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OTRC: 'Modern Family' debuts third season with new actress as Lilly

Ferguson and Anderson-Emmons in a scene from 'Modern Family.'

"Modern Family" premiered on Wednesday September 21, right off its big Emmy win from September 18 with five awards. While most of the cast returned for the show's third season, the role of Lilly is being played by a new child actress named Aubrey Anderson-Emmons.

The actress, who is 4-years-old, is taking over the role from twins Jaden and Ella Hiller who have played Lilly since the series began in 2009.

Lilly is the adopted daughter of Mitchell and Cameron, the show's homosexual couple played by Emmy nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, who won an Emmy in 2010 for his role on the ABC series. Ferguson and Anderson-Emmons can be seen in the photo above.

On "Modern Family," Ed O'Neill plays Jay Pritchett, the patriarch of an eclectic family. Sofia Vergara plays his younger, second wife. Ferguson plays Pritchett's son. Julie Bowen plays Pritchett's daughter and Ty Burrell portrays her husband.

"Modern Family" was nominated for 17 Emmys this year and received 31 nods since its 2009 debut.

"It was a hard decision, and this was not remotely having to do with us wanting to upgrade the acting ability or jump the character in age," the show's Executive Producer Christopher Lloyd explained to Entertainment Weekly about the recasting. "The twins who play the part were not happy. We started feeling like we were just being mean to these little girls, making them come to the stage."

He added, "And the character is reaching an age where she would talk, and that was going to be an asset to us to have Cam and Mitch communicating with her."

Lloyd said of Anderson-Emmons, "She's very cute and winning, and we're not going to have her suddenly doing soliloquies in the first episode. She'll talk the way a 3-year-old would talk."

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