MODERN FAMILY: Every Episode, Every Rating

It's time to flip the final family photos.  A show founded on clever observational humor, Modern Family leaves the air on April 8, 2020.  Irony lies in Modern Family debuted when the world was down in the dumps, and now shall leave the same way.  2009 saw America plunged into recession/depression, and 2020 now features a minor setback as a world pandemic shuts down the economy.  Modern Family was the right show to be displayed during the ups and downs of its 2009-20 run.

Though clever and witty, Modern Family remained void of cynicism with little room for negativity.  This was the comfort food America needed through turbulent times featuring dreadful economies, people using an election as an excuse for poor behavior and as mentioned a health scare.  There were seldom heavy issues front and center with the Pritchetts, other Pritchetts and Dunphys.  Take a stroll through 250 episodes worth of data scattered across 11 seasons.

To see how Modern Family rated year to year against its competition, cruise through TVRG's Ratings History database as it has television data from 1950 through the present!

Seasons 1-6 (2009-15)

Seasons 7-11 (2015-20)

Modern Family existed as one of the rare unicorns last seen in the 2010's on broadcast networks.  Not only did it never stray from its plum 9:00 Wednesday timeslot, but it managed to grow long after its premiere.  The end of season 1 staked out a season high, followed by progressive improvements during season 2.  Modern Family's season 3 premiere stood as the landmark season high with a 6.2 18-49 adult demographic ratings, exactly 2 points above its premiere.  It seemed ABC had located its next "it show."   However, ABC holds a curse of exploitation, taking rare anomalies and saturating them to being useless.

This pattern has been displayed throughout its history with series such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire 3-5 nights a week in the early 2000's.  This saturation hit Modern Family with the first 6 seasons with 24 episodes, a full two episodes more than the average order for shows during its era.  Seeing MF as their version of CBS' The Big Bang Theory (whom MF outrated in the 2011-12 season), ABC attempted to plug reruns of Modern Family in any available timeslot with lukewarm results.  ABC trimmed the orders to normal in season 7, but by season 9, most shows displayed between 16-18 episodes.

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0

Here's simple math as Modern Family was one of the few shows of the 2010's to experience a broad array of ratings during its run.  Each demographic bar (3.0, 4.0, 5.0, etc) it crossed created dramatic results.  So when was the first and last time Modern Family saw its ratings begin with these numbers?  Take a peak:

6: The 6.0 bar was a rare unicorn for Modern Family to ride on September 21, 2011, the first (and last) time the series would ever see these beautiful numbers with matching 6.0 and 6.2 ratings.

5: Modern Family experienced beautiful growth during season 2 and crossed the 5.0 threshold at its debut on September 22, 2010.  The same glory would flee the series 2 seasons later on September 26, 2012 with a 5.5 rating.

4: A standard family number, Modern Family's September 23, 2009 debut registered at a welcome 4.2.  4's remained auspicious to Modern Family until October 16, 2013 as it delivered its final 4.1.

3: Less exciting but respectable, Modern Family's first half of its run mingled regularly with ratings above 3.0.  And numerically odd, the first and last time MF saw 3's was on September 30 in 2009 and 2015, respectively.

2: A symbol of shame in the beginning (to ordinary in the mid-2010's, and extraordinary in the late 2010's), 2's were strewn everywhere for much of the run.  A symbol of shame when it arrived November 25, 2009 (Thanksgiving Wednesday), Modern Family was begging for 2's by 2017, with the last rating above 2.0 being sighted on September 27, 2017.

1: 2017 was a year which shifted Modern Family from exceptional to ordinary.  It cracked below the 2.0 bar on March 8, 2017.  And thankfully, ratings with a 1 arrived for April 1, 2020.

0: Modern Family a fractional sitcom?  Few believed this would have ever happened, but October 9, 2019 lowered the bar further.  And thankfully, March 18, 2020 is the last time Modern Family shall ever go fractional.

Check out the EVERY EPISODE, EVERY RATING LIBRARY to see other shows profiled.

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