The fifth-season premiere of ABC’s Modern Family featured a marriage proposal that wouldn’t have been possible only months ago. But in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision allowing same-sex marriage in California, producers of the Emmy-winning comedy knew the time was right for its gay couple, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), to take the plunge. Here, Jeffrey Richman — one of the 20th Television-produced comedy’s two openly gay writer-producers — reveals to The Hollywood Reporter’s Lacey Rose in his own words the emotional process of writing Wednesday night’s landmark episode…
We hadn’t really talked about Mitch and Cam getting married until DOMA and Prop 8 came onto our radar when we got back to work in the middle of May. We don’t usually do California-centric stories — and while we don’t really identify where the characters live, we knew we weren’t going to send them to another state to get married and they weren’t going to have a fake commitment ceremony. We’d avoided that for four seasons. Mitch and Cam have been in a relationship for eight years, they already are a family and they have a daughter, so there needed to be a reason for them to get married. This became the “why now.”
When it actually looked like [same-sex marriage] might become legal, it seemed like we could really make something of that. Then it sort of gathered momentum because it wouldn’t just be a one-off story. It would give us episodes leading up to a wedding, and we’re so hungry for stories. You could see a bachelor party, you could see a party planner, you could see so many things. We spent a lot of time and energy breaking the first story and arcing out potential other stories and then trying to find out, by whatever means we could, how close to being real this was. We were very ahead of ourselves and so enamored by the story arc and the idea that we went way out on a limb.
Authored By Lacey Ross – See the Full Story at the Hollywood Reporter
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