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'Modern Family' season premiere react: The episode lives up to its sweet and simple roots

Image credit: Peter “Hopper” Stone/ABC

Tonight’s season four premiere of Modern Family  demonstrated exactly why the show has won three consecutive outstanding comedy Emmys. The episode, which picked up where last season left off with Gloria with child and Cam and Mitch without, was simple, yet heartfelt. The series may not be flashy, but is always poignant and laugh out loud funny.

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'Modern Family' season 4: Are you still down with the Dunphys?

As Sunday’s Emmy Awards proved, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences members are still gaga for Modern Family. Six out of twelve Outstanding Supporting Actor/Actress nominees hailed from ABC’s flagship sitcom; cast members Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen won their respective categories, both for the second time. The show itself took home its third consecutive Outstanding Comedy statuette, as well as awards for writing and directing. Maybe Phil didn’t need to fix that step after all.

But for some viewers, this outpouring of Emmy love might seem misplaced. Modern Family‘s third season was funny, but it was also uneven — and too often, it featured characters hitting the same notes over and over. A show that once won praise for its innovation had started to feel just the tiniest bit stale. This is inevitable for any long-running show, especially a family comedy like ModFam  — but still, it’s tough to say whether the series is simply settling into middle age or beginning a slow but steady decline.

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Watch Sofia Vergara dance at an Emmy afterparty -- VIDEO

Because you didn’t get enough gratuitous shots of Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara during E! red carpet show over the Emmy ceremony itself, TMZ has footage of her celebrating at the HBO afterparty by dancing to Gloria Estefan’s “Conga” while women nearby chanted “Sofia! Sofia!” (Presumably, the men were rendered speechless — or praying that she would suffer another wardrobe malfunction like she had 20 minutes before Modern Family earned its third straight Best Comedy Emmy.)

My favorite part of the video is around 2:30, when the guys playing the conga drums — it’s okay if you don’t notice them until the third time you watch the video — start loosening their ties and taking off their jackets as the music changes to Enrique Iglesias’ “I Like It” and Vergara gets her second wind. READ FULL STORY

Emmys: Sofia Vergara gets the front row, Jesse Tyler Ferguson not so much

You know what we realized looking at this photo ABC Publicity tweeted today of where Modern Family‘s Ed O’Neill and Sofia Vergara will be seated Sunday night at the Emmys (front row, naturally): Even if the cast submits in the supporting categories because they consider themselves equals, the seating chart doesn’t. Jesse Tyler Ferguson is at least three rows back. On the plus side: He’s right behind Michael J. Fox, who should be fun to talk to during commercial breaks.

Read more:
Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel promises ‘biggest prank ever pulled’ this Sunday
How to deliver the perfect Emmy speech, by Parker Posey — VIDEO
Emmys: 10 Biggest Mistakes
17 Greatest Emmy Moments

Julie Bowen on seeing Angelina Jolie: 'She's like a unicorn'

Angelina Jolie has been called many things, but Modern Family actress Julie Bowen went in a different direction when she called the Oscar-winning actress (who moonlights as a meme-ready wax figure) a unicorn.

“If I see Angelina Jolie, I have to look away … She’s like a unicorn,” Bowen said in an interview with Health. “It’s like, ‘There’s Angelina Jolie. We’re not going to seriously stand here and pretend it’s not like seeing a yeti, right?”

Stars! They’re just like us: Reduced to awkwardly staring at the pseudo-mythical creature in the room.

But maybe the two can bond over their beauty regimens (That’s all Hollywood stars talk about, right?) “I do find it odd people choose to do stuff that makes them look like crazy Hollywood faces, but I’ve got zero judgment,” Bowen said. “I’ve worn some ugly shoes.”

As long as they don’t get in the way of showing off a leg, we’re guessing Jolie is onboard.

Read more:
First Look: Angelina Jolie as the evil sorceress ‘Maleficent’
Mary Pickford: The Angelina Jolie of her day, but much more famous
Notes for Charlize Theron: What are the challenges to making a journalist biopic?

'So You Think You Can Dance': Jesse Tyler Ferguson is shaking and needs a cocktail

Jesse Tyler Ferguson — “weird and creepy and not a stalker,” he swears — just loves to come back and be a guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance. The Modern Family star invented the Hot Jalapeno Bus (a new friend for Mary Murphy’s Hot Tamale Train), and poignantly called out Will’s personal-story junket (“Dance saved my life…”) as a reason why arts programs are so important to schools. He is, quite simply, the best.

