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Emmy-winning Modern Family star Ty Burrell has signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind the acclaimed comedy series. Under the pact, Burrell will co-create and write comedy projects as well as develop shows from other writers. The deal is strictly for writing and producing as he continues to be exclusive to Modern Family for acting.
Two years ago, Burrell teamed with his younger brother Duncan to write a single-camera comedy based on their childhood for 20th TV. In a competitive situation, the project sold to ABC with penalty. “Although it didn’t ultimately go to pilot, it was quite special — very specific and unusual,” said 20th TV President of Creative Affairs Jonnie Davis. “This deal is about deepening our relationship with this deservedly award-winning actor and tapping into a comedic community we want to access.”
That community includes friends of Burrell’s from his comedy improv days. “Someday I’d like to grow up to be a writer-producer full time,” he said. “So I’m thrilled to be in business with Fox and to be writing and looking for material with my old pals, and UCB members, Johnny Meeks, Joel Spence and Mel Cowan, as well as my brother, Duncan Burrell. Aside from my brother, they’re all just so gorgeous.”
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TY Burrell is undeniably one of the funniest men on TV thanks to his role on Modern Family — and now he’s signed up for a new campaign in Australia.
The 47-year-old actor, who plays Phil Dunphy in the hit show and whose character is known for his ‘Phil’s Wisdom’, is appearing in webisodes for Ten in an ad campaign for Toyota.
But unlike other advertisements, Burrell appears as his Modern Family character.
Webisodes revolve around ‘parenting wisdom from the Phil Seat’ — his driving seat.
One webisode includes one on “The Stare” where he talks about the stare’s he gives to his children from the front seat.
“Sometimes communication takes more than words.
“That’s when I use less than words, the Stare.
“Its an impenetrable look that says im in the drivers seat in life, the phil seat.
“I use it to instil obedience and gut-wrenching fear in my children who I of course love very much,” Dunphy explains.
“I actually have several stares, the enough with the back chat, I am serious stare,” he continues.
“The eyes at the back of my head stare, but with my eyes obviously still at the front of my head,” it continues.
Burrell was last in Australia filming episodes for the hit show in February with the rest of the cast, including Sofia Vergara, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Ty Burrell just scored his second Emmy for playing oblivious but lovable Phil Dunphy on “Modern Family,” but he can be seen on the bigscreen in a very different role — as a closeted gay man in the Sundance hit “The Skeleton Twins” opposite Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader.
How did the “The Skeleton Twins” come your way?
I’m a fan of the Duplass Brothers, who were producing, so I accepted; I guess they saw my inner repression. Actually, I loved the script, and I loved that Bill and Kristen were doing something
so different. It’s not something I’ve played before, either.
After Phil Dunphy, do you worry about typecasting?
It’s hard to worry too much about that when you’ve spent the bulk of your career unemployed. I’ve had a stable job that I’ve loved for six years. I will take that in exchange for being typecast any day of the week.
You also appeared in a Muppets movie this year. Who’s a better co-star: Bill Hader or Kermit the Frog?
I didn’t really get to work a lot with Kermit, so I’m going to go with Bill Hader on this one. But it’s really hard to beat any of the Muppets. My primary co-star in “Muppets Most Wanted” was Sam the Eagle, who is a great scene partner, very dry and very funny.
“Modern Family” makes great use of guest stars; is there anyone you’d love to have on the show?
I’m a fan of so many people. Some of my heroes would be Steve Martin, Albert Brooks, Bill Murray.
What would Bill Murray play?
Anything he wants, of course.
Ty Burrell may have his own bar in Salt Lake City (true story), but when he’s in L.A., the former bouncer prefers the old-timey feel of Oldfields Liquor Room in Culver City. It’s the perfect place to tuck into some ice-cold gin over a round of ridiculously good-natured jokes. The only person better than Phil Dunphy? The guy who plays him on TV.
Of all the gin joints in Culver City, Ty Burrell walks into Oldfields Liquor Room with the disarming air of the everyman. The date is August 3, 2014; the time is a crisp 5:00 p.m.—the world’s most ideal cocktailing time; and, in precisely 22 days, the 47-year-old will take home his second primetime Emmy award for his portrayal of Phil Dunphy on the embarrassingly popular ABC sitcom Modern Family. And, yes, for the record, he is everything you want him to be—and then some. Ty Burrell is kind, but not phony; funny, but not insecure; and manly, but not patriarchal. It’s a far cry from the role he plays in The Skeleton Twins, out tomorrow, an incisively dark comedy about an estranged brother (Bill Hader) and sister (Kristen Wiig) who reunite after both attempt suicide on the same day. It sounds gritty, but the characters—including Burrell’s lecherous and closeted teacher Rich—are imbued with such humanity and humor that you can’t help but care about them. Here, over a round of chartreuse cocktails, Burrell opens up about his teenaged taste in music, three months spent as the “softest” bartender in Boston, and the culinary perks of being a child star on ABC’s most popular series.