Screenwriter Says Original ‘Modern Family’ Cast Breakdown Was Just A Guide, Not A ‘Wish List’

Lisa Kudrow and Conan O’Brien’s right hand man Andy Richter were not necessarily on the wish list for the “Modern Family” cast during its pilot days, according to a TV writer/producer.

Earlier this week, “Weeds” writer Stephen Falk posted a one sheet on his Tumblr acount, showing a very different breakdown of the families that make up the hit ABC comedy, including a picture of the “Friends” star in the role of Claire Dunphy, former “Coach” star Craig T. Nelson in the role of Jay Pritchett, Richter as Mitchell and the now 35-year-old Sarah Gilbert, formerly of “Roseanne,” in the 13-year-old shoes of Dunphy daughter Alex.

On Wednesday, however, the writer explained the list wasn’t a breakdown of whom the show went after, or even necessarily wanted, for those parts.

“The ‘Modern Family’ document I posted yesterday was an attachment to the widely-distributed 2008 pilot script and was simply character shorthand (for executives to quickly ‘see’ what the writers were going for) and not a ‘wishlist,’” Falk wrote. “[‘Modern Family’ producers] Steve Levitan and Chris Lloyd did not, as far as I know, wish for Sara Gilbert to get in a time machine and become 13 again.”

“I only posted the one-sheet because I thought the document held informative value and insight into a common writer practice,” he continued. “(The character sheets for the pilot I’m currently writing have photos of Matthew McConaughey and Artie Lange pasted onto them; I do not intend to try to actually cast Matthew McConaughey and Artie Lange.)”

As for that “Modern Family” sheet that was attached to the pilot, there were two faces that, in fact, did make it on air – Sofia Vergara who plays Gloria, and Ty Burrell, who plays Phil Dunphy.

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