Jesse Tyler Ferguson just confirmed that, no, Stella the dog will not be the significant Modern Family death this season
Another clue about the upcoming Modern Family death has been disclosed—but it still has audiences scratching their heads. More than a month after fans learned that a beloved character will die in the show’s tenth (and likely final) season, star Jesse Tyler Ferguson is setting the record straight about one member of the Pritchett/Dunphy family.
“It’s definitely a person, not the dog,” Ferguson, 43, told E! News.
That means Jay (Ed O’Neill) and Gloria’s (Sofia Vergara) dog Stella—or any animal—is out of the question. “I’ve been hearing rumors about the dog, it’s not the dog,” said Ferguson, who clarified, “It’s no animal, it’s a human being.”
In September, co-creator Christopher Lloyd told Entertainment Weekly that a “significant character on the series” will die. “We’re handling some bigger life events in this season,” he explained. “We do deal with a death, which is certainly a topic that families have to deal with, and on television, it’s not easy to do because that’s a heavy subject. But at the same time, it would seem unusual for a family not to go through it.”
While Lloyd didn’t offer any more hints as to the identity of the character, he shared that the death “will be a moving event…that has repercussions across several episodes.”
Lloyd also said that while he hopes the long-running series will get picked up for another year, season 10 would serve as a fitting send-off. “From our standpoint creatively we’ve gotten excited writing this season and changing the lives of the characters—some in a significant way—and it’s made us think, ‘Wow, there’s a lot to explore in the lives of these characters,’” he said, adding that “they’re in many ways such different characters than they were five or 10 years ago when we started.”
“So our standpoint was, ‘Well, if we can do another season, we may as well,’ ” he said, adding that “if it winds up that we tried and just couldn’t make it work, we will have a great final season for sure.”
Modern Family airs Wednesdays (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.