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Nathan Lane talks ‘Modern Family’ spinoff, ‘Dash of Pepper’

Nathan Lane sure knows how to spice things up. The Tony-nominated actor (“Nance”) talked to reporters at the Summer Television Critics Association panel on Tuesday, and he dropped a hint about his hopes for a “Modern Family” spinoff, according to Deadline.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JULY 22: Actor Nathan Lane speaks onstage during the 'Live From The Lincoln Center ' The Nance' panel at the PBS Networks portion of the 2014 Summer Television Critics Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 22, 2014 in Beverly
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

“It’s a tribute to those writers,” he said of the Emmy-winning show that hosts his recurring guest stint as flamboyant event planner Pepper Saltzman. “I have just to go and play with them a couple times a year. And stuff like an Emmy nomination is always icing on the cake.”

The six-time Emmy nominee hopes to beat out competitors Jimmy Fallon and Louie C.K. for this year’s outstanding guest star award, but he also has a wish for a spinoff for his quirky character.

“[This season] I found out what [Pepper Saltzman] did for a living. Nobody else ever told me – he was an event planner,” Lane dished. “And gave him a partner, Renaldo. So that’s been a wonderful thing. And where it goes, I don’t know. I don’t know if I will ever see that spinoff, A Dash of Pepperbut at least he’s got a living, got a husband. I think we could do something!”

While there’s been no official word on a Saltzman spinoff, one of the show’s other recurring characters – egotistical real estate agent Gil Thorpe – could be the subject of a new sitcom. Last fall, Deadline reported that ABC was eyeing a potential spinoff starring Rob Riggle’s loud-mouthed character, who’s described as Southern California’s most successful real estate agent and rival of Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell).

But Gil Thorpe is a bit player compared to Pepper Saltzman, who had an extended stint on the show this season for the wedding-themed episodes for Mitchell and Cameron (Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet). In fact, he stole the show in the Season 5 finale in May, when the wedding planning didn’t go quite as planned.

In 2011, Flavorwire named Pepper Saltzman on a list of Minor TV Characters Who Deserve Their Own Spin-Off, while Entertainment Weekly actually coined the name "A Dash of Pepper” for a proposed Pepper series.

This isn’t the first time Lane has talked about a spinoff for his character. In an interview last year with Gold Derby, he said, "The story of Pepper, I haven't really built anything around that other than he obviously is very rich. He's got a lot of money. He lives very well. I'm sure there's a spinoff somewhere on Pepper."

“Modern Family” returns this fall on ABC.