One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Paley Center for Media’s 27th William S. Paley Television Festival in Los Angeles. Held this year at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, the festival celebrates the excellence and diversity of American television and is dedicated to television’s creative community.

This evening honors "Modern Family,” a "mockumentary" comedy series about the eccentric individuals comprising three inter-related families in Los Angeles. Pat Mitchell (president and CEO, The Paley Center for Media) offers opening remarks about the festival's opening night before acknowledging William C. Paley, son of the festival's namesake. She then introduces moderator Billy Bush(Access Hollywood anchor). Bush brings executive producer/creator Steven Levitan to the stage to set up the episode "Fears," which is then screened in its entirety. (For synopsis and credits, see ACCNUM 101715.)

Following the screening, Bush introduces the panelists: Levitan; co-executive producer/director Jason Winer; and cast members Julie Bowen (Claire Dunphy), Ty Burrell (Phil Dunphy), Sofia Vergara (Gloria Delgado-Pritchett), Ed O'Neill (Jay Pritchett), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Mitchell Pritchett), and Eric Stonestreet (Cameron Tucker). Executive Producer/creator Christopher Lloyd was scheduled to participate but was unable to attend.

Panelists touch on such topics as: if the show has "reinvented" the sitcom genre; when producers realized that the program's elements were "jelling"; O'Neill's transition from sitcom icon Al Bundy on "Married With Children" to his current role; working with the two infants that portray Lily; if playing a gay character affects Stonestreet's dating practices; Bowen's success with long-running television series, including "Ed" and "Boston Legal"; the genesis of Stonestreet's flamboyance when playing Cameron; Burrell's joy in playing a vacuous character; the "secret" to on-screen chemistry for Burrell/Bowen, O"Neill/Vergara, and Ferguson/Stonestreet; how the show's depiction of gay life compares with earlier sitcoms like "Will and Grace"; if Vergara has "opened doors" for other Latina actresses; Burrell's otherworldly experience with a fan in Central Park; and cast members' favorite moments from the show.

Questions from the audience then lead to a discussion of the following topics: why the actors don't pull pranks on each other; Bowen and Vergara being unafraid "to look like a fool"; if Cameron and Mitchell will become "more physical" in coming seasons; the use of guest stars on the show; Burrell's talent for "crunking"; real-life incidents from Levitan's life that find their way into scripts; and why the series is shot in a documentary style.


  • DATE: February 26, 2010 7:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:45:05
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 101038
  • GENRE: Seminars


  • Pat Mitchell … Host
  • Billy Bush … Moderator
  • Steven Levitan … Panelist
  • Jason Winer … Panelist
  • Julie Bowen … Panelist
  • Ty Burrell … Panelist
  • Sofia Vergara … Panelist
  • Ed O'Neill … Panelist
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson … Panelist
  • Eric Stonestreet … Panelist
  • William C. Paley … Guest
  • Christopher Lloyd