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'Modern Family' exec producer knocks Hulu on Twitter

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Image Credit: Kevin Parry/Getty ImagesLate Wednesday night, Steve Levitan, the co-creator and exec producer of Modern Family, set off a Twitter dialogue (tweet-alogue?) that’s still burning today. The topic? Reports of a future IPO for Hulu, which seem to have Levitan none-too-pleased. Levitan wrote “Some estimate Hulu IPO could bring in $2Bil. What will the content providers get? Zero. What is Hulu without content? An empty jukebox.” This isn’t the first time Levitan has spoken out against online television: At TCA earlier this month, he told reporters that he’d lobbied unsuccessfully for Modern Family episodes to be removed from Hulu and ABC.com so the Nielsen ratings for the show would better reflect total viewership. Yesterday, Levitan followed up his original tweet to clarify that he wasn’t dissing Hulu viewers: “To be clear, I value every single one of our viewers, no matter how you watch, I just want you to be counted…. We need a ratings system that counts all viewers on every format: TV, DVR, Hulu, iTunes, iPad Player, network websites, etc.” Bones creator Hart Hanson chimed in, “If I see @stevelevitan today I’m going to find a step-ladder and kiss him on the lips,” while TV By the Numbers’ Robert Seidman wrote that Levitan was “ignorant” about how ratings really work. It’s easy to get lost in the technical thicket of ratings and viewership, but I, for one, find the intra-party arguing kind of fascinating, if only because we really are waiting to see the future of television play out. I’ve always watched Modern Family online, and it would be a drag if it was suddenly unavailable, but I also understand Levitan’s view that the series doesn’t get all the credit it has coming. Do you sympathize with him at all? Or do you think you deserve your online experience and that the television industry just needs to catch up?