By Lynette Rice
Updated July 08, 2010 at 05:04 PM EDT

Image Credit: Patrick Wymore/ABCABC’s freshman hit Modern Family earned 14 Emmy nominations today, including nods in the Outstanding Comedy and Outstanding Supporting Actor categories. Only Ed O’Neill was overlooked for playing patriarch Jay Pritchett, no doubt because many voters took it for granted that the veteran TV actor would earn a shout-out. Yet it was O’Neill’s choice to submit himself alongside co-stars Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Sofia Vergara, and Eric Stonestreet as a supporting actor rather than a lead one, insists co-creator Steve Levitan.

Bowen and Vergara earned nominations in the Supporting Actress category today, while Burrell, Ferguson, and Stonestreet snagged nods for Supporting Actor.

“I really admire the spirit of what Ed wanted to do. That’s what makes him such an amazing guy,” Levitan tells EW. Levitan, together with Family co-creator Christopher Lloyd, also scored a nomination for writing the comedy’s pilot. “I do wonder if people took him for granted … ‘He’ll get nominated so I’ll vote for these other people.’ Had he been in the lead category, I believe he would have earned a nomination. Other than that glaring omission, I am thrilled. It’s the culmination of a pretty fantastic year, so we are just counting our blessings.”

Adds Lloyd to EW, “A year and a half ago when we wrote the pilot, we honestly didn’t think there was a series in it. We thought it was a fun kind of thing to take a swing at, we just weren’t sure what the hell it is.”

Levitan and Lloyd have already broken 12 stories for the comedy’s second season, which begins production Aug. 1. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the things they have planned for the three lively clans: Each will experience a Southern California earthquake in their own unique way (Rico Rodriguez’ Manny, in particular, has a “spiritual awakening”). Cameron (Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Ferguson) contemplate whether to expand their family, and some of the characters get caught up in a flash mob/dance sequence in a public place.

Modern Family will air at 9 p.m. Wednesdays this fall on ABC. The comedy already earned awards from the Writers and Directors guilds earlier this year.

The last laugher to earn an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Comedy after its first season was Ugly Betty in 2007.