Not only did it sweep the Emmy comedy categories this year, but "Modern Family" may have done a little something for the gay rights movement.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter
, "Modern Family" star Ty Burrell opened up about why he thinks the ABC sitcom has been an important part of our culture over the past few years.

"I have family members that I don’t necessarily need to name, that felt one way [about gay rights] five years ago and feel a different way now," he said. "And I do really think that has something to do ... [with seeing] gay people living the same lives as everybody else. And I think that, sort of weirdly enough, that banality, is revolutionary.

"Just seeing [their characters] Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) dealing with the kid trying to sleep, trying to figure out how to dress them for Halloween, fighting about who’s the breadwinner," Burrell continued. "Everything is, other than a few small things, essentially the same."

NBC's "The New Normal," on the other hand, saw a great deal of backlash for featuring a gay couple before it even aired.

"The silly part is that no one has seen it," Rannells, who stars on the Ryan Murphy comedy, told PrideSource of boycotts against the show. "So what that boycott is based on is a two-line description of what they read this show was about and, just based on that alone, they're upset. That's disappointing because ultimately, what the show is about is how much love it takes to start a family -- and not just our family."

For more on Burrell, head over to "The Hollywood Reporter."

Catch "Modern Family" on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

Do you think "Modern Family" has helped the gay rights movement? Sound off in the comments.

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  • Andrew Rannells, "The New Normal" (NBC)

    After a hilarious stint on HBO's "Girls" (which he'll also return to for Season 2), we're thrilled that Rannells ended his Tony-nominated run starring in "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway to play one-half of Ryan Murphy's new comedic leading gay couple on "The New Normal." His scene-stealing skills are still very much intact -- he goes head-to-head with co-stars NeNe Leakes and Ellen Barkin and still manages to get the last laugh.

  • Clare Bowen, "Nashville" (ABC)

    Yes, "Nashville's" big draw is the rivalry between Connie Britton's one-time queen of country music and Hayden Panettiere's up-and-coming starlet; but the real gem here is Bowen's Scarlett O'Connor, a sweet girl with an even sweeter singing voice. This Australian native might not be a big name in the States just yet, but it's only a matter of time.

  • Ed Weeks, "The Mindy Project" (Fox)

    British actor Weeks plays Jeremy Reed, the devilish doctor who tempts Mindy Kaling's title character to the dark side on "The Mindy Project." This is his first US TV role, and we're already expecting great things.

  • Danai Gurira, "The Walking Dead" (AMC)

    We only caught a glimpse of katana-wielding Michonne in the "Walking Dead" Season 2 finale, but it was enough to get fans excited for more. As our survivors seek shelter in the prison and meet The Governor (David Morrissey), they're gonna need someone who knows how to wrangle up zombies right, and Michonne's their girl.

  • Jacob Artist, "Glee" (Fox)

    Now that Puck (Mark Salling) has graduated from McKinley, there's a new generation of Puckerman in town -- Artist is signed on to play Jake, Noah Puckerman's half-brother, in Season 4. If he's even half as talented, sweet and prone to causing trouble, we'll happily have a slushie or two waiting in the wings with his name on it.

  • Laura Benanti, "Go On" (NBC)

    Benanti was a bright spot in NBC's drama flop "The Playboy Club" last season, but while the Broadway vet got to sing and shake her tail feather (literally), we didn't get to see her show off her comedy chops there or on her "Law & Order: SVU" stint. Now playing opposite Matthew Perry, there's great comedic potential and some sexual tension to mine.

  • Rob Evans, "America's Next Top Model" (The CW)

    Evans, a male model (and current <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/06/08/tyra-banks-robert-evans_n_1580287.html" target="_hplink">Mr. Tyra Banks</a>), is stepping into some pretty big shoes <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/17/americas-next-top-model-n_n_1524091.html" target="_hplink">to judge "ANTM" this season</a>, and we have high hopes that he can pull it off. He's got the looks to keep us watching and the pedigree to critique this cycle's contestants ... we'll still miss Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel and J. Alexander, but this is a nice refresh.

  • Janet Montgomery, "Made In Jersey" (CBS)

    Montgomery made the final season reboot of Fox's "Human Target" bearable, popped up on "Entourage" and even danced around the company in "Black Swan," but this starring role is her true US TV breakout, and her convincing Jersey accent and go-get-'em attitude will make you forget she's actually a Brit.

  • Nat Faxon, "Ben and Kate" (Fox)

    There aren't many Oscar winners that could come to TV without fanfare ... but that's the case with Faxon, who brings all his funny sidekick experience up a notch to take on one of the lead roles (he's Ben) in this quirky family comedy. He's been around for a while, is a Groundlings member and, yes, even took home an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for George Clooney's "The Descendants" last year, which he co-wrote with director Alexander Payne and his writing partner Jim Rash, a.k.a. "Community's" Dean Pelton. TV is lucky to have him.

  • Tracy Spiridakos, "Revolution" (NBC)

    Spiridakos has done TV guest spots here and there (including a stint on Syfy's "Being Human" last season), but this is the show that should make her a star. "Revolution" has its issues, for sure, but even surrounded by more established stars, Spiridakos shines playing an emotional <em>and</em> gun-toting badass.

  • Camilla Luddington, "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19/greys-anatomy-camilla-luddington_n_1687544.html" target="_hplink">Camilla Luddington is on call at Seattle Grace Mercy West hospital</a>. The "Californication" and "True Blood" alum will don scrubs on "Grey's Anatomy" this fall to play a (sexy) new doc, with the option to sign on as a series regular next season. Start placing bets now about who she'll hook up with first!

  • Stephen Amell, "Arrow" (The CW)

    Amell's most memorable TV role to date might be as Jason, the rival male prostitute on the last season of HBO's "Hung," but his new superpowers really suit him. As Oliver Queen, aka The Green Arrow, Amell has some big leather hoodies to slip into ... but we guarantee no one will complain about the way he fills them out.

  • Mercedes Masöhn, "666 Park Avenue" (ABC)

    Swedish-born Masöhn was a bright spot on Fox's ill-fated "Bones" spinoff "The Finder" -- and she's got quite the sense of humor -- but we're loving her in this darker role as one of the residents of a very haunted building. Cast alongside Terry O'Quinn, Vanessa Williams, Dave Annable and Rachael Taylor, she still manages to stand out as a Park Ave. resident to watch.

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