Modern Family is known for being a hilarious, heartfelt family comedy, but this new season is going to feature some pretty heavy tragedy.

With the 10th season of Modern Family just around the corner and the show’s contract with ABC expiring after this coming season, many are curious about the fate of the show. And while it remains to be seen if ABC will re-up with the Dunphy family, the show’s co-creator Christopher Lloyd has said this season is going to change Modern Family forever.

Indeed, as Lloyd told Entertainment Weekly, this season won’t just feature the expected family drama laced with big laughs and situational comedy. No, this season will feature the death of a significant character.

Unsurprisingly, Lloyd didn’t spill the beans on who would be shuffling off this mortal coil this season, but he did reveal that not only would the character be a significant one to the show, but their death would have “repercussions across several episodes.”

While it might seem to be a weird move for a half-hour comedy to delve into the subject of death, Lloyd explained that death is a very real, normal part of life that every family has to deal with, so the Dunphys should too. As he explained, “[death] is certainly a topic that families have to deal with, and on television, it’s not easy to do because that’s a heavy subject. But at the same time, it would seem unusual for a family not to go through it.”

But don’t think that killing off a character on Modern Family is a signal to viewers that the show is embarking on its last season. While co-creator Steven Levitan has made statements about the show ending, Lloyd is hopeful that the show will continue past season 10.

When asked about the show’s future, Lloyd told EW, “There’s goodwill on both sides to make it happen, but there’s also complicated matters that have to get worked through, and there’s a time constraint on it, because we can’t have it take too long. I’m hoping that that doesn’t make the whole thing go away, but I think there’s a decent chance we’ll see it happen.”

For now, we’ll just have to focus on what’s coming in season 10 for the Dunphy family. Modern Family returns to ABC on September 26.

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