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Why Modern Family Could Have Been An Animated Series

When "Modern Family" aired in 2009, audiences had never seen anything quite like it. The show's fresh blend of stellar comedy, rich diversity, and genuine heart helped it become a beloved television fixture and ratings phenomenon. But while many wouldn't have the sitcom any other way, there was almost a moment where "Modern Family" could have been seen in a different coat of paint, quite literally, and not quite for the reason you may expect.

In an interview with The Guardian, "Modern Family" creators Christopher Lloyd and Steve Levitan discuss what it took to make their hit series. While discussing the casting process, Levitan explains that while the team felt solid about the adult cast members, trying to nail the child actors became a concern. "Chris [Lloyd] and I were nervous about kids. At one point I said: 'Argh – maybe we should make this an animated show!'" The thought was only a brief one, as the eventual child cast consisting of such talents as Rico Rodriguez, Ariel Winter, and Nolan Gould were more than up to the task. "But we started seeing them and were blown away by the quality of the choices we had," says Levitan. "We struck gold."

It's difficult to imagine "Modern Family" through any other lens, but another long-running hit sitcom has provided plenty of moments that see the "Modern Family" gang get animated.

Family Guy loves to riff on Modern Family

From one TV family to another, it should be no surprise that "Modern Family" would find itself spoofed on the hit adult animated sitcom "Family Guy." The show has taken a fair share of playful jabs at the popular ABC series, from including the show in several cutaway gags to parodying its opening. The two shows even had a brief crossover for a skit presented at the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards, where Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) adopt Stewie Griffin (voiced by Seth MacFarlane), who appears in animated form and roasts the live-action family.

But perhaps the most significant "Modern Family" joke came on the Season 16 "Family Guy" premiere "Emmy-Winning Episode." The episode sees Peter Griffin (voiced by MacFarlane) attempt to get "Family Guy" the prestigious award by parodying other popular TV series such as "Breaking Bad," "The Big Bang Theory," and "Game of Thrones."

"Modern Family" was also thrown into the mix, with Gloria replacing Lois as Peter's wife while Stewie and Brian act as Mitch and Cameron. The episode went as far as to include "Modern Family" cast members Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, and Sofia Vergara as the voices of their respective characters. Sure, it may not have been exactly what Christopher Lloyd and Steve Levitan envisioned when briefly considering making "Modern Family" an animated series. Still, it's not hard to imagine the concept being too far off from these playful parodies.