundbreaking Sitcoms. But three different households spanning the same extended family eventually got the go-ahead.
Moreover, the USA Today article also listed a few well-known individuals who might have been cast in the show rather than the actors we eventually came to know. One candidate for the role of Jay Pritchett was Craig T. Nelson. Well, we know it was later played by the seasoned actor, Ed O’Neill.
The role of Claire Dunphy, which was played by Julie Bowen, was also open to Leah Remini and Lisa Kudrow. Meanwhile, Millie Bobby Brown’s Strangers Things co-star David Harbour was also a candidate for the role of Phil Dunphy, which Ty Burrell ultimately played.
Another Actor Who Could Have Starred In Modern Family
Matt LeBlanc, who gained worldwide recognition for his performances as Joey Tribbiani in the NBC sitcom Friends and in its spin-off series Joey, was also offered the role of Phil Dunphy in the ABC hit Modern Family.
But he reportedly turned it down because he thought it was not a good fit for him and probably had not been written with him in mind.
LeBlanc once recalled to USA Today that the Modern Family pilot script
“Came across my desk with an offer to play Ty Burrell’s role.”
The Alanis: Walk Away actor, 56, added the following:
“I remember reading it thinking, this is a really good script, (but) I’m not the guy for this. I’d be doing the project an injustice to take this. I know what I can do, I know what I can’t do. Plus, I’m having too much fun laying on the couch.”
The last time LeBlanc appeared in a movie was in the 2014 romantic comedy Lovesick, which was helmed by Luke Matheny. He also made an appearance in Friends: The Reunion, a 2021 reunion special of the popular sitcom Friends.
Modern Family was overwhelmingly praised by critics and viewers alike. Created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, the ABC hit show ran for 11 seasons, from September 23, 2009, to April 8, 2020.
You can stream Modern Family on Hulu, Peacock Premium, and FuboTV.