As reported by Deadline, Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland has joined the cast of ABC’s three-hour Dirty Dancing remake. Hyland will be playing Lisa Houseman, a character who really only existed in the original so she could be a foil to her sister, Jennifer Grey’s Baby. For example, Baby is concerned with starving children in southeast Asia, while Lisa is concerned with bringing enough shoes on her family vacation. Also, Lisa falls for Robbie, the Ayn Rand-reading creep, while Baby falls for Johnny, the working-class dancer with a heart of gold. Like everyone in Dirty Dancing, though, Lisa eventually comes around in the end—even if Johnny does interrupt her terrible (terrible, terrible, terrible) singing so he can do his big final dance.
Hyland joins Abigail Breslin (Baby), Cole Prattes (Johnny), and Debra Messing (Baby’s mom) in the remake, leaving Baby’s dad—the role originated by Jerry Orbach—one of the few characters that has yet to be cast. Considering he’s on the receiving end of the most famous line in the movie, it must be a pretty tough one to fill. He’s got to have a commanding presence that says “I’m gonna beat the shit out of you for dirty dancing with my daughter” but also a warmth that says “I’ll tolerate your dirty dancing if my daughter is really in love with you.”