Modern Family is taking a major character out of the equation during Season 10.
Series co-creator, Christopher Lloyd has revealed that a key player will not be alive when the season comes to a close.
Lloyd told EW that the death “will be a moving event … that has repercussions across several episodes.”
“We’re handling some bigger life events this season,” Lloyd explains of the show's darker tone.
“[Death] 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.”
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 and it would be genuinely surprising if any of those actors were on the way out of the ABC comedy.
Taking risks is all part of the game when it comes to veteran shows that want to keep viewers enthralled, but if it does turn out to be a huge character, it may signal the end of the series.
Modern Family Season 10 is the final contracted season, meaning that if ABC wants to keep it around, new deals will have to be put in place to have the cast intact.
That's where things get murky for the show's future. The ratings are not as strong as they once were. Modern Family Season 9 shed as much as 20 percent in the adults 18-49 demo.
It ultimately averaged 5.7 million total viewers and a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49. While those ratings are still solid, we need to remember that ABC does not own the show. Thus the network makes nothing from the off-network deals or even international sales.
Could this big death drum up some interest and send the ratings upwards? Time will tell, but it's uncommon for aging shows to buck the downward trend.
What are your thoughts on the show's decision to take out a "significant character?"
Hit the comments below.
Remember you can watch Modern Family online right here via TV Fanatic. Get caught up on all the laughs before the series takes a dark turn.
Modern Family Season 10 kicks off Wednesday, September 26 at 9/8c.
Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.