Modern Family Modern Family

Where were you when the Modern Family talent deal finally went down? If you were a member of the Television Critics Association, or one of the creators of ABC's most popular and acclaimed comedy, you were at the network's Friday night post-press tour party. You could actually feel the tension go out of the room — a tension that had clouded much of ABC's TCA day, a major distraction for entertainment president Paul Lee, who tersely deflected questions about cast negotiations during his press session.

None of the Emmy-nominated cast was on hand, and at least two had good excuses. Jesse Tyler Ferguson was opening in the musical The Producers at the Hollywood Bowl, and his co-star/TV partner Eric Stonestreet was merrily posting Tweets of support through the night. But no one expected these unusually public negotiations to halt production — and executive producer Steve Levitan was more than happy to look forward and discuss how well Thursday's two-days-delayed table read went, and how excited he was to be directing (starting Monday) the season opener, which will deal with Gloria (Sofia Vergara) breaking the news of her surprise pregnancy to the rest of the family.

Fun times. And lucrative times for the Dunphy-Pritchetts and their significant others.

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