How J.C. Penney could benefit, struggle from Sears’ Amazon partnership

With its partnership to sell Kenmore appliances on Amazon, Sears Holding Corp. hopes to rival other hard good retailers like J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP). But both companies stand to fight for more than appliance sales as they go head-to-head over hard goods.

Sears (Nasdaq: SHLD) announced July 20 an agreement to sell its Kenmore line on Amazon.com as the company struggles to bring customers into stores, and as its Canadian arm has gone into default.

The Kenmore name is more than a century old, and one of the country’s most iconic appliance brands. While selling the products on Amazon means Sears loses its exclusivity with Kenmore, the move may help bring much-needed revenue to the department store.

“The launch of Kenmore products on Amazon.com will significantly expand the distribution and availability of the Kenmore brand in the U.S.,” Sears CEO Eddie Lampert said in a prepared statement about the partnership.

Stocks of other appliance retailers stumbled the day of the Sears/Amazon announcement. Home Depot’s shares took a 4.5 percent hit, while Lowe’s Cos. Inc. declined 5.9 percent. Best Buy decreased 4.2 percent.

In comparison, shares of Sears were up 13 percent on the news.

J.C. Penney saw a much smaller impact, with its shares decreasing less than 1 percent. But the announcement has more ramifications for the Plano retailer than its stock price.

In January 2016, J.C. Penney began re-introducing appliances into its brick and mortar stores after a more than 30-year hiatus from the sales category. Since then, the company has introduced the products online and said it plans to roll out appliance showrooms to 600 stores by the end of 2017.

J.C. Penney declined to comment on how its appliance business is faring so far and does not separate appliance sales from overall revenue. In its first quarter 2017 earnings, reported May 12, the company said improvements in several departments, including appliances “ provide us with the confidence to maintain our sales guidance for the full year.”

The company’s second quarter earnings will be reported on Friday before market open.

While J.C. Penney has competed with Sears for appliance dollars since introducing the products, Sears’ Amazon partnership gives the rival company a larger platform to market its goods.

“That deal gives Sears the opportunity to remain somewhat relevant in a space where they have been completely marginalized otherwise,” said Jason Moser, an analyst with Million Dollar Portfolio at The Motley Fool. “This deal keeps Sears somewhat current, at least in the consumer’s eyes, which is a plus.”

To keep up, analysts say J.C. Penney must continue pushing its own e-commerce efforts.

And to differentiate itself, the retailer should continue improving its home department, which has been expanded to include Ashley Furniture; pilots of Empire Flooring and Trane heating, ventilation and air conditioning services; bathroom remodeling; quick-ship and installed blinds; home water solutions; awnings and smart home technology.

It also offers washers, dryers, refrigerators and microwaves to commercial and residential property groups.

“I think they can leverage their strength in home with window treatments and other things to create a back-to-front home design service that includes not only treatments and decor, but appliances and smart home features,” added Ed Fox, associate professor of marketing at the W.R. and Judy Howell director of the J.C. Penney Center for Retail Excellence at Southern Methodist University.

However, pushing appliances may hurt Sears and J.C. Penney in areas that both have been pushing to improve – in-store traffic and comparable sales. Because consumers buy appliances infrequently and usually have them delivered, they have little incentive to visit brick and mortar stores. And offering appliances online further reduces the need for a store visit.

In its first quarter earnings, J.C. Penney saw a 3.5 percent decrease in same-store sales, while Sears, which reported first quarter earnings on May 25, saw a roughly 12 percent dip.

“While they have a high-dollar value don’t bring people in stores frequently,” Fox said. “Now people can get competitive products rather than walking into a store.”

The good news for J.C. Penney is that while it continues to work on appliances other initiatives to return to profitability, analysts are unsure Sears will be able to battle store closures and lagging profits to stay in business.

“It’s becoming apparent that Sears is in what’s becoming a death spiral,” Fox said in January. “J.C. Penney will be around in three to five years, and Sears may very well not.”

