Emmys: 'Modern Family' Showrunner Reveals the Show's Connection to 'Gilligan's Island'

Courtesy of Ron Tom/ABC

Steven Levitan shares some of the secrets behind the six-time Emmy-winning comedy series' remarkable staying power.

Most challenging scene to pull off this season

This season we did an entire episode that took place on a moving train. Our amazing crew built a perfect set and pulled it all together very quickly and convincingly.

The thing people don’t get about our show

Every character directly corresponds to a character from Gilligan’s Island.

I still can’t believe we got away with ...

I turned in some questionable receipts from a New York "business" trip.

In this election, Luke would vote for ...

Trump — just to see stuff get blown up.

If I was in charge of the Emmy seating, I’d put myself next to ...

The hottest of the three accountants.

If I could convince anyone in the world to give my Emmy speech for me, I’d choose ...

Roberto Benigni

My Emmy night ritual

A preshow shot of tequila, lots of sweating, then more tequila.

My advice for Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel

If you say anything stupid, just double down. Forty percent of America will love it.


Seasons: 7 on ABC
Executive producers: Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Paul Corrigan, Brad Walsh, Danny Zuker, Abraham Higginbotham, Jeffrey Richman, Elaine Ko, Stephen Lloyd, Jeff Morton
Emmy history: 77 nominations, 22 wins
Unexpected plot twist: Writer Danny Zuker was blocked on Twitter by Trump in 2013, but he continues to lambast the presidential nominee. He's now blocked by Trump supporter Scott Baio as well.
Fun fact: Inspired by Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s real-life coming-out story, the writers had his character, Mitchell, struggle to come out to his father, Jay (Ed O’Neill), three times before he accepted it.

This story first appeared in a special Emmy issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.