Modern Family is no longer headed for a nasty divorce. The six adult actors on the show have reached a settlement with 20th Century Fox and ABC to end a contract stand-off that threatened to impede taping for the show’s fourth season. A Fox spokesman confirmed Friday night that the impasse is over, but would not reveal the details.
Actors Sofia Vergara, Ed O’Neill, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson filed a lawsuit to take the matter into court, but it never got that far. Initially Ed O’Neill, the former star of Married With Children, wasn’t part of the suit, but later in the week he decided to join his colleagues in a show of unity.
Christopher Lloyd, executive producer of Modern Family, said he didn’t think the lawsuit would have interfered with production but it’s “great to have that not hanging over our head.” As executive producer, Lloyd oversees the creation of the show but is not responsible for paying the actors, who are paid by the studio and the network. Lloyd said he didn’t think there would be any ill will on the set because the matter was quickly resolved they hace created a “charmed setup.”
Modern Family has been one of the most popular and successful comedies on ABC over the last three years, winning the Emmy Awards for outstanding Comedy Series the past two years, while Burrell, Bowen and Stonestreet have each won individual Emmys for best supporting actors—though this year all six of the adults were nominated for best supporting actor Emmys. The show was nominated for a total of 14 Emmys last year, the most by any sitcom.
their work on the show.
“The particular grounds for the lawsuit are debatable,” Lloyd said. “It was a tactic in negotiations. I don’t think it was ever taken that seriously.”
“It was a step along the way. I think personally our actors got some bad advice,” he said, quickly adding: “I have nothing negative to say about our actors.”