Author Marc Freeman's new book Modern Family: The Untold Oral History of One of Television's Groundbreaking Sitcoms reveals how the former Coach star lost out on the role that went to Ed O'Neill. ABC and the Modern Family creators were stuck on whether to go after Nelson or O'Neill. So an ABC executive tossed a coin and it landed on Nelson, Freeman's book reveals. Casting director Jeff Greenberg says negotiations with Nelson began, but his reps started playing hardball. “He wanted star money, and it wasn’t a star show,” says Greenberg. “It’s an ensemble show. I understand from his agent that he regretted his decision. I’m not surprised.” Co-creator Steve Levitan adds that they heard rumors Nelson was “a bit difficult on set” and that they were troubled by an interview he did with Glenn Beck bashing government. “That scared us, frankly,” Levitan said. “There was a lack of self-awareness there and compassion that worried us. Meanwhile, all we kept hearing is that Ed O’Neill is the nicest person on the planet. We decided to pull the offer and go to Ed.” ALSO: Read a book excerpt on Ty Burrell's long road to being cast on Modern Family.