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'Modern Family' Co-Creator Opens Up About Surprising Death During Halloween Episode

'Modern Family' Co-Creator Opens Up About Surprising Death During Halloween Episode


Steve Levitan, co-creator and co-showrunner of Modern Family, is opening up about the shocking death that happened during Wednesday night’s (October 24) episode of the hit show.

During the Halloween-themed episode called “Good Grief,” Jay (Ed O’Neill), Claire (Julie Bowen) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) learn that their ex-wife and mother, DeDe (played by Shelley Long) has died.

“We gather [with the writers] at the beginning of the season and talk about the big arcs and things that we want to have happen — the milestone moments. It occurred to us that death is a giant part of the family experience and while Phil (Ty Burrell) had lost his mother in a previous episode, we’ve never seen the entire family have to deal with such a loss. It seemed like an interesting thing to have happen,” he said.

“She’s directly involved with three of our characters and she touched everybody’s life in some interesting way. It seemed like the right character to put everybody through something. She seemed like right character because she so directly affects so many of our characters.”

“We tried to have everything come from a real place. You see how much these characters mean to each other. Hopefully as an added bonus, it would be nice to have people call their mom and dad after it aired,” he added.

For more about the episode, visit

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Photos: ABC
Posted to: Modern Family, shelley long

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