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Why The Goldbergs Season 10 Is Almost Definitely Happening Despite Jeff Garlin Exit And CGI Murray Snafu

Beverly dancing on the street in The Goldbergs
(Image credit: ABC)

Now that we're essentially in "Network TV Cancellation Awareness Season," audiences everywhere are waiting to hear what the future holds for the past year's biggest hits andmisses. Fate hasn't been so kind to now-cancelled shows such as Fox's freshman drama The Big Leap and NBC's veteran medical drama New Amsterdam (which technically has another season to go). But what of ABC's long-running '80s comedy The Goldbergs? Well, despite any predictions that the network might pull the plug in the aftermath of Jeff Garlin's midseason exit, a big behind-the-scenes move was made that points to Season 10's imminent existence.

While ABC has yet to actually confirm The Goldbergs for a Season 10 renewal, the network has solidified new contract negotiations with star Wendi McLendon-Covey, which is arguably the biggest step that could have been made in the direction of a renewal decision. What’s more, Deadline reports that the deal allegedly includes a salary increase for the beloved comedic actress and executive producer, with an option in place for a potential Season 11. It’s not clear at this time if any of The Goldbergs’ other series regulars are in the negotiation process, but McLendon-Covey’s new deal makes everyone else’s all the more likely.

Without its core stars contractually locked into place, The Goldbergs could get all the season renewals in the world and not have anyone to bring new episodes to life. As such, the contract negotiation process is a mightily important link in the chain, and with Wendi McLendon-Covey being one of the show’s busiest actors by way of outside projects, it’s possible that ABC execs felt it was most important to secure her involvement before hashing things out with others stars such as Sean Giambrone, Troy Gentile, Hayley Orrantia, and Sam Lerner. And we can only hope those conversations would also include bringing back (and possibly promoting) excellent recurring stars like Richard Kind and Erinn Hayes.

To the network’s credit, ABC previously proved its dedication to a Garlin-free The Goldbergs when execs ordered up additional episodes to bring Season 9 to a full count.  A decision made in spite of the fact that the corner-cutting tactics being used to continue giving Murray Goldberg a viable character presence weren’t exactly met with cheers, or much of anything outside of confused horror.

While the reused archival dialogue and shot-from-behind stunt double didn’t do the show any favors, it’s the use of CGI’d Deepfake-y Jeff Garlin that earned the show some of its biggest and most surreal criticisms of its run to date. (To be sure, it was pretty creepy, and there’s no telling when or if it’ll come up again.) On the one hand, it's easy to understand why the creative team didn't want to suddenly kill Murray off, especially so soon after Pops was written off due to Hollywood legend George Segal's death in 2021. But everyone might take a revised look at that option should Season 10 come into play.

The Goldbergs is currently the longest-running live-action broadcast comedy, which definitely has value for ABC, even if the syndication game is nowhere near as lucrative as it once was for 100+ episode series. Should Season 10 happen, that would bring The Goldbergs to somewhere around 230 eps, which is a huge accomplishment during the cord-cutting era.

While the situation with The Goldbergs isn't necessarily as nerve-grinding as the annual discussions over whether or not this is the year when Ellen Pompeo is going to retire from Grey's Anatomy, it's a similar situation of one star's involvement paving the way for everyone else to stay employed. Stay tuned to see how things play out from here. 

The Goldbergs kicks off ABC's lone evening of comedy every Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV premieres to see what new and returning shows will be popping up soon.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.