Gloria's Pregnancy! Haley's Exit! 10 Questions with Modern Family Boss Steve Levitan
Sofia Vergara and Ed O'Neill
That wasn't a fake-out in Modern Family's season finale: Gloria really is pregnant, and Jay really will be a father once again.
When the Emmy-winning comedy returns Wednesday (9/8c on ABC), Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and Jay Jay (Ed O'Neill) will reveal the big news to the Dunphy-Pritchett clan. In a moment of symmetry, the Dunphys will be dealing with the loss of one of their children, as Haley (Sarah Hyland) departs for college. To get the scoop on the new season, TVGuide.com talks to series co-creator Steve Levitan, who also clears up the recent Romney jab.
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1. Gloria's pregnant! How are she and Jay dealing with that?
Steve Levitan: The first episode of the season is actually the next day and it's everybody finding out about it, and how everyone reacts to that information. Then, throughout the course of the season, there are just a lot of different stages in pregnancy that we play, such as dealing with an ever-growing Gloria and her increasing discomfort, dealing with those kinds of issues, and also just their general preparation for the baby; not only theirs, but also Manny's (Rico Rodriguez).
2. Will Jay be having a hard time with Gloria's pregnancy this year?
Levitan: I don't think that necessarily sums it up. You know, there are good days and bad days, just like in anything else, just like in life.
3. Will Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) be jealous? And are they really taking a break from trying to adopt?
Levitan: That is touched upon in the first episode. I think that all we're saying at this point is that they are taking a break, and it can go in any number of directions. Needless to say, it's an emotional thing that they go through in the first episode.
4. There's always been great comedy in the fact that Manny is Claire (Julie Bowen) and Mitch's stepbrother. How will they react to having an even younger sibling on the way?
Levitan: You know, there's a little bit of that. It's odd obviously when your father, deep into his 60s, has another baby. I think that brings up odd feelings. We try to deal with it in a number of different ways, but we don't want it to completely dominate the season, because that would get a little boring, so we deal with a lot of different issues this season. You know, Haley goes to college, for example, so there are a number of different story lines that we'll follow along.
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5. How does Haley fit into the show now that she's away at college?
Levitan: We see her the same way that I see my daughter, who is off to college, through video chat and FaceTime and all that, and then there are some episodes where she's gone, because that's part of life.
6. They still have Luke (Nolan Gould) and Alex (Ariel Winter) around, but this is the first time in about 18 years that they haven't had three kids under their roof. How are Claire and Phil (Ty Burrell) enjoying that?
Levitan: Well, we do an episode that deals with how the dynamics change when Haley is gone, but I don't know that they celebrate. Life goes on, and they still have two young kids, so they're not empty nesters.
7. And how does Alex feel with Haley gone? Haley was always the popular one, with Alex the geeky one. Do we see her fill a new role this year?
Levitan: We definitely see one aspect of that and how it affects her relationship with Claire.
8. If last season you were heading toward graduation and the possible adoption, what is this season heading toward? The birth?
Levitan: We're planning on the baby being born somewhere around the halfway point of the season. We have a vague notion of finishing with a very interesting trip, but we don't know for sure if that'll happen.
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9. Have you actually heard back from Ann Romney after offering to have her officiate Cam and Mitchell's wedding... once it's legal?
10. If she really took you up on that offer...
Levitan: Yes. Listen, from the bottom of my heart I'm very happy that the Romneys watch our show. I think that people with differing points of view find common ground in Modern Family is very flattering, and I'm appreciative of that.
Modern Family returns Wednesday at 9/8c on ABC.