Jewish Journal has an interview with Steven Levitan, co-creator and executive producer of ABC’s “Modern Family”. Here are some of the highlights:
In an interview, Levitan credited the success of “Modern Family” to its blending of diverse points of view. Levitan says he has “no filter” for his emotions; Lloyd, in his opinion, is reserved. Levitan believes that his own cultural sensibilities at times trickle down to the writing, while Lloyd sees no Jewish or religious sensibilities on the show.
“We certainly don’t delve into religion — second, after politics, on the list of show-killing topics – nor do we have any intention of doing so,” Lloyd wrote in an e-mail.
“One of our constant issues is, what level of fighting can these couples do?” Levitan added. He cited the remote-control argument between Claire and Phil: “They barely got into it, from my point of view, and Chris was like, ‘I think they’re too angry.’… But oftentimes, from our differences, the best [work] comes.”
Levitan, 48, acknowledges his strong cultural Jewish connection but says he is not religious. He grew up attending a Reform synagogue in suburban Chicago, where he aspired to become a writer from an early age. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, he took a job as a reporter at Madison’s ABC affiliate because “I wanted to be on TV,” he said sheepishly.
So, why aren’t any of the “Modern Family” members Jewish? Casting, Levitan said. “I don’t subscribe to the thinking that people won’t fall in love with a Jewish family,” he explained. “But when you have actors like ours, they don’t look Jewish or seem Jewish. So even if some of the humor seems Jewish, we’re not avoiding the issue to play to a mass market.”