Modern Family’’s all-Apple episode airs tonight

“In case you missed last week’s publicity, tonight’s episode of Modern Family takes place on the screen of an Apple computer — Claire Dunphy’s MacBook — and was shot almost entirely on iPhones and iPads,” Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune.

“This is not the first time iOS footage has been used on the show. Levitan says he has snuck in some iPhone shots that nobody noticed,” P.E.D. reports. “‘We just happened to have one with us when we were doing something,’ he says, ‘and we were like ‘that works.””

P.E.D. reports, “The shows airs at 9 p.m. on ABC.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
‘Modern Family’ episode shot entirely on Apple iPhones, iPads, and MacBook Pros – February 17, 2015


  1. In response, Samsung may soon throw massive amounts of money at show runners of some other prime time sitcom (or drama) in order to shoot entire episode on Samsung mobile devices. If it happens, results may well be similar (hint: these devices are all good enough in the hands of professionals, who know their limitations and how to work around them).

    While Apple never asked, nor did they pay any money for this (the show runners did this all on their own), for Samsung to get their devices featured this prominently, they would have to shower the producers with cash, and it would clearly come across as an obvious product placement. No household (certainly none in the US) has that many Samsung devices.

    1. Funny you mention that most households don’t have that many Sumsung products… After Thanksgiving dinner I decided to count how many Apple products were inside my Mom’s house while everyone was relaxing after the meal.

      12 people – 19 Apple products total. There were at least 10 other Apple products that didn’t make the trip, mainly laptops.

      Is there any other brand that can come close to that in any category? Between my wife and I, we’ve got nine Apple products.

      Jeez, I left out the routers and a monitor. Probably an iPod or three. Insane.

      Time Capsule too.

  2. One interesting thing remains curious. For decades, Apple devices have always prominently featured in prime-time TV, as well as in Hollywood feature films. Almost perpetuating a stereotype, protagonists would always use Apple, while antagonists (the bad guys) would invariably be using some no-name black device (a laptop, a mobile phone). This has become so consistent to the point of spoiling the plot line twists; if a nice guy has a generic black PC laptop, it will eventually be revealed that he is has some sinister plot.

    It is a well known fact that Apple never paid for product placement on TV shows (or movies). While they do give away free products (for placement), show producers never receive any cash from Apple. This is because vast majority of production designers much prefer the elegance of Apple devices. You can always tell if the producer got a freebee from Apple, or if they paid for it on their own: Apple logo will be taped over if Apple declined to send a free Mac. But Mac it will always be (for the ‘good guys’), regardless of Apple’s response.

    1. For years that was true: Apple did not pay for placement, but there was a crew that “evangelized” product placement.

      Recently, and I wish I could remember which (it might be “The Blacklist”), the credits contain mention that Apple is supplying the product being used in the show.

      1. The message that Apple is supplying the product has been rather standard for all the shows where Macs and iOS devices show up on camera. Apple NEVER paid for product placement; they did ‘donate’ devices to the show, when the show runners ask to use them.

        When Apple declines, the show producers put a sticker over the Apple logo.

      1. Apple NEVER ever pays. Never did.

        The logo covering is probably because Apple won’t donate Macs for free.

        And for those wondering where is the difference (between paying for product placement and donating hardware), product placement money is significantly higher than the value of a few MacBooks or iMacs that will appear on camera.

      2. I have a feeling this is the result of Apple becoming a bit annoyed by those requests. I can imaging Hollywood producers’ frequent phone calls to Apple Marketing: “We’re shooting a show, we need a MBP. Can you send down a few?” For a long while, it was a worthwhile for Apple to keep sending stuff down to LA, but I can imagine, after seeing a steady stream of Mac gear flow from Cupertino to LA (figuratively, if not literally), someone at Apple decided that enough was enough.

        Apple still gets plenty of exposure, even with the logos covered. Everyone recognises the iconic iMacs (in the FBI offices on the “Mentalist”, for example) and MBPs. Why give them away for free if the producers are going to buy them anyway, and the exposure is still there?

    1. Perhaps because it is actually good? Apparently, critical reviews from most are quite positive, as is the overall rating on IMDB and

      Thank again, the ‘modern’ family featured on the show is perhaps way outside your own comfort zone of a traditional white man, slightly younger white woman, children and a dog in a 3-bedroom house; you might not like it that much, but it certainly doesn’t necessarily mean that it is ‘trashy’.

          1. I am, like Billy Crystal, getting sick of all the homosexuals being shoved in our faces every day. I didn’t used to think about it much but the constant forcing of men living with men and the forced thought about all that anal sex is making me want to puke. I am becoming disgusted by our degenerate culture which celebrates every perversion and trashes every virtue.

            1. Network TV representation of gays has always had a very caricatured representation, with practically every one of them a flamboyant sissy with a lisp. And the actual numbers of gay characters in shows were significantly lower than the real life. It is shows like ‘Modern Family’ that are slowly bringing some realism and balance. Hopefully, with prime time TV slowly becoming more of a refection of real life, people like kent might actually slowly get used to seeing men with men, being able to watch a good TV show without puking.

              Now if we could just get the same thing done for female characters; they are still mostly stay-at-home moms (at least on ‘Modern Family’), and in general, there are much fewer of them on prime time TV than in real life…

  3. The huge problem for me is that it seems to feature group video messaging – a feature that Apple notoriously killed in the transition to Messages. I was hoping the show was their way of announcing and promoting the feature’s return in the next iOS but it doesn’t look like that’s the case.

    1. They never killed it. Multi-party video conferencing (via AOL’s AIM protocol) is still there. It is practically hidden, and you really have to know exactly where to go in order to activate it.

      In Messages preferences, under ‘Accounts’, you need to add an AOL Account. This will be account you used to log into iChat. Once logged in, your Messages app will consolidate your online status for both services (iMessages and AIM). The ‘Buddies’ list should become populated with your iChat buddies (that exist on your AIM account). As long as everyone is using AIM (that means only desktop computers, no iOS!), you can have multi-party video-conferencing as you had since Panther (10.3), twelve years ago.

      1. If that’s true, I would still call it “killed” — it’s a crucial feature that is now only available to grandparents holding on to their AOL accounts? It’s just crazy that Apple isn’t offering it as a feature in their own Messaging platform. And trying to walk someone through adding an AOL account to Messages? Oy — let’s just say I’ve done it too many times to count.

        It’s nice to know that it’s in there buried, though — it’s just too bad it takes so much work to try and make it functional.

        1. You always needed an AIM (not necessarily an AOL) account. Original iChat user ID was actually an AIM account. When iMessenger protocol was devised, Apple stopped automatically creating AIM accounts and instead migrated to the iMessenger.

          iMessenger simply does not support multi-party video, and AIM still does. The only way for Apple to continue to offer multi-party video conferencing is by continuing to support AIM.

          Considering that Skype now offers multi-party video at no extra charge, it is unlikely Apple will take the time to develop the functionality for iMessenger protocol.

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