As they often say, “all good things must come to an end.” This adage has held true in television programming consistently over time. Even the best shows eventually come to an end, and it seems that Modern Family has finally run its course. Based on the preliminary discussions surrounding the ending of the series, it does not appear that the show fell victim to a waning audience as much as it did a dwindling budget. According to the creators of the showrunners, the decision was made to end the show after the 10 seasons – primarily due to the fact that pushing the show beyond 10 seasons would require the network to renegotiate new contracts with the majority of the cast members – something that would prove to be quite costly.
The news about ending the show came after the 200th episode of the show was aired in front of 5.8 million viewers. While 5.8 million viewers are nothing to scoff at, it falls short of what the show had produced in past seasons. When the show was at its apex, it was consistently attracting 14-plus million viewers each week. Additionally, the show also won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series for five consecutive years.
According to some industry experts, it is simply a case in which the show’s storyline had run its course. Every show starts out with an expected or dictated arc, and Modern Family has far exceeded its initial arc. As a story creator and showrunner, one thing you do not want to do is build a reputation for staying past your welcome. The idea is to pull the show while leaving the viewing audience still wanting more. You don’t want to be asked to leave by way of poor viewership.
While losing over half of the apex viewership is something to be considered, the bigger issue is that most of the cast is up for new contracts and they are in a position to ask for considerably more money. The additional cost is not justified based on viewership, but the actors definitely deserve the raises. The chance of getting all the cast to bypass pay increases is highly unlikely and if one takes a raise then all will want to follow suit.
To give an idea of what the show is paying its cast, Sofia Vergara earned $41.5 million dollars last year. In fact, Vergara has been listed as Forbes highest paid television actress for five consecutive years. Even the child actors on the show net $100,000 per episode. The show has been an Emmy producing machine over the years, with Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, and Eric Stonestreet all earning Emmys for their work on the show.
Before you become too sad based on the new of the end of the show, this season may not mark the end of the Pritchett family as there are talks of launching a spinoff of the show that will continue the current storylines. This type of spinoff may be exactly what is needed to order to spark interest in the show. Television is a very busy market right now – making it very challenging to grab and hold the attention of the viewers.