“MODERN FAMILY” (Wednesdays from 9:00-9:30 p.m., ET)
Today‟s American families come in all shapes and sizes. The cookie cutter mold of man + wife + 2.5 kids is a thing of the past, as it becomes quickly apparent in the bird‟s eye view of ABC‟s new half-
hour comedy, “Modern Family,” which takes an honest and often hilarious look at the composition and complexity of family life in 2009.
Take for example Phil and Claire, two parents who want to have that open, healthy, honest relationship with their three kids. It‟s not always easy, especially when you have a teenage daughter who‟s growing up a little fast, a too-smart-for-her-own-good middle daughter and a rambunctious boy.
On top of that, Phil wants to be the “cool dad,” while Claire is just trying her best to run a tight ship,
determined not to let her kids have the rebellious childhood she had.
Then there‟s Jay, a true guys‟ guy who is having a bit of mid-life crisis. Jay has found a much
younger wife, Gloria, who has become the center of his world. She‟s a passionate and sassy divorcee who
comes with an 11-year-old son, Manny. Already taking notice of girls and a hopeless romantic, Manny is as passionate as his mom and spends his time daydreaming and writing poetry. His new step-father isn‟t
altogether comfortable with the sensitive stuff and would like to toughen Manny up. But that‟s only one of Jay‟s challenges. The biggest is that people often mistake him for Gloria‟s father, not her husband.
And lastly there‟s Mitchell and his partner of five years, Cameron. They‟ve just taken that amazing „next step‟ by adopting a child together from Vietnam. Cameron has a wonderfully big personality and maybe a flare for the dramatic, whereas Mitchell is the more serious of the two. But they balance each other out and are already doting fathers.
Life, it seems, is neither tidy, politically correct or in any way predictable. For these three families, it turns out, are not three but one… one big, blended family, with Jay the patriarch and Claire & Mitchell his grown kids. Yet it‟s just such surprises that make things so interesting in this window into the sometimes warm, sometimes twisted embrace of the modern family.
“Modern Family” stars Ed O‟Neill as Jay, Julie Bowen as Claire, Ty Burrell as Phil, Sofía Vergara as Gloria, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell, Eric Stonestreet as Cameron, Sarah Hyland as Haley, Nolan Gould as Luke, Ariel Winter as Alex and Rico Rodriguez as Manny.
The series is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television in association with Levitan Lloyd Productions. Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd are executive producers/creators. The pilot was directed by Jason Winer, who also serves as co-executive producer on the series.
STEVEN LEVITAN, creator and executive producer
Emmy Award winner Steven Levitan began his career in television comedy in 1991 when he became a staff writer on “Wings,” where he remained for four years, moving up the ranks to co-executive
producer. From there he became a co-executive producer on “The Larry Sanders Show” before joining
“Frasier” in 1995, also as co-executive producer. In 1997 he created the hit NBC series “Just Shoot Me,” which he executive-produced for its seven season run. Levitan went on to create the shows “Stark Raving Mad,” “Greg the Bunny,” “Stacked,” “Back to You” and, most recently, “Modern Family.”
A Chicago native and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Levitan began his career in the 1980s as a reporter and morning anchorman for the Madison ABC affiliate.
His list of awards includes an Emmy for his work on “Frasier,” three additional Emmy
nominations for “Just Shoot Me” and “The Larry Sanders Show,” a Humanitas Prize, a CableACE Award and a Writers Guild nomination. He also garnered a Producers Guild Award and a Television Critics Association Award for “Frasier,” a People‟s Choice Award for “Stark Raving Mad” and a Golden Globe nomination for “Just Shoot Me.” His wife, Krista, and their three children are tired of him reminding them about all this whenever he‟s asked to do the dishes.
CHRISTOPHER LLOYD, creator and executive producer
Six-time Emmy Award winner Christopher Lloyd is best known for his work on the hit comedy “Frasier,” where he served as executive producer/showrunner for eight seasons. During his tenure, the sitcom won five consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series, securing its place in television history as the only show to achieve that feat.
Lloyd has been a successful television comedy writer and producer for the past 22 years. He began his career working on the first four seasons of “The Golden Girls,” and went on to produce the long-running comedy “Wings.” More recently he co-created and executive-produced the comedies “Out
of Practice” for CBS and “Back to You” for FOX. In addition to his Emmy Awards, he is the recipient of
a Writers Guild Award, a Golden Globe Award and other honors.
A native of Connecticut, Lloyd lives in Los Angeles with his wife, writer/producer/actress Arleen Sorkin, and their two sons, Eli and Owen.
