How The Goldbergs Plan to Explain Jeff Garlin's Exit

·2 min read

The Goldbergs are moving on.

The ABC sitcom The Goldbergs, which debuts its 10th season on Sept. 21, is finding a way forward without patriarch Murray (Jeff Garlin). Garlin exited the series in December 2021 following an HR investigation into misconduct allegations. In an interview with Vanity Fair that same month, Garlin said his jokes were "misconstrued" and there was "nothing physical" that happened. (You can find his full statement here).

The show will now explain away Murray's disappearance by picking up months after his death, delving into a new world where now-married couple Erica (Hayley Orrantia) and Geoff (Sam Lerner) are having their first child while the family deals with their loss. As the season progresses, conflict arises between Erica and Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey) over her pregnancy.

"This is going to be a family that has not reconciled the fact that their father's gone but has sort of moved on and has dealt with a lot of that," co-showrunner Alex Barnow told Entertainment Weekly Aug. 30. "So we're starting with optimism about a baby coming and looking forward to the future. It's an opportunity for this interesting emotional basis for the way people are behaving."

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Barnow said that Garlin is "aware" of the choice, but not necessarily the specifics of his character's arc.

"I've had a conversation with Jeff and he's aware that he's not being replaced," he said. "The truth is, I don't know if he knows what his fate is, but I'm assuming he knows."

Co-showrunner Chris Bishop added that the shake-up makes the season feel like "a huge reboot."

With Garlin's absence, this season we'll also see more of Pop-Pop (Judd Hirsch), in addition to a super-special guest star: '80s film icon David Hasselhoff, who will be starring as himself for a "couple episodes," according to Bishop.

Jeff Garlin, The Goldbergs, Wendi McLendon-Covey

"We can't think of anybody more emblematic of that decade," Barnow said. "You see him and it's like, it's almost hard to believe he's here—he's wearing the jacket, he's got the hair, he looks great."

The co-showrunner explained that Beverly gets Adam (Sean Giambrone) a job working on Hasselhoff's latest film, but the family ends up driving him "crazy." But, in a surprise twist, the actor also ends up giving a commencement address at Erica's makeshift graduation, who's "racing" to get her diploma before having her baby.

You can look out for Hasselhoff himself when The Goldbergs premieres Sept. 21 on ABC.

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