By Jackie O’Rourke
ABC said goodbye to its long-running sitcom “Modern Family” on April 8. The series finale aired Wednesday night at 9 p.m., as did every new episode during the show’s eleven season run.
According to Deadline, 7.43 million people watched the finale as it aired.
“Our cast and crew were always phenomenal and we very quickly grew to be a real life #modernfamily I will miss these people tremendously but am so grateful I was lucky enough to work with them,” said actress Sarah Hyland, who played Haley Dunphy on the show, in an Instagram post earlier that day.
Prior to airing the actual finale, ABC aired a behind-the-scenes documentary of the making of the show called “A Modern Farewell” at 8 p.m.
ABC’s website described the documentary as “exploring the 11-year run of the iconic series, from the writing and casting of the pilot, all the way up to the final table read; exclusive interviews and reflections with the cast and crew.”
“My family on and off screen forever. What an amazing 11 years! So thankful for this family, the crew and all of our #modernfamily fans,” said Sofia Vergara, who played Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the show, on Instagram.
Gloria was Vergara’s breakout role as an actress. A 2016 article from Variety.com stated that, “Sofia Vergara is the reigning queen of television. The ‘Modern Family’ star is the world’s highest-paid TV actress for the fifth year in a row.”
The show first premiered on ABC on September 23, 2009. “Modern Family” followed a fictional extended family and their shenanigans.
The patriarch, Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neil), and his immediate family consisted of his second wife, Gloria (Sofia Vergara), Gloria’s son, and Jay’s stepson, Manny (Rico Roderquiz). During the show, Gloria and Jay welcome a son together named Joe (Jeremy Maguire).
Jay’s daughter, Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen), and her husband Phil (Ty Burrell) have three children: Hayley (Sarah Hyland), Alex (Ariel Winter) and Luke (Nolan Gould). Haley eventually got married to her long-time boyfriend on the show, Dylan (Reid Ewing), and they welcome twins.
“The kids really do mark how long the show has been in our lives and on television,” said Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who played Mitchell on the show, in the documentary.
Jay’s son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his partner Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) adopt a daughter named Lily (Aubrey Anderson Emmons) during the show’s first episode in season one and eventually got married during the show’s fifth season. During the finale, they moved into a new home with Lily and a newly adopted baby boy.
During the documentary, Tyler Ferguson said, “The wedding episode was probably the pinnacle of this whole experience for me.” The episode aired a full year before same-sex marriage was legalized in all fifty states of the U.S. by Supreme Court in 2015.
“The show ‘Modern Family’ is beloved by so many Americans,” said talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, in a clip from his show featured in the documentary.
“Modern Family” has won 22 Emmy Awards, including the award for “Outstanding Comedy Series” five times in a row from 2010 to 2014. Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell all won multiple Emmys in the acting categories for their roles on the show.
“Thank you to my fake family. I love you,” said Julie Bowen on Instagram on April 8.
“The documentary was cool to watch. Seeing behind the scenes was amazing. I’m really going to miss the show.,” said senior Sam Zietara.
Even though new episodes will no longer air on ABC, “Modern Family” reruns are played often on the USA Network, and each season is available for purchase on Amazon Prime Video for $9.99 each. Season 11 is also available to stream on Hulu and ABC.com.