Meanwhile, the Top 8′s parents made everyone cry by talking about how proud they were (Chehon’s mom and Tiffany’s dad especially), and Eliana and DWTS: Live in Las Vegas headliner Ryan Di Lello tumbled their way through one of my favorite ballroom routines of the series. Actually, Chehon and Anya’s fit that bill, too. Smiling! In a tango! It worked!

SPOILERS AHEAD: The two dancers heading home are…. READ FULL STORY

'Modern Family' creator invites Ann Romney to officiate Mitch and Cam's wedding -- once it's legal

Could next season of Modern Family feature television’s first dressage-themed gay wedding?

First Lady nominee Ann Romney recently told Entertainment Tonight that Modern Family is her favorite TV show. ModFam co-creator Steve Levitan got wind of Romney’s praise and posted a reaction on his Twitter page yesterday: “Thrilled Ann Romney says ModFam is her favorite show. We’ll offer her the role of officiant at Mitch & Cam’s wedding. As soon as it’s legal.”

Sounds perfect! I can see it now: The grooms take turns riding elaborately dressed stallions down a rose petal-strewn aisle. At the end of it, Ann Romney waits, proudly posed atop Rafalca. Before the “I do”s, Luke accidentally sets Claire’s hair on fire and Hayley and Dylan are caught making out in a tucked-away vestibule. Gloria yells. Lily stares. Manny folds his handkerchief into a perfect pocket square. Alex rolls her eyes.

There’s just one problem here: Like her husband Mitt, Romney doesn’t believe in marriage equality.  READ FULL STORY

Sofia Vergara is highest-paid TV actress, followed by Kardashians and Desperate Housewives

Forbes’ recently released list of top-paid movie actresses reflected Kristen Stewart’s secure foothold in modern pop culture. Now the business magazine has unveiled the list of TV actresses who earned the most between May 2011 and May 2012, and seems if you follow the money in TV land, it leads straight to funny gals and reality stars, with some housewives peppered in here and there.

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara tops the list with $19 million. Anyone who’s seen the Colombia native’s ubiquitous Kmart or Cover Girl ads knows that she’s also doing pretty well for herself with all those endorsement deals.

All four stars of Desperate Housewives, which concluded its series on ABC this May, made the list: Eva Longoria, followed by Felicity Huffman, Teri Hatcher, and Marcia Cross.

Reality TV has become even more of a major money-maker over the past year. With a wedding special watched by over 10 million people and continuing ratings success for Keeping Up with the Kardashians following the end of her 72-day-long marriage, reality star Kim Kardashian settled in at No. 2 on the list. Not far behind is her sister, Khloe. Last year they didn’t even make the top 10. Also new to the list this year is Bravo favorite and Skinny Girl entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel.

There are some familiar faces among this group, like Marg Helgenberger, whose 12-year-long run on CSI has kept her on the list for many years. Then there are rising stars like Zooey Deschanel, who has become a new comedy force to be reckoned with on Fox’s New Girl.

Last year’s list was topped with a tie between Eva Longoria and Tina Fey. The actresses come in third and fifth, respectively, this year. Check out the entire list below: READ FULL STORY

Melanie Lynskey and Ed O'Neill are leaving on a jet plane to New Zealand

When was the last time you actually paid attention to an airline safety video? Been a while? Well, Air New Zealand is hoping to change that, thanks to some help from a couple of celebs.

Backed by some music from The Naked and Famous, your hosts for this new animated in-flight safety video are Ed O’Neill (Modern Family) and New Zealand-born actress Melanie Lynskey (Up in the Air). And Melanie seems a little… disappointed that her seatmate is the Married With Children veteran. “Oh… nice,” she says after he’s introduced himself. Whether she appears shocked/frightened to see him because he’s Ed O’Neill or because his head just appeared out of thin air is debatable.

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'So You Think You Can Dance': Can Jesse Tyler Ferguson please be the permanent third judge?

I know he’s busy (or busy relaxing) and probably can’t. But he’s so wonderful! The Modern Family actor, who’d guest-judged last season to rave reviews, took a seat beside Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe to charm us again on tonight’s So You Think You Can Dance.

He’s not well-versed in dancing, but TV’s Mitchell Pritchett had tons of commentary regarding pure performance value — which is really at least half the battle on any televised competition. Ferguson (it feels weird to call him that) remarked on martial arts master Cole Horibe’s “intense and amazing” eyes and “major presence,” noticed Sam Lenarz’s “simmering sadness that came from underneath you in a beautiful way,” and even compared Cirque du Soleil dancer Eliana Girard to season 8 winner Melanie Moore — “she could draw you in just by being.” READ FULL STORY

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