'Modern Family' May Not End With Season 10

As Modern Family preps for the premiere of its tenth season next week, producers and ABC are reportedly close to coming to a deal that would bring the beloved family comedy back for more episodes.

As previously reported, speculation that the ABC sitcom would be coming to an end at the end of season 10 has been circulating for quite some time, though both the network and producer 20th Century Fox Television have expressed interest in continuing the show further.

According to Deadline, conversations between the network and the producers are underway for a possible 11th and final season, which would consist of around 18 episodes.

Modern Family creators and showrunners Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd have expressed their willingness to make one more season of the series, and though the cast has not been approached about a tentative season 11, the outlet reports they would be willing to return for a final season should new deals be put in place.

Much like CBS' The Big Bang Theory — which officially announced it would end at the end of its 12th season in May — Modern Family's 10th season is the last in a multi-year pickup order from ABC, and was believed to be the final season for the series.

Both CBS and ABC announced back in May that conversations were starting behind-the-scenes to continue the shows beyond their respective seasons, though Big Bang producers chose to end the series after star Jim Parsons reportedly decided to not renew his contract for another year.

Much like Big Bang, Deadline writes Modern Family producers would not want to continue the series should a main cast member choose to leave, though the writers did tease earlier in September that a key character on the show would die in season 10.

"We're handling some bigger life events in this season. We do deal with a death, which is certainly a topic that families have to deal with, and on television, it’s not easy to do because that’s a heavy subject. But at the same time, it would seem unusual for a family not to go through it," Lloyd said in early September, including that the death "will be a moving event — and an event that has repercussions across several episodes."

Series star Julie Bowen opened up about the upcoming dramatic storyline, revealing that as the cast works on episode six of the new season, there has been no death yet; meaning it will likely come later in the season.

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A lot could happen between now and May, when networks give their official renewal orders for series, but given that the upcoming season of Modern Family is being promoted as a normal season — as opposed to a final chapter — it seems that chances that we will see at least one more installment of the beloved comedy series are pretty good.

Modern Family returns for its 10th season Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.