After some renegotiation snafus, the adult stars of Modern Family are filing suit to void their contracts. While some may think that without Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara and Ed O'Neill, the show could not exist, we find it easy to imagine Modern Family without the primary parents. In fact, there's many different ways to write around their characters:
Kill Them Off in a Plane Crash
On the way to one of their many sponsored-centric vacations (obviously to a Disney owned destination), Phil, Claire, Mitchell, Cameron, Gloria and Jay could tragically die in a freak accident. Given that by next season, Haley will be a legal adult, this can lead to a Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead-type of situation, where the kids fend for themselves. This could potentially work in ABC's favor, as it's ripe for a Jane By Design crossover as well.
Hey, it worked for Bewitched, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Roseanne: Just completely replace each adult with an entirely different actor from a less successful ABC comedy who vaguely resembles them -- after all, a Modern Family role almost guarantees a few Emmys, so it shouldn't be too hard to convince, say, Cheryl Hines to leave Suburgatory to play Claire or for James Van Der Beek to ditch Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 to fill in as Cam.
Send All the Kids Off to College
Haley's en route to a university anyway -- why not just have all the kids graduate early and become Bulldog/frogs too? Maybe Luke and Dylan could live nearby off-campus while the smarter children work on their degrees. And if Lily gets left behind with the unseen and seldom spoken of parents, so be it.
Bring in the Grandparents and Divorcees
Let's assume that after a few too many Clive Bixby antics gone horribly wrong, all of the adults are put in jail for life, and the court appoints the next-in-kin guardians to step in. The good news is that the Modern Family universe is big enough to withstand a blow of six major characters, especially thanks to those supporting guest stars. DeDe (Shelley Long) and Javier (Benjamin Bratt) would take care of Manny, Barb (Celia Weston) and Merle (Barry Corbin) Tucker could reunite to watch over Lily and Fred Willard could come back as Grandpa Frank Dunphy -- you know, assuming his legal troubles die down.
Screw it: Get rid of the whole damn cast, and just follow Stella the dog's adventures around on a single camera. When it gets stale, the editing team can always throw in a soundbite of Sofia Vergara screaming, "ESTELLA!!!" for cheap laughs. Season 4 was going in that direction anyway.
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