If there was a major TV hit in the summer of 2016, it was probably Stranger Things. The Netflix series had unprecedented success---at least in terms of viral potential, as Netflix doesn't actually release ratings. And now one major network TV show really, really wants a Stranger Things crossover. That TV series is none other than ABC's The Goldbergs, a comedy set in the 1980s that nods at pop culture quite a bit. Here's why Goldbergs showrunner Adam F. Goldberg thinks the idea isn't so far-fetched, at all.
The crossover I want to do is Stranger Things. I have a scenario in my head that I don't want to spoil. The producer of [Goldberg's upcoming ABC comedy] Imaginary Mary [Shawn Levy] is also a producer and director of one of the episodes of Stranger Things. We've discussed what that would look like, which is really cool.
The Season 4 premiere of The Goldbergs is set to hit the schedule tonight, so the entire season hasn't been written or even necessarily plotted out at this point. Goldberg has gotten plenty of crossover-type episodes off of the ground at this point; one might even call him gifted at the task. However, because a Stranger Things crossover is far more relevant to today's culture and a second season is currently being commissioned at Netflix, this might be more difficult to pull off than, say, a Ferris Bueller's Day Off crossover. Goldberg told TV Line that he does know some of the people involved with Stranger Things and he has talked to them about his ideas, which should theoretically give him a leg up.
Now, as to how this would work, the word is still out. So far, The Goldbergs has spent a lot of time referencing various aspects of eighties culture, and has even aired specific episodes themed around popular movies that came out in the eighties. Regardless, because Stranger Things is a modern day show that happens to be set in the eighties---similar to The Goldbergs---you would think that any references to the Netflix series would have to be a whole lot subtler. The Goldbergs really couldn't pay homage to Stranger Things in the same way the show has nodded at eighties culture. However, could a Stranger Things character show up on The Goldbergs? Or could an episode of The Goldbergs mimic an episode of Stranger Things? I see no reason why not.
While we wait to find out whether or not Stranger Things will be a part of The Goldberg's future, new episodes of the ABC comedy are already set to feature other fun throwbacks. For instance, the Season 4 opener is expected to feature some nods to The Breakfast Club. It should be a pretty exciting TV season, and you can find out what else is headed to TV with our fall TV premiere schedule.