Life’s a bitch, and then you die. For the cast of the awards season favorite Modern Family, life is eight consecutive years of Emmy nominations, and now one of you must get the axe.
The show’s co-creator Christopher Lloyd told Entertainment Weekly on Thursday, “We’re handling some bigger life events in this season. We do deal with a death, which is certainly a topic that families have to deal with, and on television, it’s not easy to do because that’s a heavy subject. But at the same time, it would seem unusual for a family not to go through it.”
It’s weird that this fictional family hasn’t already been through a heavy event like that in nine seasons. But Lloyd told EW that the character who dies will be a “significant” one, as if that narrows it down. The series’ structure is such that every character is significant.
So if everyone could possibly die, who’s the most likely? Jay (played by Ed O’Neill), the grandfather and husband to Gloria (Sofia Vergara), seems like the most obvious choice, since he’s the oldest character on the show. Making one of the kids or even one of the middle-aged parents die would feel cruel and out of left field for this generally funny, always keeping-it-moving, sitcom. Pulling that off would take a lot of really great writing, so as to not change the tone of the show completely. Either way, I’m interested to see what the creators will do and how the cast will handle the changes.
Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated that Jay Pritchett plays Ed O’Neill on the show; in fact, the actor Ed O’Neill plays the character Jay Pritchett. This post has been updated and we regret the error.