Sophomore slump? Eric Stonestreet doesn't get it — but assures you it will not apply to Modern Family. "I don't know why people sort of expect you to stumble, but I can tell you that that will not happen with us," he tells TVGuide.com. "We're still going to be great this year."
After premiering last fall to near-universal acclaim, the ABC comedy became a breakout hit, culminating in an Emmy win for comedy series last month that dethroned three-time defending champ 30 Rock. It became only the 10th show to win comedy series for its freshman season and gave ABC its first win in the category since 1988.
"I've said it before and I say it now, not in a conceited, cocky way, but I think our show is really good," Stonestreet, who won the comedy supporting actor Emmy, says. "If we agree to the fact that we give each other awards in this industry, and one of them is for best comedy, I don't think we can be denied a comedy award. We felt really confident about our chances and we felt [proud] of our work. We were happy to win."
Now, as Season 2 premieres, it's time to back up the award and build on the momentum. Stonestreet feels no pressure since the show's philosophy has not changed: write what you know.
"I love that we're telling stories first. It's not, 'Let's do this because this would be hilarious,'" he says. "It's, 'Let's tell this story because it actually happened.' We have writers who are not only funny people, but people who are experiencing exactly what our show is about. ... I learned early on, listening to the writers and creators, when somebody pitched something, they'd say, 'Well, that doesn't really serve the story.' It has to be organic. I can say with a certain amount of certainty that our show is right back where we left off. The stories are hilarious; the situations are hilarious."
Wednesday's premiere will find Cameron (Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) tackling a do-it-yourself project for their daughter, Lily. And yes, it was inspired by one of the writers' experiences. "Mitchell's really dangerous with power tools, but doesn't know it, and he's putting my life in danger," Stonestreet says. As for the other families, Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire (Julie Bowen) are trying to sell their old station wagon that they got when they were first together. And Jay (Ed O'Neill) and Gloria (Sofia Vergara)? "I honestly cannot remember!" Stonestreet says. "But that's the cool thing about our show because it's so simple that they don't have to run the episodes in the order of which we shoot for you to watch and enjoy them. This episode wasn't the original premiere."