A year after it was first in consideration for a series pickup, a 1990-set spinoff from The Goldbergs, toplined by Tim Meadows and Bryan Callen, has landed a series order by ABC for the 2018-19 season. The retooled project, which aired as an episode of The Goldbergs on January 24, and also stars AJ Michalka, comes from the same auspices as last year’s pilot: The Goldbergs creator/executive producer Adam F. Goldberg, executive producers Marc Firek, Doug Robinson, Sony Pictures TV and ABC TV Studios.
The size of the order has not been revealed but is rumored to be 13 episodes.
The untitled spinoff (aka Schooled) will be set in 1990-something and follow the hilarious teachers of William Penn Academy – led by Tim Meadows (Principal Glascott), Bryan Callen (Coach Mellor) and AJ Michalka (Lainey Lewis) – who, despite their eccentricities and crazy personal lives, are heroes to their students.
The spinoff is being written by Firek based on a story by him and Goldberg.
I hear it was Robinson, Goldberg and Firek who kept on ABC after the original spinoff pilot was not picked up last May. They suggested that it run instead of a repeat of The Goldbergs, and, without much fanfare, the spinoff episode got traction. Goldberg and Firek then made a new pitch to ABC about a spinoff, scaling back the originals’ family-life focus to make it more of a workplace comedy set at the Philadelphia school where Adam (Sean Giambrone) on the mothership series graduated from. The new concept also includes Michalka’s character from The Goldbergs, Erica Goldberg’s (Hayley Orrantia) best friend, who was not part of last year’s pilot.
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Goldberg first had the idea in 2016, “because Bryan Callen is so amazing and he just keeps coming back on that show.”
“For me, every show that’s about teachers, and there’s been a number of them, they’re like misfits who hate the kids and don’t want to be there and hate their jobs,” he told Deadline last year. “For me, having crazy parents, my teachers were the sane people who raised me, and they liked being there. They don’t make a ton of money, but they’re heroes. And I wanted to wish a positive show where it’s not having teachers being down in the teachers lounge smoking cigarettes.”
Callen, Meadows and Michalka all have been on The Goldbergs since Season 1. Meadows and Callen have recurred since then, and Michalka has recurred in Seasons 1, 2 and 5 and was a series regular in Seasons 3 and 4.
This is the second project Robinson has seen rise from the death, along with Fox/Sony TV comedy series Breaking In, which was canceled after one season and then uncanceled. It is also the latest save for Sony TV, which also had series Timeless and Drop Dead Diva canceled and then resurrected by the same networks and helped Sneaky Pete (pilot) and Community, Unforgettable and Damages (series) find new homes after getting a pass/cancellation by their original network.