ABC Media Relations: Yani Chang (818) 460-7405, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photography: www.abcmedianet.com / Photo Hotline: (818) 460-6611
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Jay on ABC’s “Modern Family”
Ed O‟Neill is best known for his role as the main character, Al
Bundy, on the FOX Network‟s long running sitcom, “Married... with
Born in Youngstown, Ohio, O‟Neill attended Ohio University in
Athens, OH, and Youngstown State University. Signed by the Pittsburgh
Steelers, he was cut in training camp and worked a social studies teacher
before becoming an actor. He has appeared in a number of movies,
including “The Bone Collector,” “Little Giants,” “Dutch” and the “Wayne‟s
Besides his role on “Married... with Children,” O‟Neill‟s television credits include the
reincarnation of Sgt. Joe Friday on Dick Wolf's remake of “Dragnet,” the recurring role of Baker (D-PA), a potential Vice Presidential candidate on the NBC drama “The West Wing, ” the role of Detective
Michael Mooney on David Milch‟s CBS series, “Big Apple,” and most recently that of a retired cop on
HBO‟s “John from Cincinnati,” from the creator/producer of “NYPD Blue” and “Deadwood.”
HOMETOWN .............. Youngstown, Ohio
BIRTHDATE ............... April 12
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Gloria on ABC’s “Modern Family”
Sofía Vergara was already one of the hottest Hispanic TV stars and
one of the most beloved personalities of the Latino world when she decided
to pursue her career in the U.S., becoming one of the few Hispanic stars to
find crossover success.
Most recently Vergara has appeared in “Tyler Perry‟s Meet the
Browns” and “Tyler Perry‟s Madea Goes to Jail” for Lionsgate, and on
ABC‟s “Dirty Sexy Money.” Before that she played the sexy Colombian
actress who stirred things up on “Entourage,” starred in “Amas de Casa
Desesperadas,” the Latin-tailored version of “Desperate Housewives,” and in the FOX comedy feature “Chasing Papi.”
Director Barry Sonnenfeld gave Vergara her big break in the U.S. when he cast her as Nina in Disney‟s comedy film, “Big Trouble,” with Tim Allen and Rene Russo. That was followed by a pivotal thdramatic role opposite James Marsden in Anthony Piccirillo‟s independent film, “The 24 Day,” and
opposite Mark Wahlberg and Terrence Howard in “Four Brothers.” On stage she is taking on the role of Matron Mama Morton in the “Chicago” Broadway tour this Spring.
Vergara has graced the cover of over 100 international magazines and hosted dozens of top Hispanic events, each watched by more than 100 million viewers. Her Hispanic television credits include “Fuera de Serie” on Univisión and her own top-rated weekly show, “A que no te atreves” (I dare you).
When she became the host of “La Bomba,” a syndicated music and interview TV show, she caused a ratings explosion.
In 1999 Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú awarded Vergara the Hispanic Woman of the Year Award, commending her leadership skills representing the qualities Latina women have to offer to the world. In 2001 she created “Peace and Hope for the Children of Colombia,” a charity foundation that has helped thousands of children in her country and has donated a pediatric cancer pavilion in her native Barranquilla.
In 2002 Vergara was awarded the Women of Hope Award by the City of Hope Organization as one of the outstanding role models for future generations. In 2007 she was named one of The 25 Most Powerful Hispanic Women in the Entertainment Industry by The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard.
HOMETOWN .............. Barranquilla, Colombia
BIRTHDATE ............... July 10
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JESSE TYLER FERGUSON
Mitchell on ABC’s “Modern Family”
No stranger to television, Jesse Tyler Ferguson received rave
reviews and was honored by The Hollywood Reporter in 2006 as one of
Ten to Watch for his role on the CBS ensemble sitcom, “The Class.”
Additional television credits include “Do Not Disturb” and “Ugly Betty.”
Ferguson‟s film credits include “Untraceable,” directed by Gregory
Hoblit and starring Diane Lane, and “Griffin & Phoenix,” with Amanda
Peet and Dermot Mulroney. He will next appear opposite Matthew
Broderick in “Wonderful World,” a 2009 Tribeca Film Festival selection that marks the feature directorial debut of Joshua Goldin.
Born in Missoula, Montana, Ferguson made the decision to become an actor when he was eight years old, and soon after joined the Albuquerque Children‟s Theater, where he remained a member for six years. After graduating high school, he moved to New York to attend the American Musical and Dramatic
Academy and began performing in Broadway and off-Broadway productions, the most notable of which thwere the critically-acclaimed, Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “The 25 Annual Putnam County
Spelling Bee” (Outstanding Ensemble Performance winner, Drama Desk Awards, 2005) and the Public Theater Shakespeare in the Park production of “A Midsummer Night‟s Dream” (Distinguished
Performance nominee, Drama League Awards, 2008).
