Some may say that Modern Family is the funniest show on television.
But there will be nothing funny about one of the upcoming storylines on Season 10 of the beloved ABC program.
According to co-creator Christopher Lloyd, the first half of the upcoming season will feature a significant character death.
That's certainly something new for the series.
“We’re handling some bigger life events in this season,” Lloyd told Entertainment Weekly today, adding as a tease:
“We do deal with a death, which is certainly a topic that families have to deal with, and on television, it’s not easy to do because that’s a heavy subject. But at the same time, it would seem unusual for a family not to go through it."
As you might expect, Lloyd isn't about to divulge the identity of the corpse.
But he does say that it will “significant character on the series” and the death “will be a moving event - and an event that has repercussions across several episodes.”
Modern Family stars Ed O’Neill, Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Ariel Winter, Sarah Hyland, Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould and Aubrey Anderson-Emmon.
It has maintained the same cast throughout its duration on the air.
It also set a record by winning five straight Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy Awards.
The sitcom is heading into its final contractual season, meaning this very well could be the show's final season.
Lloyd, however, hopes this won't be the case.
"There’s goodwill on both sides to make it happen, but there’s also complicated matters that have to get worked through, and there’s a time constraint on it, because we can’t have it take too long,” he says.
“I’m hoping that that doesn’t make the whole thing go away, but I think there’s a decent chance we’ll see it happen."
Lloyd continued as follows:
"From our standpoint creatively we’ve gotten excited writing this season and changing the lives of the characters - some in a significant way - and it’s made us think, ‘Wow, there’s a lot to explore in the lives of these characters.’
"They’re in many ways such different characters than they were five or 10 years ago when we started and they’re just as interesting and just as funny. So our standpoint was, ‘Well, if we can do another season, we may as well.'
"I’m hoping that we have some news on that [soon], and if it winds up that we tried and just couldn’t make it work, we will have a great final season for sure."
Modern Family Season 10 premieres on Wednesday, September 26 at 9/8c.
Our best guess is that Phil's father, played by the amazing Fred Willard, is the one who kicks the proverbial bucket.
As for what else fans can expect from upcoming episodes?
He told EW the following:
"There is a significant change in the dynamics of the family that people maybe thought was going to happen at some point down the line that is happening sooner than expected."