'Modern Family' Cast Re-Creates Famous Shots From 'Breaking Bad,' 'Cheers,' and 'Married... with Children'
Sofia Vergara as Peg Bundy? Julie Bowen as Mary Tyler Moore? Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet as 'Breaking Bad's' Walter White and Jesse Pinkman? As it contends for a sixth consecutive best comedy win, the series pays tribute to six television classics.
This story first appeared in the Sept. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
"My dream was getting Ed O'Neill to reprise his Married … With Children character, Al Bundy, with his current co-star Sofia Vergara as Peg Bundy," says THR awards and special projects editor Stacey Wilson Hunt, who, with assistance from 20th Century Fox Television, helped re-create several beloved series on THR’s list of Hollywood’s 100 Favorite TV Shows (page 116) with the stars of Modern Family. O’Neill’s heart was set on Tony Soprano, but after some coaxing, he eventually agreed. In the end, the Dunphys paid tribute to six classics, including tableaus from Cheers, I Dream of Jeannie, Frasier, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Breaking Bad. All were shot Sept. 2 on the Fox lot during a five-hour session that Hunt says was "incredibly calm." Adds THR creative director Shanti Marlar, who visited the set, "This cast is a well-oiled machine and was really into the idea."
To set the mood, photographer Ramona Rosales played the shows’ theme songs on set. "Having Julie Bowen jumping and spinning and throwing the hat … I mean, she was Mary Tyler Moore," marvels Rosales. During the Cheers and Frasier shoots, Modern Family co-creator Christopher Lloyd stopped by for a walk down the proverbial memory lane. (Lloyd’s father, David, was a writer on the Boston-bar sitcom, and Christopher was an executive producer on the spinoff.) The Breaking Bad shoot had everyone laughing. Recalls THR photo editor Michelle Stark: "Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet were really tough and in character — then they suddenly went into their Modern Family characters. It was hilarious."
The final step involved sending photographs from the shoot to illustrator Zohar Lazar, who was tasked with capturing the series’ iconic sets and backdrops. Lazar then digitally married the photos with his illustrations. Says Marlar: "If we didn’t nail the sets, it would have fallen apart. We were lucky that Zohar took this one on."
'Modern Family' Star Eric Stonestreet "Not Feeling Too Great" About Sixth Emmy Win