TV Weekly

November 09, 2013

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2 | Cover story Staying alive T HE S UNDAY G AZETTE M AIL | N OVEMBER 10, 2013 Five seasons in, 'Modern Family' keeps on trucking By Jacqueline Spendlove TV Media S itcom fans rejoice:the format isn't dead yet.Bearing in mind that it's a genre that goes back 75 years (yes, way back to radio),it's a miracle that anyone is still able to bring something new and fresh to the table.Is it any great surprise that so many attempts at the halfhour comedies flop within the first season? How refreshing then — particularly for those who spurn the reality shows that are currently devouring prime time — when a sitcom not only survives but thrives well beyond its first season. "Modern Family,"which airsWednesdays onABC,has accomplished such a feat and is now in its fifth season. The series became an instant favorite following its 2009 debut,for which 12.6 million viewers tuned in.Since then,the show has enjoyed immense popularity and has been amongWednesday night's top shows in the critical demographic of adults aged 18 to 49.It's received 57 Emmy nominations and taken home 18 of the awards,including Outstanding Comedy Series four times running — every season it's aired.It's also won other Emmys for Outstanding SupportingActor forTy Burell and Eric Stonestreet and Outstanding SupportingActress for Julie Bowen,and in 2012,the series also took home the Golden GlobeAward for Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy, among many more accolades. "Modern Family"follows the members of three distinct family units,all connected as part of a larger blended family. Jay (Ed O'Neill,"MarriedWith Children") is the patriarch of the brood and is married to his much younger second wife,a voluptuous Colombian firecracker named Gloria (SofiaVergara,"The Knights of Prosperity"),who is mother to a wise-beyond-his-years son named Manny (Rico Rodriguez,"Babysitters Beware,"2009). Jay's grown daughter,Claire (Julie Bow- Sofia Vergara stars in "Modern Family" en,"Boston Legal"),is a stay-at-home After four solid seasons,of course,any mother of three in a traditional family series is in danger of running out of with her husband Phil (Ty Burrell,"Out of steam,and"Modern Family"can't venPractice").Claire's brother,Mitchell (Jes- ture too far from the structure it's folseTyler Ferguson,"The Class"),and his lowed to date.As the series is presented partner,Cameron (Eric Stonestreet, in a mockumentary style,the storylines "CSI"),are loving fathers to Lily (Aubrey must stay within the scope of the believAnderson-Emmons),whom they adopted able.The show's writers face the weekly fromVietnam as a baby in the series challenge of depicting real-life scenarios opener. while making ordinary events comedic. Reception has remained generally pos- The humor comes from the characters' itive for the series,which recently aired its various eccentricities and the way they 100th episode.Yet what goes up must approach and deal with everyday situacome down,at least once in a while.Rat- tions. ings for this year's hour-long season preIn fact,the concept came from creators miere,which aired Sept.25,were down Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan ex25 per cent from last year's.With a dechanging stories about their families and crease of nearly two million viewers and realizing that those stories could be the more than a point among adults in its de- foundation of a show.The idea is to give mographic from the previous season,this an"honest and often hilarious look into year marked the show's least-watched the sometimes warm,sometimes twistseason premiere so far. ed,embrace of the modern family." 8 million pageviews. 2.3 million unique visitors Online advertising with Is a BIG DEAL 3 x 3" Contact: Rich West 304-348-1744 From the list below, find each word and circle its letters in the puzzle to reveal the message relating to this week's theme. 1930s Movies BEAU GESTE BIG TRAIL BLUE ANGEL BORN TO DANCE CHAMP DUCK SOUP FURY G MEN GONE WITH THE WIND HEIDI HOLIDAY IN NAME ONLY JEZEBEL KING KONG LITTLE WOMEN LOST PATROL MAD LOVE MANNEQUIN MIDNIGHT MUMMY RAFFLES RED DUST SARATOGA SECRET AGENT SLIM STAGE DOOR SUEZ SUZY TARZAN TOP HAT TOPPER WIZARD OF OZ

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