Modern Family Will End Its Run in 2020 After 11 Seasons on ABC

New network president Karey Burke renews the sitcom for one final season

Modern Family, currently in its 10th season, will air its final episode in 2020.
ABC

Karey Burke, who has only been ABC Entertainment president since November, found a way to make some noise during her first executive session at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif.: she has renewed the network’s hit sitcom Modern Family, now in Season 10, for an 11th—and final—season.

So the family comedy, which has been an ABC staple since it debuted in 2009, will air its final episode in 2020. That will be one year after another long-running hit broadcast sitcom, CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, ends its own run.

“In its final season, there will be more milestone events that anyone who has been a fan of the series won’t want to miss,” said Burke in a statement as the network announced the renewal.

“For 10 years, our characters have bravely faced turning points in life and moved through them to great personal enrichment; we have chosen a different path by doing one more season of Modern Family,” said Christopher Lloyd, the show’s co-creator and executive producer, in a statement.

Burke was introduced onstage by Jimmy Kimmel, who joked—in a Donald Trump exaggerated fashion—about the achievements of “President Burke.” Among them: “She has already done more for ABC than every other ABC president combined.” He also said, “While we still do not have any idea what Freeform is, she ran the hell out of it.”

In November, Burke was tapped to replace Channing Dungey, who chose not to renew her contract and ultimately landed at Netflix. She had been head of original programming for Freeform and insisted that broadcast TV is still an essential part of the changing television landscape.

“I completely believe in the relevancy of broadcast TV. I wouldn’t have taken this job otherwise,” said Burke, pointing to the recent success of shows like NBC’s This Is Us and Fox’s The Masked Singer.

Burke said ABC motivated her to pursue a career in television, thanks to its “inspiring and thought-provoking” shows like Moonlighting, The Wonder Years and thirtysomething. But the network wasn’t hiring at the time when she graduated college, so she landed at NBC instead.

Her top priority in her new home: “Making ABC the best home in television for creators to tell their stories.”

Burke also vowed to help ABC reclaim the top spot among women 18-49, which it lost in the fall to NBC. “I am determined to get it back,” she said.

As for how she will do that,  Burke is ordering pilots that are “more female-forward” than has been the case in ABC’s recent history, she said.

Burke said while she had worried at one point that the controversy over this year’s Oscars host—Kevin Hart stepped down in December after an uproar over old anti-gay tweets; the Feb. 24 ceremony will now air without an emcee—would dent the ratings, but that is no longer the case.

“The lack of clarity around the Oscars has kept the Oscars in the conversation,” she said. “The mystery has been really compelling. People really care.”

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