'It Takes a Village': ABC welcomes another comedy to its 'Modern Family'

ABC is clearly stoked to finally have found a comedy groove that doesn’t involve the words According to or Jim. The successful launch of its new-take-on-family-comedies block — particularly Modern Family and Cougartown — has prompted the network to revive a comedy pilot from a few years ago about two exes raising their teen son together. Originally called Family Values and focused on one of the partners — a gay dad — it now involves both parents and is called It Takes a Village. Could be promising — kind-of a Will & Grace who used to be married and have a kid. And I salute ABC for not ruling out gay parents now that it has one set on the schedule with Modern Family. Even better, it was written by Casey Johnson and David Windsor, who worked together on the underrated gem What I Like About You. (Bonus: Windsor is, of late, from the zippy writing staff of Greek.)

What do you think, PopWatchers? Could It Takes a Village be the next Modern Family?

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  • Sara

    Or, ABC could do a better job of promoting Better Off Ted. But that seems unlikely.

    • Alan

      Say it, sister! Save Better Off Ted!

    • Luddite

      That was my first thought.

  • Sara (other one)

    TED. Ted Ted Ted Ted Ted. TED. T-E-D. Ted.

    .

    Focus on what you already have, ABC. :(

  • Dustin

    Yes, save Better Off Ted

    • EWsMom

      The boat on Ted has sailed.
      People can’t really start watching the show now and “get it”. Unless you started from the beginning, it’s not that great to a “casual” viewer
      (in other words, the repeat value of BoT is LOW)

      Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Middle can all be watched by new viewers at any point in time – you don’t have to really watch any prior episodes to know what the heck is going on.

      So in summary – BoT is dead.

      • steve

        EWsMom – I don’t think I have ever read a comment from you that was positive. Anyway, there are no story arcs in Better Off Ted, no episodes that build on prior. This show is perfect for casual viewers and, as has been reiterated over and over, WOULD BE PERFECT ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT!!!

      • Luddite

        What continuing story arcs do you need to be aware of to enjoy Better Off Ted? I can’t think of any. In fact, I’m only a casual viewer (it’s always up against other good things), but I’ve never had any trouble “getting it.” Maybe you just need a sense of humor a little less…Leno-y?

      • Christine

        I just started watching Better Off Ted last month (after reading so much about it on EW) and LOVE it. I’m now trying to catch up on past episodes but I certainly don’t feel like I don’t “get it”.

      • Well…

        The ratings reflect otherwise, so I guess “steve” and Luddite are in the (tiny) minority.

  • marc

    Abc has a gay character on every major show of theirs more than any other broadcast net and they should be commended for it! Modern Family is only the most recent one. Your article implies that it might be the only one. It’s not. I would love to see a drama series where the LEAD charcter is gay and maybe that just incidental like a poilice chief who just happens to be gay. How great would that be?

    • crispy

      Watch SouthLand on TNT.

    • Ceballos

      Or “The Wire” on DVD. (Maybe not a main character, but still…)

  • Hector

    Dana delaney on desperate housewives is going to become a lesbian this season….. so I hope that cheers you up marc.
    She is going to hook up with the new stripper that is moving in with susan. ( Dexter’s wife from the Showtime show,,…. Dexter)

    • Ceballos

      Wait, wha?! I stop watching “Desperate Housewives” this season and this is what I read…what’s going on over there?!

  • Ceballos

    “Modern Family” is EXCELLENT, and “Cougar Town” seems to get better every week, but don’t forget to show “The Middle” (another cog in ABC Wednesday’s comedy block) a little love too.

    • Rock Golf

      I give it as little love as possible.

      • ObiHave

        The Middle is really overlooked. It’s not great but it’s got its moments. I wasn’t much of a Heaton fan during her previous incarnation but I love her in this. I’m glad ABC is keeping it
        BUT WHAT THEY DID TO BETTER OFF TED IS A TRAVESTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        I hope Veronica has the name of every executive at ABC.

  • Not Another Gay Sitcom

    Count me out. I couldn’t stand Will & Grace and probably won’t be able to stand this. It’s no wonder I haven’t watched any ABC programming since Monday Night Football left.

  • Peggy

    This sounds great! Count me in!!

  • elena

    Second and third and fourth all the save Better Off Ted statements. ABC, why are you reviving a script when you have a show with a built-in fanbase already? Put BoT in the comedy line-up on wednesday, and I’m convinced that it will thrive. Argh! TV Execs suck.

  • Mothra

    I am on the Better Off Ted bandwagon, having been there since the series premiere. What’s wrong with you, you expletive deleted ABC entertainment executives? You have one of the most brilliantly subversive shows EVER on American t.v. and you don’t promote it. There’s a special circle of hell awaiting you…

    SAVE BETTER OFF TED! http://www.savebetteroffted.com

  • Fanny Mae

    Is anyone else tired of averacting GAY characters being contstantly thrown in our faces? Does every major or even minor program on prime time need to have a token gay character? People, we get it. Gays are people too… they have families… they have feelings… yup, we get it. They are part of our society just like everyone else that’s straight. I personally love gay men. I’m a straight woman. Gay men are wonderful friends, hair dressers and personal shoppers, but seriously? Enough is enough. Her’s a fresh thought… design a show around PEOPLE. Don’t focus it on anyone’s race, creed, color or religion… just make the show about “PEOPLE” in general. All this PC crap is really getting old. We’re never going to get past the race card or the gay card until we ALL accept each other as just “PEOPLE,” as in MEMBERS OF THE HUMAN RACE.

