Jesse Tyler Ferguson Reflects on Saying Goodbye to 'Modern Family' After 11 Seasons (Exclusive)

The actor talks to ET about the groundbreaking comedy's legacy.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is gearing up to say goodbye to Modern Family.

As Ferguson preps for his next gig, a starring role in the upcoming Broadway play Take Me Out, the 44-year-old actor reflected on his 11-year run as Mitchell Pritchett on the ABC family comedy, which officially wraps up with an hour-long series finale on April 8.

"There’s a great freedom that comes with finishing up an 11-year run of something artistically. I can do whatever I want to do. But the reality of the situation is we all really love each other," Ferguson told ET on Wednesday while promoting his return to the stage. "When August comes around and it's a time that we would be going back to work after our summer hiatus, I think we're all gonna feel a void."

"We have a group text that we're all on, and we're all checking in with one another," the actor continued. "We've all gone off already in these new jobs and these new opportunities and people are with their families, and yet we're still wanting to stay very connected to one another. It’s going to be a group of people that I'm always close with but it’s just going to be in a different way. I'm not going to see them as often."

Though the cast finished filming at the end of February, Ferguson acknowledged that he and his co-stars are bracing themselves for the second wave of farewells as the final episode approaches. 

"We’re in a wave of that now," he said. "I think when that final episode airs, it's gonna roll out in a really beautiful way. It's gonna be an hour-long finale. There’s a documentary that's been shot about the show that's to air for an hour before that. So we're going to give the fans a really nice send-off."

"But that's going to be very emotional to see that happen on my TV screen," Ferguson expressed. "It was emotional having it happen in reality when we were shooting it. So I can only imagine what it's going to look like. I hope it actually comes together. When we finished shooting that last scene, I don't even know what we're doing. I'm seeing everyone through, like, water-soaked eyes and all that. So hopefully we got something good."

Ferguson says he has "absolutely" thought about the show's impact on pop culture and the legacy it leaves behind on TV.

"When Modern Family premiered 11 years ago, this couple adopting a baby that was part of the main family was revolutionary. And now it's not, which is great," he said, referencing Mitchell and Cameron raising their daughter Lily on Modern Family. "But I know that there are so many more stories to tell. There are so many more stories to tell about the trans community. I think continuing that visibility is really important."

"Like many shows that opened the door for us, I hope that we're one of those shows that holds it open for other people," Ferguson added. "And I'm very proud of the work that we've done on Modern Family. One of my favorite episodes remains the wedding episode. They showed some clips of it recently on a show I was doing and it really still hits home [for] me. I can't believe that I was lucky enough to represent that character on TV for 11 years. I feel very honored."

Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Reporting by Stacy Lambe.

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