‘Modern Family’ producer says iPad episode ‘went too far in hindsight’


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

A producer of ABC’s hit sitcom ‘Modern Family’ said an episode that prominently featured Apple’s iPad went overboard in hyping the product.

‘It may have gone a little too far in hindsight,’ said Jeff Morton, a ‘Modern Family’ producer who was speaking Saturday at the Producer Guild’s Produced By 2010 industry conference on the Fox lot.


In the episode in question, one of the characters is obsessed with getting an Apple iPad for his birthday. The episode aired around the time that the tablet went on sale. Though neither ABC nor 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the show were compensated by Apple for the episode, Morton said, ‘the public thought it was a giant sellout’ that ‘sort of backfired on us.’ It probably didn’t help matters that Apple Chairman Steve Jobs sits on ABC’s board, which fueled conspiracy theories about the episode.

For all the attention that ‘Modern Family’ lavished on Apple’s iPad, the computer giant didn’t even toss a few freebies the show’s way. Morton said he was hoping to get everyone on the staff an iPad not only as a perk but also because he thought it could help save the show’s writers and producers from wasting so much paper printing scripts, schedules and production memos.

However, he said the show was able to get 20th Century Fox Television to spring for iPad’s for the show’s department heads.

-- Joe Flint

Related post: ‘Modern Family’ gives some free love to the iPad.