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Stars of "Modern Family" reach contract deal

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: (L-R) Sarah Hyland, Nolan Gould, Ariel Winter, Sof»a Vergara, Ed O'Neill, Rico Rodriguez, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet of 'Modern Family' pose in the press room after winning Outstanding Comedy Series during the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images/Frazer Harrison

(AP) LOS ANGELES - The stars of "Modern Family" have reached new contracts to keep working on the Emmy-winning comedy, ending a dispute that had threatened to spill over into a courtroom.

A 20th Century Fox spokesman confirmed Friday evening that the deals had been reached and that shooting on the ABC series' fourth season will begin Monday.

The deals cover stars Sofia Vergara, Ed O'Neill, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.

Five of the actors sued Fox on Tuesday, asking a judge to rule their contracts on the Emmy-winning show are illegal and should be invalidated. O'Neill joined the case later in the week.

The lawsuit, which claimed the actors' contracts were illegal because they bound them to the show for more than seven years, will be dropped. Exact terms of the deal were not released.

"Modern Family," a popular comedy that airs on ABC, has won Emmy Awards for outstanding Comedy Series the past two years. Several of the stars, including Burrell, Bowen and Stonestreet have won individual Emmys for their work on the show.

The show was recently nominated for 14 Emmy Awards, the most of any sitcom.