After sweeping the Emmys for the third year in a row and taking home the top Outstanding Comedy Series award, Modern Family is back for its fourth season with plenty of laughs that live up to its hype.

The premiere faithfully picked up where the third season left off: Gloria (Sofia Vergara) struggles to confess her baby news; Cam (2012 Emmy winner Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) struggle with their lack of baby news; and Claire (2012 Emmy winner Julie Bowen) deals with a hungover Haley (Sarah Hyland) and her sleep-in boyfriend Dylan (Reid Ewing). After breaking the news to a surprisingly overjoyed Jay (Ed O'Neill), who has just turned 65, and a secretly overjoyed Claire, who revels at the thought that her stepmom is "going to get fat," the episode jumps ahead several months to a glowingly pregnant Gloria, a bearded Phil (Ty Burrell), the feline addition to Cam and Mitch's family, and a newly homeless Dylan, who is getting kicked out of the Dunphy household after a prolonged stay.

Also featuring an uncharacteristically jealous Manny (Rico Rodriguez), who is feeling threatened by the new Pritchett on the way, and a pair of indecent stuffed animals that Cam and Mitch try in vain to load onto the roof of their car, Modern Family's season four premiere packs in the punches — and punchlines — to confirm its uncontested status as TV's reigning comedy. Although some critics accused the show of getting stale and returning to its same old comfortable formula, most seem to think Modern Family is worthy of its continued accolades, including the 14.21 million viewers who tuned in on premiere night, topping Wednesday's ratings above Criminal Minds and The X Factor.

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