'Modern Family' Co-Showrunner in Contract Standoff

Christopher Lloyd

BIGGEST MISSTEP: Not hosting an ABC comedy panel. It's never a bad idea to remind the media what you're good at. "Modern Family's" Steven Levitan and Christopher Lloyd attended, but were left to chat with reporters on their own.

ABC's Modern Family is embroiled in another contract squabble.

Following renegotiations with its core adult and youth cast, co-creator/co-showrunner Chris Lloyd is now in negotiations with studio 20th Century Fox Television, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

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Two months after co-creator/co-showrunner Steven Levitan inked a rich new four-year deal to remain with the Emmy-winning comedy and develop new projects for the studio, Lloyd and 20th are at a contract standoff. Sources confirm to THR that Lloyd has yet to reach a new deal with Modern Family producers and has not arrived to work on the recently ordered sixth season of the series.

Lloyd and Levitan met on Wings and signed a joint deal with the studio in 2006. They re-upped separately in 2010 amid creative differences -- a year after Modern Family hit big. The duo alternate overseeing episodes, with Levitan taking on odd-numbered ones and Lloyd taking on the even ones in the 24-episode seasons.

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In a 2012 THR cover story, Lloyd said the clash stemmed from his and Levitan's opposing views on why Modern Family worked so well. "We had different ideas about what the things were that were making the show click," he told THR. "That can lead to differences of opinion, and it was not going to be practical for us to argue every point of every episode.… [The arrangement that we've worked out] will lead to situations where you go, 'Well, that's not how I would have done that,' but it is a much more practical way than to have both of us sort of swing away on every problem."

Meanwhile, 20th has deals with Modern Family exec producers Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh, Danny Zuker and Elaine Ko, among others.

20th declined comment.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit