Did you catch that episode of Modern Family where Cameron did something outrageous, Claire was shrill, and you couldn’t understand what Gloria was saying? Yep, you and everyone else who has watched any episode of the Emmy-winning comedy. The series, which remains an awards show darling and critical favorite, has started to experience a decline in its ratings.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Modern Family, which was the highest-rated comedy on television earlier this season, only to be toppled by The Big Bang Theory for that bragging right, has also lost the top spot in its time slot. The ABC show, which airs at 9 PM on Wednesday, fell to no. 2 last week, and Fox’s American Idol moved to the top. Last night’s Modern Family experienced a 10 percent drop, bringing in 10.1 million viewers (and a 3.8 in the 18-49 demo.)
And while it’s fair to point the finger at its timeslot competitor American Idol for taking away a chunk of viewers, it’s just as fair to point the finger back at the show itself. (However, it is noted that this tends to be a time of year when the show experiences lower than usual ratings.) Despite the many fans that stick with the family-friendly sitcom, there were also a portion of viewers that jumped ship in Season 2 or Season 3 when they figured out that, while it has its moments, it’s perhaps the most predictable show on television.
So what can Modern Family to do rebuild its viewership, especially by winning over viewers who have since flown watching people live in its very expensive California coops? We have ten ideas of how Modern Family can get back on track in the ratings:
1. Add a little real drama: For better or worse, How I Met Your Mother got more popular the more dramatic it got (read: Robin and Barney’s off-and-on courtship), and it constantly keeps fans guessing. On Modern Family, whenever a couple has a fight, it’s pretty much a given that it will be resolved by the end of the half hour. We’re not saying Gloria and Jay need to go through an ugly divorce, but a little extra added drama never hurt an already emotional sitcom.
2. A musical episode: Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. With American Idol as a major threat, Modern Family can do what so many comedies before it have tried (including HIMYM) — recruit a great songwriter, and have a musical episode. Cam would have a ball.
3. Harness the power of Julie Bowen… off the show. Whether you love or hate Claire, you have to admit that Emmy winner Julie Bowen is a spectacular talk show guest. From sharing hilarious stories about her kids putting each other in the dryer on Conan to letting Jimmy Kimmel take over her Twitter, she could be the face and personality of the ensemble effort. (Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are viable candidates, too.) Have her do something with Funny or Die (Happy Gilmore reunion, anyone?) or hit the talk show circuit way more, because Claire might be obnoxious, but Bowen is anything but.
4. Expand to the big screen: No, we don’t mean start planning a Modern Family movie. (We’re still absorbing the Entourage news!) Instead, the cast should start branching off into projects that aren’t ubiquitous Pepsi commercials. The cast wisely didn’t jump the gun and use their fame to star in anything and everything that came their way (the Friends cast fell victim to that early in their run), so they haven’t outstayed their welcome with the public. Burrell has starred in the terrible, delayed Butter and Rico Rodriguez had a cameo in The Muppets, but why hasn’t Nolan Gould had a role in a comedy (with, say, Chris Pratt), and why hasn’t Sarah Hyland played Mila Kunis‘ sister in literally anything?
5. Just less Lily and Manny: Everybody wins!
[Photo credit: Peter Stone/ABC]
From Our Partners: