At last year’s Emmys, three of the “Modern Family” men — Ty Burell, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson — reaped supporting actor bids with Stonestreet winning the award. Ed O’Neill, who plays the patriarch of the Pritchett clan, was snubbed but is a strong contender for a nomination this year. Indeed, our editors and experts think all four of these fellows are in the running.
While “Hill Street Blues” swept the supporting drama actor category in 1982 and four of “The West Wing” menfolk reaped bids in 2002, no comedy series has ever managed more than three nominations. Besides “Modern Family” last year, “Cheers” pulled off a triple play in both 1985 and 1988.
On “Modern Family,” Jesse Tyler Ferguson plays Mitchell Pritchett, who works as a lawyer to support his husband Cameron (Stonestreet) and their adopted Vietnamese daughter Lily. Mitchell is mild mannered and counterbalances Cameron’s flamboyance. When Stonestreet prevailed last year, Ferguson says “I couldn’t help but cry I was so happy for him.” He tells GoldDerby, “we all get along so incredibly well … there was no way there was going to be a three-way tie last year so we were just hoping one of our guys would take home the award.”
Fun-loving Ferguson says it was his female co-stars — Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara — who disappointed him last year. He jokes, “They showed up miserably, they did not take home any awards, they basically handed it off to Jane Lynch … and they better come back ready to win this year.”
The cast of “Modern Family” shared in the recent SAG Award for Best Comedy Ensemble. For Ferguson, “That was the thing, a win was obviously a win for all of us and that’s just a beautiful thing. I can’t believe there’s not a best ensemble Emmy award.”