Ferguson currently resides in Los Angeles.
HOMETOWN .............. Missoula, MT
BIRTHDATE ............... October 22
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Cameron on ABC’s “Modern Family”
Born and raised in Kansas City, Eric Stonestreet grew up far from
the bright lights of Los Angeles. As a young man raising pigs, he never
would have imagined that he would end up an actor in Los Angeles. But
while at Kansas State University, studying to be a prison administrator, a
friend dared him to audition for the play “Prelude to a Kiss”. Stonestreet
was cast in the play (in the smallest role) and was, as they say, bitten by the
After graduating with a degree in Sociology, he moved to Chicago to study and perform theatre and improv, spending two years doing television commercials and studying with IO Chicago and The Second City before moving further west. While he continued doing commercial work, Stonestreet built an impressive resume of memorable characters on shows including “Dharma &
Greg,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Party of Five,” “Spin City,” “ER,” “The West Wing,” “American
Dad,” “Providence,” “Close to Home,” “Crossing Jordan” and “Bones.” His most notable character is
from his recurring turn as Ronnie Litre, the questionable documents tech on the original “CSI.”
Stonestreet was a series regular in the Fox pilot “13 Graves” and has most recently guest starred in “The
Mentalist,” “N.C.I.S.,” “Nip/Tuck” and “Pushing Daisies.”
On the big screen he played Sheldon, the hotel desk clerk, in Cameron Crowe‟s “Almost
Famous,” and in 2003 he starred in IFC‟S cult classic “Girls Will Be Girls”, which was an official
selection to the Sundance Film Festival.
Over his 13 year career, Stonestreet is most proud of the friends he's made along the way and thankful for the support and encouragement he‟s had from his mother and father. He considers himself
“just a guy from Kansas who is fortunate enough to have opportunities to be on TV”
In his spare time he enjoys playing the drums, taking pictures, driving and nature. He shares his success and Valley Village, CA home with his best friend and right hand man, Coleman Hawkins, his dog.
HOMETOWN .............. Kansas City, KS
BIRTHDATE ............... September 9
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Phil on ABC’s “Modern Family”
Through his ability to effortlessly play roles ranging from classical
Shakespearean to contemporary film, Ty Burrell is quickly establishing
himself as one of the most versatile actors of our time, taking on
challenging roles and carving out a diverse career in movies, television and
In film Burrell recently completed shooting “Fair Game,” opposite
Sean Penn for Doug Liman. He is scheduled to start shooting “Morning
Glory,” opposite Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton. He played Dr. Samson in Universal's ”The Incredible Hulk,” with Edward Norton and Liv Tyler, and was in “National Treasure
2,” opposite Nicolas Cage. Burrell starred opposite Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr. in Steven Shainberg's film “Fur,” about the life of Diane Arbus. He was also seen in Finn Taylor's romantic comedy “The Darwin Awards.”
Other film credits include Nicole Holofcener's “Friends with Money,” opposite Catherine Keener,
Frances McDormand and Jennifer Aniston; David Jacobson's “Down in the Valley,” opposite Edward
Norton and Evan Rachel Wood; the Weitz Brothers' film, “In Good Company,” Ridley Scott's “Black
Hawk Down,” “Dawn of the Dead” (Cannes Film Festival) and Ivan Reitman's “Evolution.”
Burrell recently starred to great reviews in the world premiere of Caryl Churchill's play, “Drunk
Enough to Say I Love You,” at the Royal Court Theatre in London and directed by James MacDonald. His extensive Broadway and Off-Broadway theater credits include starring in the highly acclaimed Signature Theater Off-Broadway production of “Burn This,” opposite Edward Norton, Catherine Keener and Dallas Roberts; starring as Lord Buckingham in the Public Theater's production of “Richard III,” with
Peter Dinklage and directed by Peter DuBois; and starring in Paul Weitz's “Show People,” opposite Debra
Monk and Judy Greer and directed by Peter Askin at Second Stage Theater.
On television Burrell starred in the FOX sitcom, “Back to You,” opposite Kelsey Grammer and
Patricia Heaton. He also recently starred in the half-hour CBS sitcom “Out of Practice,” with Stockard
Channing and Henry Winkler, and has been recurring on the FX series “Damages.”
Burrell resides in New York City and Salt Lake City with his wife.
