Modern Family Likely to End in 2019

Written Seeing an End of an Era by Bridger Cunningham

2019 seems to be a year which will change the dynamics of sitcoms as we know it.  In recent weeks, The Big Bang Theory's Johnny Galecki stated during his TCA appearance that The Big Bang Theory will likely end next year.  Now, showrunners declared they intend for ABC's Modern Family to also end in 2019 after a 10-year run.  Creators Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd stated ending the series would also coincide with the actors' contract cycles, but also allow the series to exit before the audience dwindles.

The critically-acclaimed series, which followed the three family households of the Pritchetts and Dunphys (and the bloated cast to follow suit), has been a landmark series for ABC as it carried them through lean ratings seasons.  It also helped the network reclaim the eroded sitcom block as the 2000's exhibited a lack of demand for comedies vs. the trendy reality TV. Modern Family, whose recent seasons have experienced erosion common with an aging series, draws in a 1.73 Live 18-49 Adult rating.  Modern Family debuted with a solid 3.9 in 2009, well under ratings juggernaut The Big Bang Theory's 5.3.  The following season, the dynamics shifted as MF accelerated to a 4.8 and The Big Bang Theory dropped to a 4.4.

By the 2011-12 season, Modern Family carved out its series high (6.4), as well as finishing the season in 5th place with a 5.54 L+7 rating.  The Big Bang Theory pushed past MF 's ratings in 2012, but the spoils continued for the sitcom, reaching 4th Place in the 2013-14 season with a 5.64 rating.  Since reaching that benchmark, ratings erosion for both shows has been ongoing, with 2017 marking the first time the series dropped below the 2.0 mark for Modern Family.  They still rule their respective networks, and will poetically bow out during the same era and timeframe.

Despite the news of the series ending, showrunners have hinted at a potential spinoff/continuation in development.  Given the large ensemble cast, writers and developers have a rich development bed to continue the series.

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