Modern Family
Credit: ABC

On next week’s Modern Family, toddler Lily is going to use one of the worst of George Carlin’s famous Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.

The adopted two-and-a-half year-old character somehow picks up the profanity “f—.” This naturally horrifies her parents, Cam and Mitchell, who in particular fear she’ll blurt it at an upcoming wedding. Lily is shown saying the word, but it’s not audible to the viewer. The episode’s title: “Little Bo Bleep.”

It might be the first time in a scripted family broadcast TV series where a child has said the F-word.

Creator Steve Levitan revealed the story line during an ABC comedy showrunner panel at the network’s press-tour presentation in Pasadena. “We had to really convince ABC,” Levitan told after the panel. “We thought it was a very natural story since, as parents, we’ve all been through this. ABC will tell you Modern Family gets away with a lot, because I think it’s all about context. We are not a sexually charged show. It has a very warm tone so people accept it more. I’m sure we’ll have some detractors.”

Another interesting moment came when Levitan was asked his opinion of sitcoms shot in front of studio audiences with laugh tracks.

“Living in L.A., you sometime hear coyotes eating cats,” Levitan said, drawing somewhat horrified laughter. “And to me, that’s the sound of a multi-cam laugh track. I just can’t take it anymore. I’ve done it [on previous comedies like Just Shoot Me] for 15 years. I couldn’t take another minute of it. I don’t think there’s any thing wrong with it — when done well, like Raymond, like Friends, like Frasier, and like Cheers, the laugh track disappears and you’re in that world and it’s a heightened reality and it works.”

In other Modern Family news, Kevin Hart will return for another guest stint on the show. He joins upcoming guest stars Greg Kinnear and Ellen Barkin.