'Modern Family' Spinoff: Can Gil Thorpe Carry a Series?

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Prepare to be Thorpe-nadoed!

Gil Thorpe has only been seen in two episodes of ABC's "Modern Family," but the character may soon star in a spinoff, according to Deadline. While talks are in the preliminary stages, executive producers Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh have reportedly pitched the project idea based on Rob Riggle's loud-mouthed realtor character.

The real-estate rival of Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) has been mentioned several times throughout the Emmy-winning comedy's first four seasons, but the character turned up onscreen for the first time earlier this year in the episodes "Flip Flop" and "Career Day."

But did the abrasive agent — who's long been a thorn in Phil Dunphy's side — make enough of an impact to warrant a TV series? Because let's face it, what do we really know about this Gil guy, anyway? We're not exactly talking a "Joey" here, and Matt LeBlanc's "Friends" spinoff was notoriously awful, despite the fact that viewers knew and loved his character, Joey Tribbiani.

Can "Southern California's most successful real-estate agent" really wow us with his fast talk and gifts of Gil pickles?

We first heard of Gil in the first season episode "Not in My House," when Phil Dunphy was explaining a questionable photo found on his computer: "You see, there's a guy at work who sends out these links. Gil Thorpe."

Later we found out that Gil was much more than just "a guy at work." He was Phil's arch rival, a guy who was constantly besting (and belittling) him. But in the Season 2 episode "Strangers on a Treadmill," Phil finally had the chance to one-up the area's top-rated realtor. "Tonight is the SCARB (Southern California Annual Realtors Banquet)," he announced. "It's the mother of all residential real-estate banquets. For the last five years, Gil Thorpe has hosted it, but as luck would have it, he's having a sketchy-looking polyp removed, so they've asked me to 'Phil in.'"

Finally, in Season 4, we saw Phil and Gil flip-flopping over a house flip, and in the episode "Career Day," the cocky character was featured in an extended scene that had him stealing the show during Phil's Career Day presentation at the junior high school.

In an interview last year with The A.V. Club, Riggle — who's written for "Funny or Die Presents" — talked about his unsuccessful past pilot attempts: "I've written several pilots that haven't gone, so that's why you haven't seen any. But I wrote a screenplay with Nia Vardalos. I wrote a pilot last year for CBS with Robert Smigel. So I do write, I enjoy it. But I like acting. I wanna be in front of the camera as much as I can as long as I can, so I'm still pursuing that. There's just a lot going on. I write standup, so it's just a matter of time. I just need more time!"

Either way, his "Modern Family" family loves him. During one of his guest spots last season, Julie Bowen tweeted: 

"Modern Family" airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Check out the Season 5 cast photos for "Modern Family":

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