That means while J.C. Penney might currently be losing customers now to the Sears/Amazon partnership, it could pick up those clients again in the case of a Sears bankruptcy.

“The core customers for the apparel and home businesses at Sears and J.C. Penney were quite similar,” Steve Dennis, president of retail strategy firm SageBerry Consulting, said earlier this year. “They were pretty price sensitive with fairly constrained incomes.”

Source:-bizjournals.

Almost Half of Qatar’s Traditional Investor Base Has Cut Ties With the Country

Banks in the world’s wealthiest nation per capita will need to offer more yield if they tap the market as almost half of their traditional investor base has cut ties with the country.

Qatar National Bank QPSC, Commercial Bank QSC and Doha Bank QSC are considering funding options that include loans, private placements or dollar bonds, people familiar with the plans said. But investors and analysts say the lenders will have to pay more to compensate for the region’s political risk to drum up interest.

Read More: QNB Is Said Among Qatari Lenders Seeking Funding Amid Spat

Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations severed relations with Qatar two months ago accusing it of supporting extremist groups, a charge it denies. That led to a drop in foreign deposits in June, the steepest in almost two years, and a record jump in the three-month Qatar Interbank Offer Rate.

Here’s what analysts and investors had to say about borrowing costs for Qatari banks planning to tap the market:

  • While borrowing costs will rise, “the assumption of government support means yields won’t rise that much,” said Max Wolman, a London-based senior investment manager who helps oversee $11 billion in emerging-market debt at Aberdeen Asset Management Plc.
    • There could be interest from some Asian investors, given they were involved in some of the recent Middle East sovereign deals.
    • “If they look attractive from a yield perspective we could buy them. Currently we are very underweight Qatar” because the yields weren’t attractive
    • Looking at QNB’s dollar-denominated bonds due September 2021, the yields peaked at 3.8 percent and are currently around 3.1 percent, “so I would say a five-year at 3.5 to 3.75 percent would be attractive.”
  • Even if they offer “200 basis points over midswaps, I would not lend to them at this rate, as it will not cover for the risk of further deterioration,” said Marina Davies, a London-based senior credit analyst at Pioneer Investment Management Ltd., a company of Amundi Group that oversees over $1 trillion globally.
    • “Basically, we are talking not only about the price, but about the availability of such funding, as so far the banking system seems to be having capital outflows.”
    • “For now, if they don’t manage to raise money, the authorities will provide it as they have been doing until now. The short-term debt of the banks is significant, and it does not seem to be renewed. The sovereign is plugging it for now, but providing just enough foreign currency to compensate for the outflows.”
    • “However, we don’t know how liquid the sovereign funds are, and we can expect that the asset quality of the banks may deteriorate. Therefore, I believe the current levels don’t reflect the credit risk of this system.”
  • The risk premium demanded by the market has already gone up, after Moody’s Investors Service lowered their outlook on Qatari Banks, said Rami Jamal, a money manager at Amwal LLC in Doha, which oversees around one billion riyals ($270 million) in assets.
    • “Pricing thus becomes dependent primarily on the currency and the tenor of the debt. If QNB is looking to raise debt for five years in U.S. dollars, for example, the market will not accept anything below 3.50-3.75 percent range.”
    • “QNB has plenty of short-term funding maturing in the next two years.”
  • Asian investors could help Qatari banks keep yields on offerings relatively low, according to Zurich-based Philipp Good, who helps manage about 9 billion Swiss francs ($9.4 billion) at Fisch Asset Management AG.
    • “My best guess is that they find partners who give them money at a very low premium to current market prices.”
    • “Asian investors are still keen to put money into the Middle East and I do not doubt that they will get the money at similar spreads” as previous sales.
    • “I would expect no additional premium from where the market is today. Repricing has taken place already.”
  • Deterioration in the economy and possible further downgrades of Qatar’s long-term debt will drive local institutions to pay higher spreads as a result of the risk premium, said Tariq Qaqish, the managing director of the asset management division at Mena Corp. Financial Services in Dubai.
    • “In the short term, psychology will pay a big role in pricing new debt issues as investors are uncertain of the magnitude of the problem and, most importantly, the length.”
    • “As deposits decline and the average loan-to-deposit ratio rise, I expect most banks to tap the market and to pay a risk premium of 15-20 basis points.”

Qatari bank bonds maturing this year:

Issuer

Bonds

Maturity

Amount due (in $ million)

QNB 13 Aug. 26 – Dec. 27 382
QIB 1 Oct. 10 750
QIIB

Source:-bloomberg

1 Oct. 18 700

 

Modern slavery cases ‘in every large town and city’ in UK

A file picture of a teenager with mental health issues

Modern slavery and human trafficking are much more prevalent than previously thought, the National Crime Agency has said.

There are cases in “every large town and city in the country”, the NCA said, with the organisation currently assisting 300 live police operations targeting modern slavery.

The cases involve alleged victims as young as 12 being sold to families in the UK from Europe.

Will Kerr, NCA director of vulnerabilities, said: “The more that we look for modern slavery, the more we find evidence of the widespread abuse of the vulnerable.

“The growing body of evidence we are collecting points to the scale being far larger than anyone previously thought.

“This should not be acceptable in any way, shape or form.”

The NCA has launched an advertising campaign to raise awareness of the signs of modern slavery in everyday life.

[Source”indianexpress”]

Modern slavery risk on rise in European supply chains

modern slavery human rights

The European migrant crisis is forcing a sharp rise in human rights risks in European supply chains. This includes the UK and Germany, which have moved up from ‘low’ to ‘medium’ risk in the annual Modern Slavery Index, released by global risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft.

In fact, modern slavery risks have risen in 20 of the 28 member states of the EU over the last year, the research finds – a reminder of the importance of transparent supply chains and efficient due diligence.

The study ranks 198 countries, assessing them on the strength of their laws, the effectiveness of their enforcement and the severity of violations. The higher the rank, the higher the risk.

Verisk Maplecroft points to the arrival of migrant populations in Europe as a key contributor for the increase in slavery, who it says are “extremely vulnerable to exploitation” across multiple sectors, including agriculture, construction and services.

The five EU countries posing the highest risk are Romania, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Bulgaria – countries that are key entry points for migrants into the region.

Romania and Italy, in particular, are highlighted as being the two EU countries with the worst reported violations, including severe forms of forced labour, such as servitude and trafficking. Romania rose as many as 56 places to rank 66, and is thus deemed as the country with the most deteriorating slavery situation globally.

Italy, which comes at place 133, is up 17 places from last year, and Verisk Maplecroft expects the country’s score to only worsen over the next year due to “geographic shift in migrant sea arrivals”, with the agriculture sector being at especially high risk.

Greece remains a key destination for human trafficking, the consultancy says. The country moved up 16 places in the index to 129 – this despite a dramatic fall in immigrants in Greece since the 2016 signing of the EU-Turkey Refugee Agreement.

“Even the EU’s biggest economies are not immune to the rise in slavery risk,” the report says, pointing to Germany and the UK, which slipped from the ‘low’ to ‘medium’ risk category after a slight negative shift in their scores. This is attributed to gaps in the UK’s labour inspectorate and Germany’s uptick in recorded trafficking and servitude violations.

Outside of the EU, Turkey experienced the world’s second-largest jump in the index, from 110 place up to 58, thus moving into the ‘high risk’ category. This was triggered by various factors, including the Syrian refugee influx, Turkey’s restrictive work permit system and the low priority for policing labour violations.

 

New supply chain focus

While key manufacturing hubs in Asia have traditionally been in focus when companies assess human rights risks, there is good reason to take notice of the developments in Europe, says Sam Haynes, senior human rights analyst at Verisk Maplecroft.

