01:05 - Source: CNN
'Modern Family' episode shot with Apple devices

Story highlights

Wednesday's show was shot using all Apple products

Show's creator said it made sense as the series is shot digitally

He said no money changed hands with Apple, report says

CNN —  

Talk about a “Modern Family.”

Wednesday night’s “Modern Family” was shot entirely using Apple products. Titled “Connection Lost,” the episode revolved around the family communicating via all of Apple’s devices – iPhones, iPads and a MacBook.

During the ABC show, character Claire Dunphy uses her MacBook Pro to communicate with her family while sitting at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The New York Daily News reported that series creator Steve Levitan said the move made sense for the Emmy-winning show because “We shoot digitally anyway.”

“Our thinking was, why shoot the episode with our sophisticated and ridiculously expensive cameras, only then to have to run it through some process to make it look exactly like an iPhone?” Levitan asked.

Product placement in television series is not new, but “Modern Family’s” Apple-centric episode is the most extensive example to date.

In a segment on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Levitan promoted the episode and said it grew out of him FaceTiming with his daughter.

Rico Rodriguez, who plays Manny on the show, told “GMA” the episode was filmed over two days. It took cast members a little bit to catch on with the new way of filming, but it was fun, he said.

“It takes a lot of work to do it, but if you do it, it’s going to come out great,” Rodriguez said.

It’s not the first time “Modern Family” had an Apple-friendly episode. A storyline during the first season about character Phil Dunphy (played by Ty Burrell) trying to get an iPad came under criticism as an endorsement for the company.

But according to The Hollywood Reporter, the show received no money for either that episode or the one Wednesday night.

“There’s no product placement or anything,” Levitan told the publication. “This just came from life, and it made sense.”

Mashable’s Sandra Gonzalez wrote that the episode worked because – despite the way the plot was told – “the show didn’t lose its core purpose: to tell a family story.”

“Bonus points to the writers for the great attention to detail,” she wrote. “Almost everything about Claire’s digital world seemed fleshed out, down to the previous communications with her children. If you looked at the history of Claire’s text messages to Haley, there was one where she had simply written ‘chicken and something,’ which we can assume was in reply to a query about dinner. I love that stuff.”