James Hibberd
July 27, 2012 AT 05:43 PM EDT

ABC expressed optimism that the Modern Family cast salary dispute will be resolved and the show will premiere on time in September.

“Yes, I expect the season to start on time,” said ABC entertainment president Paul Lee. “We’re hopeful and optimistic that we will be able to resolve it … I don’t want to talk specifics, but it’s a wonderful show, they’re a great cast and we’re optimistic.”

The cast of the hit comedy have been playing hardball during their contract negotiations, which are going to the wire. Stars Ty Burrell, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Eric Stonestreet are going to court in an attempt to void their current deals. All six actors, including Ed O’Neill, are looking to boost their pay now that the hit show is beginning its fourth season.

Read more:

ABC fall premiere dates revealed

‘Modern Family’ cast scheduled to work

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