“The migrant crisis has increased the risk of slavery incidents appearing in company supply chains across Europe. It is no longer just the traditional sourcing hotspots in the emerging economies that businesses should pay attention to when risk assessing their suppliers and the commodities they source,” he says.

Human rights issues not only pose a huge reputational risk– they could also become a legal one, especially with emerging legislation on modern slavery and human rights appearing in the UK, France, the Netherlands and Australia.

Verisk Maplecroft’s findings come just a few weeks after a study revealed huge weaknesses in companies’ efforts to secure responsible supply chains. Surveying business executives from corporates around the world, the Economist Intelligence Unit found that only 22% are addressing child labour concerns in the supply chain, 23% are actively tackling climate change, and just 32% ensure they aren’t sourcing from areas affected by conflict and violence. Despite this, only 2% of respondents thought their companies had irresponsible supply chains.

On its findings, Verisk Maplecroft notes that despite the higher risk in Europe, the “top sourcing locations in the emerging markets should remain firmly on the radar of companies”.

Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand, for example, all feature in the ‘extreme’ or ‘high’ risk categories. Ranked 21, China remains firmly established among the worst performing countries. The index’s highest ranking nations include North Korea, Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, DR Congo, Sudan, Iran, Libya, Eritrea and Turkmenistan.

 [Source”indianexpress”]

Trump’s immigration crackdown could increase modern day slavery

People hoping to reach the border.

Donald Trump’s plans to sharply reduce undocumented migrantscoming into the US. However, the president’s harder line on deporting these immigrants is likely to increase the number of people at risk of modern slavery, says a human rights analyst.

Alexandra Channer of risk-management consultancy Verisk Maplecroft says that the number of people at risk of becoming a modern slave will increase if the Trump administration doesn’t address the “drivers” of illegal immigration in tandem with introducing stricter rules on deportation.

“Policies that increase the costs of trafficking, such as tighter enforcement of deportation rules and restricting the protections offered by sanctuary cities, will push undocumented migrants further into the hands of the criminal gangs involved in border trafficking and the procurement of undocumented workers,” she said, ahead of the release of Verisk Maplecroft’s Modern Slavery 2017 index. She continued:

“Migrants will be ever more dependent on trafficking networks for survival and fewer will report entrapment and labor abuses to the authorities for fear of deportation. Increases in such violations pose a risk to companies sourcing goods from the US, especially from the agricultural sector, as well as within the services industry.”

Verisk Maplecroft uses “modern slavery” as an umbrella term for those forced into labor, servitude, and the trafficking of people. In its annual report, the group assessed 198 countries on the strength of their law enforcement and legal structures, effectiveness of their enforcement, and severity of violations to calculate its rankings.

The US ranked 135th, and is categorized as “medium risk.” Channer notes, however, that the country’s score “sits very close to the threshold for high risk.”

By comparison, the UK is 180th in rankings and Germany is 184th.

Selected countries in the Modern Slavery Index

Country Ranking (1=worst)
North Korea 1
Syria 2
South Sudan 3
United States 135
United Kingdom 180
Germany 184
Andorra 198
[Source”indianexpress”]

Modern humans were in Southeast Asia 20,000 years earlier than thought, ancient teeth reveal

When Dutch archaeologist D. A. Hooijer first saw a pair of weathered teeth recovered from a remote cave on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, he noted that they were about the right size and shape to belong to modern humans. But in 1948, he couldn’t be sure of their identity or their age. Now, harnessing cutting-edge science, a group of researchers has confirmed what Hooijer had suspected: Modern humans lived in Southeast Asia as far back as 73,000 years ago—about 20,000 years earlier than previously thought. The earlier timeline helps fill in the blanks on the migration routes of our early ancestors and bolsters an emerging theory that humans may have dwelled in rainforests much sooner than researchers had assumed.

