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Modern Family
Photo via Hulu

Why did ‘Modern Family’ end – and could it return?

The moment 'Modern Family' ended, everything went to hell.

During a time when revivals and remakes are all the rage in the entertainment world, everything is possible. Amid news of shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force receiving a new season after eleven years off-air, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Modern Family was also shined upon by the TV show revival gods, would it?

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The wholesome mockumentary depicting a peculiar extended family in the suburbs ran for eleven years, comprising 250 episodes in 11 seasons. The show’s devotion from fans and casual watchers never once wavered, as everyone was engulfed in the adventures of this quirky, relatable, and downright hilarious group of people.

Surprising many, the show ended in 2020, leaving a gaping hole in pandemic-homebound fans’ viewing schedule. For others — including the cast — its final episode was an understandably imminent sight.

How did Modern Family end?

The entire Modern Family cast is gathered around in a living room.
Image via Hulu

The show wrapped up with an explanation of what happened to each of the beloved characters. Cam, Mitch, and Lily move to Missouri for Cam’s new job as a football coach. The couple also adopts a baby boy! Luke goes to college, and Manny decides to travel the world with his dad. After the birth of their twins and marriage, Haley and Dylan move into Cam and Mitch’s old house. This leaves Claire and Phil as empty nesters. Jay, Gloria, and Joe are also traveling, as they decide to go to Columbia to explore Gloria’s heritage.

In 2022, Ariel Winter — who played the beloved genius and sarcastic boffin Alex Dunphy — told DigitalSpy her thoughts on the show’s conclusion, bringing out a far too prevalent issue in the television realm. Nearly every TV fan has noticed that some shows do not know when to end, extending their life for far longer than their expiration date. According to the actress, everyone involved in the show wished for that not to be the case with Modern Family, opting to end the show when it felt right.

“It was very sad to see it end, but I think it ended in a great place, because, you know, some shows go on way too long, and then you’re not satisfied with the ending, but you’re like, ‘We have to keep going’ and whatever. Then you’re like, ‘Oh, it didn’t end the way we wanted to’. But I really think we ended at a great time. We had a wonderful run and I think they tied up everyone’s characters really, really nicely.”

Astonishingly, the show was actually supposed to end after its tenth season. As co-creators Steve Levitan and Chris Lloyd shared with The Hollywood Reporter, the duo was inspired to keep going for one more year on air, following the eventful finale of the tenth season. Nonetheless, the decision to call for an ending was hard but carefully planned.

“The best endings are actually beginnings that don’t try to put a period on a series,” Lloyd said, as he hopes “the series is going to live on, the characters are going to live on in the audience’s mind.”

Could Modern Family come back to our screens?

Modern Family
Photo via Hulu

Although a loaded question with a loaded answer, it is unlikely that Modern Family could make its triumphant return to the screen – at least, as a standalone series. While the talk to continue forward with the mockumentary was never in the works, the creators have been seriously pondering the direction of a possible spin-off, with Lloyd telling THR:

“It’s tempting to think about what a spinoff might be. We have had conversations about it and we’ll see if that comes to pass. It would need to be right … We don’t want to do a series just because we want to keep the thing going or because we miss it. It would need to be a solid idea in its own right and that may happen, it may not. But it will get discussed. But it’s a tall order.”

The idea of a spin-off — while at times not well-received by fans who are less than willing to have their favorite series tainted by a sequel — might actually work for Modern Family. For context, the series ended with each character pursuing their dreams, heading on to new adventures in different places. That being said, a spin-off with Haley (Sarah Hyland) and Dylan (Reid Ewing) at Cam and Mitchell’s house, or Manny in France might just become the perfect premise for a future sitcom/mockumentary series in the future.

As of today, there is still — unfortunately — no word on whether a sequel for the show might actually occur. However unlikely it may be, it is possible to return to the screen after a long break. The nebulous world of TV keeps us on our toes with re-boots, renewals, and revivals being constantly announced at a fantastically rapid pace. Everyone’s favorite family might just be back on the screen sooner than you think, perhaps in Columbia, or even in good ol’ Missouri.

Modern Family‘s eleven seasons are available on Hulu.

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Image of Francisca Santos
Francisca Santos
Passionate about gossip, a dedicated music enthusiast, and an unapologetic weeb, Francisca is a freelance writer at WGTG. When she's not writing, she can be found taking her dog on walks, defending BTS' honor, and re-reading 'One Piece'.