    • Fanny Mae

      Oops, no spell check… that should say “OVERACTING”.

    • Mothra

      Amen! You go, Fanny Mae! Completely agree.

    • bunker

      That’s such an asinine post. So you want a show to ignore race and sexuality but not be politically correct? How is that even possible? And also, gay men can do more than do your shopping, do your hair, and pretend to care about your daily dramas. Sounds like you need to realize that we’re human too, and not your paid help.

      • Ceballos

        Exactly!

        They can also teach her how to dance and do her makeup!

      • Gonzo

        bunker, you beat me to it. But I wholeheartedly agree.

    • Gonzo

      So, to recap: Let’s forget that some networks barely have any regular gay characters (ahem… CBS, NBC). Gay men are basically designed to be your friends, hair dressers, and personal shoppers. But, you want them to be “PEOPLE” – as opposed to the stereotypes you just made us out to be? It almost seems like you don’t consider gay men to be “PEOPLE”. So, we need more “PEOPLE” means we need more straight white characters? Or, if we all accept each other as “MEMBERS OF THE HUMAN RACE”, there’s no point in having minority characters in television anymore? Am I getting close? Be gay but not in my TV shows? Wait a second! You also said we “are part of our society just like everyone else that’s straight”. So what’s the issue with having TV shows that reflect that? My head hurts from trying to understand what on earth it is you’re saying.

    • nothing

      If you get that gay people are part of this society then why do you feel like networks are throwing them in your face? Maybe I’m tired of straight characters on my tv…doesn’t that sounds stupid? So in regards to the last part of your comment…yes we are all people and I say it’s a good thing to include all people on tv shows.

    • Bobby’s Robot

      We ARE ‘PEOPLE’

    • J

      You are neither being PC nor looking at gays as people. You are unable to even to what you are asking the networks to do.

  • Mothra

    Oh, yeah, and IT’S FUNNY, TOO!!!

  • Wev

    Don’t forget about The Middle. It’s not as shiny as Modern Family or Cougar Town, but that’s kind of the point. It’s very well written and I’m not a big fan of kid actors–but I make an exception for The Middle.
    I know it’s kind of off-point, but when you don’t mention the show in the comedy lineup and you suggest a new show for the timeframe, I get nervous. It’s a great comedy. Maybe you have to live in the ‘burbs and have kids for it to be really appreciated.

    • bunker

      I agree, The Middle is a wonderful show.

  • Lily

    I find it assinine that you would choose the name “bunker” to represent yourself as the character “Archie Bunker” was probably TV’s most well-known racist, biggot and homophobe TV history has ever known!

    • Pete

      Lily, go flame someone else with your small, literal brain. bunker can also be defined as: A bin or tank especially for fuel storage, as on a ship.
      Fuel, such as coal or fuel oil, used especially in ships. Often used in the plural.
      An underground fortification, often with a concrete projection above ground level for observation or gun emplacements.
      Sports. A sand trap serving as an obstacle on a golf course
      Archie doesn’t even come up.

      • Alan

        The Middle stinks. I find it completely unfunny and just can’t get past anything with Patricia Heaton. Ick.

  • Mothra

    I think perhaps Fannie Mae’s point might be that shows should have characters that are just people. Not stereotypes, gay, ethnic or otherwise. There are lots of straight stereotypes, too. Characters are always more interesting than stereotypes. When the sexuality is a non-issue in a sitcom character, they just are who they are, then we know we’ve healed a lot in our society. Sadly, we are far from there. But it’s good to have goals!

    • Gonzo

      Let me quote from Fannie Mae’s post and add my comments:
      “Gays are people too… they have families… they have feelings… yup, we get it. They are part of our society just like everyone else that’s straight.”
      So gays are people, have families and feelings – but enough with that! Let’s have them do my hair!
      “I personally love gay men. I’m a straight woman. Gay men are wonderful friends, hair dressers and personal shoppers, but seriously?”
      This is the typical ‘i love gay people, but could they please relegate themselves to be the friends that are just there to offer advice and fashion tips?’.
      “We’re never going to get past the race card or the gay card until we ALL accept each other as just PEOPLE”.
      Which is a commendable idea, but exactly the opposite of what she calling for a few sentences before. Hairdresser gays with no families or feelings are not “PEOPLE”, they’re token stereotypes. Which is why the post is entirely asinine (as bunker so greatly put it).
      Here’s some food for thought: whenever a gay character nowadays has similar plots to the rest of the cast (especially of a romantic nature), the fact that they’re gay is invariably going to stand out and permeate a story. That’s because they are (after all) gay, just like a straight male character is going to date women because he is a straight male character. And so, every well-meaning but slightly narrow-minded person will keep ‘focusing’ on the ‘gay’ aspect of the story. Why? Because they’re not used to seeing it. And that is exactly why varied representation of gays and lesbians in the media is still a good (and necessary) thing.

      • V

        My takeaway was completely different…I kinda thought Fanny Mae was saying that gay man characters are often token characters, like a friend or a hairdresser or whatever, and they overplay the stereotype. Whereas if you just take characters as people instead of defining the character by race or sexuality, it’s more natural, like in everyday life…

        At least, that’s what I understood.

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