Previous studies suggested that after evolving in Africa, modern humans eventually made their way to Southeast Asia, but researchers have argued whether they arrived about 50,000 years ago or earlier. Recent studies put modern humans in Australia by about 65,000 years ago, but there has been little direct evidence of an early presence in Southeast Asia.

To unravel the mystery, researchers led by geochronologist Kira Westaway of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, decided in 2008 to give the Sumatran teeth another look. She and her team used new techniques, including micro–computed tomography scanning to precisely measure the thickness of the enamel, and luminescence dating to determine when minerals in the rock surrounding the teeth were last exposed to sunlight. They found thick enamel, confirming that the teeth are from modern humans, and pegged the date to between 63,000 and 73,000 years ago, they report today in Nature.

The findings offer new hints about how our early ancestors spread across the world, paleoanthropologist Russell Ciochon of the University of Iowa in Iowa City wrote in an email. “[The teeth] show greater affinity to east Asian humans than later southeast Asian specimens, which may give us some clues about the early dispersal routes of modern humans.” he wrote. The researchers, he says, “have definitively and superbly demonstrated the presence of modern humans in Southeast Asia 20,000 years earlier than previous estimates.”

Though just a pair of teeth may seem like insubstantial evidence, the new analysis is convincing, says paleontologist Patrick Roberts of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany. “If they show they are clearly human, which I think they do, then it is enough to document humans in this part of the world.”

And the earlier timestamp also means early modern humans may have overlapped with the hobbit (Homo Floresiensis), a tiny early human species that lived more than 60,000 years ago on another Indonesian island called Flores. Yet it’s unlikely the two crossed paths, Westaway says, because strong currents would have made travel to Flores difficult.

The new findings also suggest that these early colonizers may have been the first to live in a rainforest setting. That’s significant, because researchers have long thought that early humans would have found rainforests unappealing: Why hunt clever monkeys in the treetops when easy-to-catch shellfish and other resources await on the coast?

But Roberts of isn’t fully convinced that these early human colonists did live in rainforests. Fossils from rainforest animals were found at the site but don’t bear the marks of a human kill and may not have coexisted with modern humans.

Still, the study shows that “tropical terrestrial habitats were crucial resources for humans expanding beyond Africa, and our species was flexible enough to adapt to them,” Roberts wrote in an email. “Perhaps it is this environmental plasticity that characterizes our species and has left it the last remaining hominin in the world.”

[Source”timesofindia”]

Modern Fertility raises $1 million to educate women about their hormones

Above: Modern Fertility cofounders Afton Vechery and Carly Leahy

Image Credit: Modern Fertility

Modern Fertility is trying to spark a conversation about fertility. The young San Francisco-based startup wants to educate women about their bodies and hormonal levels, and today announced funding of $1 million, led by First Round Capital, with participation from Box Group, Y Combinator, and angel investors.

“The main problem that we are trying to solve is that women don’t have good information about their fertility,” said Modern Fertility cofounder and CEO Afton Vechery, in an interview with VentureBeat. “It’s something women think about and often stress about, but there’s no good way to ‘check in’ and understand your ability to have kids in the future.”

Vechery and her cofounder, Carly Leahy, created a personalized fertility test women can take at home. Customers prick their finger, put four drops of blood on the included card, and ship it to CLIA-accredited labs. Results are available online after five to seven days through Modern Fertility’s personalized dashboard. These results are reviewed by a medical practitioner who provides a layer of interpretation to help women understand what their hormone levels mean.

The startup measures up to 10 fertility hormones, including the anti-mullerian hormone (AMH), which is generally a good indicator of a woman’s ovarian reserve (how many eggs she has), and prolactin, which can impact the embryo’s ability to implant. If a woman is taking a contraceptive, Modern Fertility will vary the hormone panel accordingly.

