Steven Levitan Q&A: ‘Modern Family’ co-creator
"We are just so ridiculously grateful, and I really do feel like our cup has runneth over," says "Modern Family" co-creator Steven Levitan about the possibility of setting a record at this year's Emmys with a sixth Best Comedy Series trophy. In our recent webcam chat, he adds, "If it happens, it will be amazing for us but I certainly have no expectations."
Last year, the show tied "Frasier" with five victories in this top category. No other comedy or drama series can claim more than four wins. It was a particularly special moment for Levitan, who also worked on that classic series for two years, while current producing partner Christopher Lloyd was the showrunner on the series for eight years. Levitan won one Emmy on "Frasier" while Lloyd earned five trophies.
In this sixth season of the hit ABC laffer, one episode — "Connection Lost" — took much longer to produce and edit because it was shot completely using FaceTime, iMessage, computers, phones, and other social networking devices. The plot has Claire (Julie Bowen) stuck at an airport trying to find her missing daughter (Sarah Hyland). Over the course of 30 minutes, she is on her computer talking with her husband (Ty Burrell), brother (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), father (Ed O'Neill), and the rest of the family.
The segment is on the Emmy ballot twice for Levitan, who directed it and co-wrote it with Megan Ganz. Of the difficulty in putting together such an ambitious episode, he says, "I half expected it to fail. We would give it some time and thought but wouldn't be able to come up with something that could sustain. Fortunately, we stumbled onto a good idea, and the problem was almost that we had too much. The post-process was the toughest that any of us had ever done."