- - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

‘Modern Family’ creator surprised by acceptance of gay characters

One of the biggest surprises for the creator of “Modern Family” is how Cameron and Mitchell, the gay parents who are among the show’s lead characters, are accepted by the audience.

Steven Levitan said Tuesday that it’s not just America: The Emmy-winning comedy is shown around the world, including in Vatican City. He said it’s unusual for him to hear any objections to Mitchell and Cameron, portrayed by actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet.

He said at a news conference that it’s easy for people to object to gay parents in concept.

“When you make it personal and show the people have good hearts and are extremely committed, loving parents, it’s hard not to love them,” he said. “I’m pleasantly surprised with the world’s reaction to that particular part of our modern family.”

Mr. Levitan said he and his staff impose a lot of pressure on themselves to keep standards up, even though creative ups and downs are almost unavoidable for long-running TV series.

“We don’t want to be accused of getting soft or resting on our laurels,” he said. “That keeps us on our toes or awake at night.”

'Desperate Housewives' fans shouldn’t wait for movie

The producers of “Desperate Housewives” say the series finale will leave a few loose ends hanging, but cautioned fans against waiting for a reunion movie.

Creator Marc Cherry said that eight seasons have given the ABC series time to “plumb the depths” of the characters played by Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and others in the ensemble cast. “Desperate Housewives” will air its final episode this spring.

He’s very satisfied with where the series stands, Mr. Cherry told the Television Critics Association on Tuesday, the actors alongside him. Mr. Cherry contrasted “Desperate Housewives” with “Sex and the City,” which did fewer episodes and followed its HBO run with two big-screen movies.

Referring to the Middle East-set “Sex and the City 2,” which received largely negative reviews, Mr. Cherry quipped: “I’m just never sending these gals to Dubai.”

He remained mostly mum about how his series will conclude, saying some “old, familiar characters” will return, but that the rest is a secret and “I’m being hyperprotective of it.” Fellow executive producer Bob Daily said the last year of “Desperate Housewives” will include echoes of the first season and serve as a bookend to it.

Whatever the final act, it’s one that Mr. Cherry said he’s been carrying in his head since the show went on the air. Although the show’s writers are embellishing his vision, “the general premise has always been the same,” he said.

He’s also going to keep his promise to make a cameo appearance before the lights go out on Wisteria Lane.

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