Producers are the unsung heroes of Hollywood. Without them there would be no great new ideas to turn into the next hit show and no funny words for the stars to say. Case in point, without producer/writer, Steve Levitan, there would be no Modern Family.
Four years ago, Levitan joined forces with another TV powerhouse, Christopher LLoyd, to form the production company Picture Day. Together they created their first joint series, Back to You starring Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton. When that was not as successful as they had all hoped, Levitan and Lloyd set out to do show number two. This time the result was TV gold — Modern Family.
Prior to joining forces, Levitan and Lloyd each worked on many successful (and some not so successful) sitcoms. Levitan has written and/or produced major winners — like Frasier, The Larry Sanders Show, Wings, and Just Shoot Me — and some that did not survive too long — like Stark Raving Mad, The Critic, and Stacked.
Lloyd (not the Christopher Lloyd from Back to Future fame, in case you were wondering) got his start writing for The Golden Girls and also worked with Levitan on Frasier and Wings. In addition he wrote for a less popular series called Out of Practice which featured Modern Family's Ty Burrell.
Both men have won Emmys for writing on Frasier and we know the nods for Modern Family won't be too far behind. So the next time Cameron comes out with another gem like "I'm like a big runaway charity truck and Mitchell is my off-ramp full of safety gravel," remember the men behind the funny bits — Levitan and Lloyd.
The cast and creative team behind ABC's Modern Family gathered for a panel discussion and screening at the Television Academy on March 3. Emmy magazine's Editor-in-Chief Juan Morales asked Steve Levitan about doing family shows on TV on this video that was shot and edited by the Pop Culture Passionistas for the Archive of American Television.