Can Eric Stonestreet keep ‘Domino Masters’ from falling over?

Emmy-winning 'Modern Family' alum hosts new Fox contest

Eric Stonestreet

During his “Modern Family” days, Eric Stonestreet didn’t foresee that dominoes would play a big role in continuing his television career.

A two-time Primetime Emmy winner as Cam on the long-running, much-acclaimed sitcom, the actor introduces three-person teams skilled at setting up and deploying elaborate displays as he becomes the host of the new Fox series “Domino Masters,” premiering Wednesday, March 9. It’s not enough for the contestants to execute their assigned themes, though: They also have to pass muster with a judging panel that includes actress (and mathematician) Danica McKellar, NFL veteran and arts patron Vernon Davis, and domino artist Steve Davis. Sportscaster Joe Buck narrates the contest.

“There are qualifications and specifications that each team has to put into their builds in each round,” Stonestreet says. “Some of it is launching things into the air, or having a large chain reaction in the grand finale. I’ve just been blown away by their creativity, and also their stamina, being on their hands and knees and leaning over and setting these dominoes up.”

Also the host of the earlier ABC reality competition “The Toy Box,” Stonestreet explains, “I’ve always been a fan of the fact that people are willing to take a shot at making their dreams come true. In this case, it’s all these people who are passionate about the sport of chain reaction, and I’m immediately interested in meeting them. The quirkier the passion, the more fun it is for me to be around.”

Another Fox show, and two children Stonestreet knows well, also had hands in prompting him to sign up for “Domino Masters.” He notes, “ ‘LEGO Masters’ is awesome! We’re big fans of that at my house. My fiancee has 9-year-old boys, and they were sort of my sounding boards when this came my way. They knew about domino toppling more than I did because of YouTube videos they’re allowed to watch, and they were very excited about the prospect of me doing this. Ultimately, I had to assume other 9-year-olds and parents also would be interested, and it helped me make my decision to do it.”

Eric Stonestreet builds something new with ‘Domino Masters’

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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