For a decade, “Modern Family” has opened up a larger conversation about extended family.
And for 10 years, the show has garnered many fans who have grown up with the characters on the show and have even personally identified with them.
As the show goes into its 11th and final season Wednesday night, the cast of one of television’s most-beloved shows opened up to “Good Morning America” and reflected on the impact that the show had on their lives and the audience.
“When people actually like something you do, it’s a positive. And when people like it, and it’s actually good ratings, that’s even better. And if it like, has social ramifications, that’s even more exciting,” said actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson. “I don’t think any of us were expecting to have the impact that it did.”
Since “Modern Family” premiered in 2009, the show has received critical acclaim for building stories around different types of families and tackling issues on parenting, gay marriage and adoption.
Working on a show with those themes in mind has meant a lot for the actors who portrayed the show’s characters.
Ferguson, who portrays Mitchell Pritchett, a gay father to adopted children in the sitcom, said, “Looking for role models on television, not necessarily finding them, I love that we can be that to kids now. And I think it’s been a talking point for a lot of families about what it means to be gay. And I love the relationship. I’m so proud of it — the relationship that Eric and I had created.”
Eric Stonestreet, who plays Cameron Tucker, Ferguson’s partner on the show, said it was important for him to not let his character’s sexuality be the thing that defined him.
“Jesse gave me the very sage advice from the beginning,” said Stonestreet. “He’s like, ‘We’re never gonna please everyone, so just take that off your list of worries.'”
With the impact that the show has had on fans around the world, and years of syndication in its future, it’s no question that “Modern Family” will continue to have a lasting impression on generations to come.
“It’s really brought families together in an age where kids and teenagers can be so separated from their families because of things like social media and phones and computers,” said star Sarah Hyland.
“We all have 10-year-old kids that come up to us and say, ‘Are you the guys on Modern Family?’ That’s the lasting impact — these people are coming up to me that weren’t born when I started this job,” said Stonestreet. “So I have to assume in 10 years there’s gonna be another 10-year-old. And we’re gonna keep making hopefully generations laugh.”
The final season of “Modern Family” premieres on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 9pm on ABC50.