Above: The hormones included in Modern Fertility tests

Image Credit: Modern Fertility

Women can preorder the test starting today for $149 — it is expected to ship by the end of this year, according to the cofounders. In the meantime, if customers want to take the test now, they can do so in approved labs. “These are the same tests that are used in clinics today as part of an initial consult,” said Vechery.

There are many other fertility startups out there, which shows how important femtech, or female technology, is becoming. Whether it’s fertility tracking apps like Clue, Glow, or Natural Cycles, or at-home fertility monitoring devices like Ava, the market is there.

But Modern Fertility claims to be addressing a different segment. Rather than focusing on women who are actively trying to conceive by tracking their ovulation peaks, the startup comes in much earlier, before these women start trying to have children.

“We spend our lives talking about prevention rather than preparing for pregnancy,” said Leahy. “The concept should be introduced early on, like your pap smear.”

But what about women who don’t want to have kids? “Some women still really want to know more about their bodies and how these hormones affect them,” said Vechery. “Some of the hormones we test are specific to fertility but also women’s health more broadly.”

After all, we track our fitness and our food, so why not track our fertility and hormones?

Founded in 2017, Modern Fertility is part of Y Combinator’s current batch and will be pitching its concept in less than two weeks at YC’s demo days. This initial round of funding will be used to build up the team in San Francisco.

“There is a huge movement towards personalized medicine and patient empowerment in health care,” wrote First Round Capital partner Phin Barnes, in an email to VentureBeat. “And yet, state of the art advice around one of the most important decisions a woman can make is, ‘just have them before you are 35…’ Modern Fertility will provide the information women need to map out their lives in their own, modern way.”

While direct-to-consumer health care does empower patients, it can also be a very slippery slope. After several FDA smackdowns, highly publicized startups like 23andMe and Theranos have become cautionary tales for those in the health tech world.

Modern Fertility isn’t concerned about those kinds of pitfalls, as it only carries out FDA-approved clinical tests that are reviewed by a medical practitioner. But the conversation about what a patient should do with the results is still missing. Finding out you might be infertile can be devastating, no matter how clear and explicit the results are on your computer screen. So encouraging women to discuss their results with a doctor or gynecologist will hopefully be a top priority for Modern Fertility and others in the field.

 [Source”timesofindia”]

Modern Fertility is offering a comprehensive fertility test for women who hope to be moms someday

There are a number of ways to find out more about your fertility these days — including from several at-home fertility test startups that have started to pop up in the last few years. Modern Fertility hopes to soon operate in much the same way, but with a more affordable option for testing 10 key hormones affecting women’s fertility.

Though Modern Fertility’s at-home test won’t be available till later this year, you can pre-order it on their website for $149 — though the price will go up after the pre-order at a yet-to-be determined date. Should you want to get started now, the startup also offers the comprehensive screening through a lab near you, though it’s not clear what the price is for that.

The kit includes checking your hormone levels for:

  • Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH)

  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)

  • Estradiol (E2)

  • Luteinizing hormone (LH)

  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)

  • Free thyroxine (FT4)

  • Progesterone (P4)

  • Prolactin (PRL)

  • Free Testosterone (Free T)

  • Total Testosterone (T)

Modern Fertility competitor Future Family, a startup offering financing options for egg freezing and IVF procedures, also sells two separate fertility tests you can take at home. The first test kit goes for $300 and includes the three most key hormone tests: AMH, FSH and E2. Future Family’s second test, Fertility Age Test Plus, includes testing for the first three hormones and three tests for thyroid dysfunctions TSH, TPO (thyroperoxidase) and T3/T4. (triiodothironine and thyroxine levels) for a similar price.

Everlywell, a startup offering myriad home health tests, includes a similarly comprehensive fertility kit as Modern Fertility for $400, but with 11 hormone tests — and not all of them are the same ones.

Half the price for more hormone testing seems like a deal. However, there’s a hot debate among these startups over just how many of these hormone tests, and which ones, are necessary. Everlywell, for instance, doesn’t include AMH because they consider that only necessary if you are about to undergo IVF. Future Family told TechCrunch only the three key tests are necessary unless you need thyroid testing, because the other hormone tests “are widely accepted by doctors as not being true indicators of fertility.”

