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One Goldbergs star won't be around as much in Season 5, but it's not as though fans of the series didn't see this one coming. AJ Michalka, who plays Barry's girlfriend Lainey, has been demoted from the title of series regular ahead of the show's return this fall. Here's what we know regarding the change-up, and how the series will be affected by this move going forward.
As The Goldbergs showed in the Season 4 finale, Lainey is headed off to college in Savannah, Georgia, and won't be around while Barry remains in high school. Considering her character will be far away, it seems logical that AJ Michalka's role has been reduced ahead of Season 5, although there's still a chance of Lainey appearing at points throughout the season. Executive producer and Stephen King fan Adam F. Goldberg tells TVLine that Michalka has been present for some table reads for episodes in the upcoming season, so it's not as though the show is writing her off completely.
As to what this means for Lainey and Barry's relationship on The Goldbergs remains to be seen. The two were on good terms when Season 4 ended, and while it didn't appear as though a long distance relationship is in the cards, the fact that Lainey will be appearing in future episodes would appear to indicate the two will have some sort of interaction in Season 5. Hopefully it isn't one of those heartbreaking moments where Lainey returns home and has to awkwardly break the news to Barry that she's met someone else while she was away.
AJ Michalka's demotion comes almost a month after the news that Erica's beau, Geoff Schwartz aka actor Sam Lerner, has been upgraded to a series regular ahead of Season 5. As for what Michalka has lined up for her free time outside of guest roles The Goldbergs, the actress has linked back up with her sister Aly Michalka and the two are bringing back their pop musical act Aly and AJ. The two are resurrecting their musical careers following a ten-year hiatus, and recently released a new song, which can be heard below:
The Goldbergs will return for Season 5 on September 27th at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. With a spin-off already in the works, fans can hope the upcoming season is just as good as the one's past. The great television doesn't begin and end with The Goldbergs however, as we are about to enter peak season for great television programming. To stay on top of all the premieres and returns of the hottest shows of the fall, be sure to bookmark our fall premiere guide.