Why ‘Modern Family’ Season 10 Could Be The Comedy’s Last Hurrah

Eric McCandless/ABC

ABC's longest-running comedy closes out its ninth season on May 16, and, according to Variety, Modern Family will return for Season 10. And though a definite premiere date hasn't been announced yet, this one isn't a tough guess. Every season of the show has premiered in September since its debut in 2009, so a safe bet would be some time during the third or fourth week of September. The more important question to ask, however, may be whether Season 10 of Modern Family will be its last. And at this point, it's looking like this successful sitcom may be eyeing an ending.

UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Modern Family Season 10 will premiere on Wednesday, Sept. 26.

EARLIER: It's true: in all likelihood, Season 10 will be the final curtain for the Delgado-Pritchett-Dunphy-Tuckers. As of the time of writing, there's been no word yet of an official cancellation from the network, and it's also likely that the producers themselves will choose to step away before that ever happens. But in January 2018, just before the show aired its milestone 200th episode, creators Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd gave an interview to The Hollywood Reporter in which they indicated that Season 10 was always intended to be the end. "Our plan is to end it at 10," Levitan told THR. "If we can leave with most of our audience wanting more, I think that's the right way to do it. Never say never, but I just can't imagine that we'd go past that."

Eric McCandless/ABC

Even if Levitan and Lloyd decided they wanted to keep Modern Family together, they might not have a choice in the matter. Deadline reported that securing the greenlight for Seasons 9 and 10 was no easy feat. The show is a joint venture between network ABC and the studio that produces it, 20th Century Fox, and both parties had a lot of demands to iron out — including the cast's rising salaries, as laid out by another Deadline article — before an amicable conclusion could be reached to keep the show on the air. With so much deliberation bogging down the decision-making process, and the cost of production going up every year, it seems unlikely they'd be able to pull off another compromise after Season 10.

Ron Tom/ABC

Even before Season 9 was announced, however, actor Eric Stonestreet (who plays Cam Tucker) told People that he felt like the end was already in sight. "All of the cast, we’re now sort of in the twilight of the show," he said back in December 2016. He continued:

"We’ve shot more than we’re going to shoot in the future. We’re at the end of the series, in a sense, and I think what keeps us going now is that we want to go out as strong, and positive, and great as we possibly can, whether that’s one or two seasons, three seasons, I have no idea."

Stonestreet isn't the only TV parent contemplating the impending finale. Julie Bowen (Claire Dunphy) appeared on The Ellen Show on May 3 and revealed that emotions have been running high on set going into this last season. When Ellen asked her about the finale season, Bowen was visibly distraught. "They're my family!" she exclaimed. "There's going to be a lot of tears. There's going to be a lot, 'It's our first last table read of the season.' And it will go on for 22 episodes like that."

In the age of sequels, spin-offs and revivals, though, does anything really stay gone forever anymore? THR reported that there was already talk of creating a Modern Family spin-off back in 2013, but unfortunately for fans, nothing ever came of it. Of course, you never know what might happen in Hollywood. Maybe ABC and 20th Century Fox will have second thoughts and decide to keep their crown jewel comedy alive in its original form, or the show could get picked up by another network or streaming platform. Still, at this moment in time, it does seem like this upcoming season is going to be the end of the Modern era.