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While the cast of Modern Family and 20th Century Fox TV are in the midst of an ugly contract dispute that has culminated in a lawsuit, ABC, the network that airs the hit sitcom, is confident that everything will be settled on time. ABC entertainment president Paul Lee told the press at the Television Critics Association press tour today that he is confident that the dispute will be settled and that the show will air in September as planned.
“Yes, I expect the season to start on time,” Lee said, reports Entertainment Weekly. “We’re hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to resolve it … I don’t want to talk specifics, but it’s a wonderful show, they’re a great cast and we’re optimistic.”
Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara, the show’s five adult stars, are all embroiled in negotiations the show’s producer, Fox, for a significant raise. When they were reportedly offered $150,000 per episode for season four, they turned it down and Tuesday’s table read was cancelled. They all then filed a lawsuit against Fox to have their current contracts voided. Ed O’Neill, who is paid more than the others and is in his own negotiations with Fox, added his name to the suit as a sign of solidarity.
The LA Times also noted that Lee might have hinted that the network is involved with the show’s finances when he said, “We are in this with 20th Century. We are full partners with them.”