HOMETOWN .............. Ashland, OR
BIRTHDATE ............... August 22
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Claire on ABC’s “Modern Family”
Julie Bowen was raised in Baltimore, MD, where she caught the
acting bug as a child while putting on plays with her two sisters in their
backyard. She attended Brown University, where she starred in “Guys and
Dolls,” “Stage Door” and “Lemon Sky.” While earning a degree in Italian
Renaissance studies, she also spent a year in Florence, Italy, and became
fluent in Italian.
During her senior year at Brown, Bowen landed the lead role in an
independent film entitled “Five Spot Jewel,” and was featured in actor-
director Ed Burns‟ debut film, “No Visible Bruises.” She guest-starred on the dramatic series “Class of
„96,” then moved to Los Angeles where, within weeks, she landed the lead in the Showtime drama “Runaway Daughters,” directed by Joe Dante.
Bowen was recently seen in a guest star arc on the darkly-comedic Showtime series “Weeds” as
Lisa Ferris, a cheese shop owner who seduces a younger man, and she will soon be seen in “Crazy on the
Outside,” a feature starring and directed by Tim Allen.
Bowen spent two seasons on ABC‟s critically-acclaimed “Boston Legal” as attorney Denise
Bauer. She plays the recurring role of Matthew Fox‟s wife on the hit ABC series “Lost” and, for three
seasons, played Carol Vessey, the dream girl of former classmate-turned-lawyer Ed Stevens on the charming NBC series, “Ed.”
On the big screen she starred as Adam Sandler‟s love interest in the comedy “Happy Gilmore” and appeared with Michael Keaton in ”Multiplicity.” She also starred in “An American Werewolf in
Paris,” performed with Lynn Redgrave in the independent romantic comedy “Venus & Mars,” and starred
opposite Tim Allen in “Joe Somebody.”
In the advertising world, Bowen has been both the face of Neutrogena and the voice of Pampers. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three sons. When she‟s not working, she enjoys hiking,
reading and tutoring high school students.
HOMETOWN .............. Baltimore, MD
BIRTHDATE ............... March 3
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Haley on ABC’s “Modern Family”
Sarah Hyland is a Native New Yorker, born to actors Edward
James Hyland and Melissa Canaday. Trained in all areas of dance from the
age of three and vocally trained since she was seven, Hyland is a true triple
threat. She has been working in film, TV series, soaps and commercials
since she was four years old.
Hyland‟s first film was Howard Stern‟s “Private Parts.” At the age
of eight she landed the role of Molly in ABC‟s “Annie,” and Young Audrey
in “The Audrey Hepburn Story.” After filming “Annie,” she landed the role
of Jess Pistone on “Falcone.” On stage she starred as Annie in “Annie” at Papermill Playhouse, and then
went on to do a series of plays and musicals Off-Broadway and regionally – “Bad Girls,” “A Little
Princess” and “Dark Park of the Forest” to name a few. She‟s guest starred on episodes of “Touched by
an Angel,” “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: SVU.”
While attending the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City, Hyland created the role of Jackie Bouvier in “Grey Gardens” at Playwrights Horizons and moved with the production to make her Broadway Debut. Her most recent work includes the recurring role of Maddie Healy (Brooke Shields‟ daughter) on “Lipstick Jungle” and a tour-de-force guest starring role on “Law & Order: SVU.”
HOMETOWN .............. New York, NY
BIRTHDATE ............... November 24
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Manny on ABC’s “Modern Family”
Rico Rodriguez was born in College Station, Texas, and from birth
through his young boyhood was extremely shy. Little did he know how
drastically his life would change.
In 2005, at the age of six, Rico made the move from Texas to Los
Angeles, California with his mom and sister to support his sister‟s dream of
becoming an actress. After one year of watching his sister having fun and
success, Rico enrolled in acting classes and soon started making a name for
Rico booked his first role in the video “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Next came the role of
Chanchito in the film “Epic Movie,” a super fun role as the kid janitor in the soon to be released “Opposite Day,” and another great part -- including flying cake -- in the upcoming “The No-Sit List.” His
Television credits include co-starring as Young Guillermo in “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Cory in the
House,” “ER,” “‟Til Death,” “iCarly,” “Nip / Tuck,” “Surviving Suburbia” and “NCIS.” He has also has
been seen in commercials for Roundtable Pizza, Time Warner Cable, Dodge, Walmart, BlueCross, Chrysler and AT&T.
Rico is grateful to be living his dream and has a very bright future.
HOMETOWN .............. College Station, TX
BIRTHDATE ............... July 31
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