 

[Source”timesofindia”]

‘Modern,Family’,Creator,Hints,At,How,And,When,The,Show,Will,End

If you think Modern Family’s been on for-freakin’-ever, you’re not wrong. The show already has eight seasons and was recently renewed by ABC for two more seasons after that. But even Emmy-winning shows must end someday, and according to Modern Family co-creator/executive producer Steve Levitan, the end is near. In an interview with Deadline, Levitan got candid about when and how Modern Family will end.

First, Levitan basically confirmed Modern Family will conclude after 10 seasons. He said a decade was not the original goal he and fellow co-creator Christopher Lloyd (no, not that one) had in mind — not until they realized it was possible, at least.

“Our original goal was to just stay on the air,” Levitan said. “But after awhile we though we may be in control our own fate, and 10 sounded like a nice round number.”

Ten seasons is certainly an impressive run. Other hit sitcoms like Friendsand Happy Days also capped off their success off at 10 seasons. Others. though, have kept going even longer — The Big Bang Theory is in its 11th season, and is already planning Season 12.

Of course, having children as some of the main characters on the show does put more of a timeline on things — this season Alex was off at college, and we have to assume Hayley, Luke, and Manny will also move out eventually.

NOLAN GOULD, RICO RODRIGUEZ, ARIEL WINTER, AUBREY ANDERSON-EMMON MODERN FAMILY – “The Graduates” – In the season finale, Manny's father, Javier (guest-star Benjamin Bratt), shows up for his graduation and takes him out on a wild night of celebration, and then Jay steps in to pick-up the pieces. Meanwhile, the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan is getting ready for Luke and Manny's big day and dealing with the emotions that come with seeing your kids grow up and leave the nest.

ABC/Richard Cartwright

Though he didn’t have specifics, Levitan did drop some hints on where the final season of Modern Family will leave the Dunphys and Pritchetts.

Levitan said,

We haven’t had that exact conversation yet how we want to end the show episode-wise. We’ve talked about areas that we want to go and tonally what we want to do. I think we will end the show the way we started it in the pilot, with a big family event.

He didn’t elaborate on what that “family event” might be. The family event in the pilot episode was Cameron and Mitchell introducing their newly adopted daughter, Lily, to the family, so it might be fitting to have the family come together around Lily again. But I’m just spit-balling here.

Levitan said he and Lloyd also considering ending the show on a death or a crazy twist, so let’s just all keep praying that doesn’t happen. I don’t think I could handle it if Jay dies.

[Source”cnbc”]

Modern Family co-creator confirms how show will end, says season 10 will ‘likely’ be the last

modern-family-2.jpg

Modern Family co-creator Steven Levitan has confirmed plans to end the series with its tenth season.

ABC renewed the long-running sitcom for two more seasons in May bringing its overall count to ten – the same number Friendsran for – with Levitan telling Deadline that sounds “…like a nice round number.”

He even went so far as to express how he plans to wrap the series with co-writer Christopher Lloyd.

“We haven’t had that exact conversation yet how we want to end the show episode-wise. We’ve talked about areas that we want to go and tonally what we want to do.”

He added that, after considering ending the show with a shock death or twist, they will ultimately “…end the show the way we started it in the pilot, with a big family event,”

Modern Family – which began in 2009 – follows the stories of different members of the Pritchett family including Jay (Ed O’Neill), wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara), daughter Claire (Julie Bowen), son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and sons-in-law Phil (Ty Burrell) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet).

Cameras are now rolling on season nine and Levitan confirmed that the tenth run will be mapped out during the latest season’s second half.

Over its eight years on the air, Modern Family has won 22 Emmy awards, five of which were for Outstanding Comedy Series for its first five seasons.

[Source”cnbc”]