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The buzz surrounding a potential spinoff of the popular ABC comedy The Goldbergs has been floating around for a while now. After a bit of back and forth, the untitled spinoff has been given the official green-light by ABC, which put in a straight-to-series order. They must mean business this time, right? Here is what we know so far, including what's different from the previous version.
Like The Goldbergs, the comedic follow-up will take place in the past; the 1990s, to be exact. The entertaining teaching staff of William Penn Academy will be the focus here, including Principal Glascott (Tim Meadows), Coach Mellor (Bryan Callen), and Lainey Lewis (AJ Michalka). All of them are adored by their students, despite their distinct quirks and crazy non-school lives. Audiences are familiar with them, too, as each of the characters also appears on The Goldbergs proper.
The Goldbergs spinoff almost didn't happen. ABC produced a pilot, then-titled Schooled, which focused on Tim Meadows' character and his sister Lucy, played by Nia Long. The network ended up passing on the project for its 2017-2018 broadcast season, despite it reportedly testing highly. Fans of The Goldbergs got to see the full pilot when it aired during the series' timeslot back in late January. It apparently did well enough with general audiences as well, because fast-forward to April, and ABC is singing a different tune about the project's future.
It is clear from ABC's announcement that there will be changes from the original spinoff pilot that aired in January. Due to her commitment to the CBS drama NCIS: Los Angeles, Nia Long will not be reprising her role as Principal Glascott's sister. It is unclear if they will recast the character, or those of daughters Felicia (Rachel Crow) and Gigi (Summer Parker), who played a central role in the pilot. Older daughter Felicia was the narrator of the original pilot, with Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer lending her vocal talents as Adult Felicia. Only time will tell how the spinoff will address the absence of Principal Glascott's family, or if they will be involved after all.
New to the cast of the green-lit spinoff is AJ Michalka, who will return as her character Lainey Lewis from The Goldbergs. There were no further details on Lainey's specific role at the school. ABC's synopsis indicates she will be one of the teachers, though the class she will be teaching has not been disclosed. Michalka is currently starring in the fifth season of The Goldbergs in a recurring capacity.