The One Modern Family Star That Walked Away With The Biggest Backend Deal Out Of All The Cast


Highlights

  • Ariel Winter’s mom’s behavior nearly got her fired from Modern Family, but a deal was reached to keep the show going.
  • Ed O’Neil secured the biggest backend deal among the cast, earning more than his co-stars.
  • Sofia Vergara initially had reservations about working with Ed O’Neil, but they ended up having a great on-set dynamic.


Modern Family was a smash hit. However, there were a few complications behind the scenes. Ariel Winter was almost fired because of her mom’s behavior, while the main cast, including Sofia Vergara, struggled during negotiations.

A deal was reached, and thankfully the show was able to continue on. In the following, we’re going to take a closer look at how a resolution was reached, while also putting the spotlight on a certain cast member that was given extra incentives with his backend deal.

We’re also going to reveal other behind the scenes details, such as the relationship between Sofia Vergara and Ed O’Neil, one that was completely different to what Vergara expected.

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Ed O’Neil Walked Away With The Biggest Backend Deal Following The Modern Family Cast’s New Deals

2012 was a crucial year for Modern Family. The show was on the verge of cancelation after negotiations took a turn behind the scenes. At the time, the show was already the top-rated series for ABC. It would eventually lead to the Modern Family cast getting a huge raise after tense negotiations.

Today details the settlement, “According to sources close to the negotiations, the deals for Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara will provide for substantial raises over their current salaries of about $65,000 per episode (Ed O’Neill, a big star pre-“Family,” made about $105,000 for season three) to slightly more than the $150,000 for the upcoming fourth season that Fox offered.”

“One source says that with bonuses the cast will be paid about $170,000 or $175,000 an episode for the upcoming 22-episode season — a big raise but less than the $200,000 requested.”

The Modern Family cast taking a photo together at a blue carpet event
via: Instar

It seems like the cast also got deals for the backend as well. However, one Modern Family star in particular was given a more enticing deal for those profits. That was none other than Ed O’Neil.

Today wrote, “The new deals will bring O’Neill’s salary pretty much in line with his co-stars (he previously made a lot more), but he will receive significantly more in back-end participation, making his ultimate take from “Modern Family” larger.”

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It was quite the upgrade for O’Neil. Though in truth, his career almost looked very different.

Ed O’Neil’s Career Almost Looked Completely Different

Ed O’Neil turned into a successful actor. However, his reality was almost very different. O’Neil revealed his dad stopped him from joining the mob after an enticing offer was made.

“We left and he said, ‘You can do this kind of stuff for me, you know, I’ll protect you,’” he said. “‘I’ll give you easy stuff. Just you collect here. You do that. You run, you drop something off here and there. You know, you may have to lean on a guy. You’re good at that. You can make some good money… I said, ‘Let me think about it, Jim. Cause I’m, I don’t know. I might be leaving town to pursue this acting thing.”

Ed O'Neill looking surprised
via Instar

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O’Neil seriously considered the offer. But ultimately, it was his father that talked him out of it.

“He said,’ I saw you take a ride with Jimmy… I just want to ask you a question. Can you do time?’” O’Neill remembered responding, “no.” “He said, ‘You couldn’t do time. You’d have a hard time being in jail, right?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t think I could do time. He said, ‘Okay.’”

From that moment on, O’Neil realized it wasn’t the life for him.

“I went, and then I called Jimmy, and I thanked him, and I said, ‘I’m going to New York. Yeah. I’m going to try this, this other thing.’”

O’Neil clearly made the right decision, with a worth of $65 million today.

Sofia Vergara Initially Doubted Her Relationship With Ed O’Neil On Modern Family

Sofia Vergara and Ed O’Neil proved to be the perfect match on Modern Family. However, at the start, Vergara worried about being “stuck with the old guy for hours.” Vergara had seen some of O’Neil’s past work, and had different expectations of what it would be like to work alongside the actor.

Sofia Vergara at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2023
via Instar

She revealed, “I used to watch Ed O’Neill when I was in Colombia so it was like I couldn’t believe it, and I was married to Ed O’Neill who was like 20 years older than me, I’m like, Oh my God! I remember the first that they told me he was going to be, you know, my husband, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I am going to be stuck with the old guy in the set for hours and it’s going to be so boring’ and it was complete opposite.”

Vergara learned early on that she was in store for something completely different.



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