Penn Charter teachers at heart of potential 'Goldbergs' spin-off

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'The Goldbergs,' the Philly-set sitcom, may be getting a spin off

Jenkintown's Adam F. Goldberg expects to submit a pilot script to ABC on Wednesday for a potential spin-off of his autobiographical comedy The Goldbergs, he said Tuesday during the Television Critics Association's winter meetings in Pasadena, Calif.

If picked up, it would be Goldberg's third show for ABC. His midseason comedy, Imaginary Mary, stars Jenna Elfman as a woman with an imaginary friend, and is scheduled to premiere March 29.

Written with Marc Firek, who's also an executive producer on The Goldbergs, the so-far-untitled show would be set in the 1990s and would be based on the faculty of Philadelphia's William Penn Charter School, from which Goldberg graduated in 1994. Gym teacher Rick Mellor, the character Bryan Callen plays on The Goldbergs, would be a major character, Goldberg said.

It's "about all the teachers I had," he said. "Right now, Beverly [his mother, who's played by Wendi McLendon-Covey] is scripted to be in the show, so there is a lot of crossover with The Goldbergs."

He's gotten to know his former teachers better since he's been doing The Goldbergs because he has to get them to sign off on being portrayed on that show. "Every teacher on the show is a real teacher -- the theater teacher, Mellor, [and] the character Tim Meadows plays. ... My own family trusts me, so I think they feel like I'm not going to sell out their characters."

The new show would use a voice-over, and "it's a teacher's voice, looking back."

He thinks people will enjoy seeing some characters from the 1980s-set Goldbergs pop up in the 1990s. "I just did an episode [of The Goldbergs] where I revealed that my brother became a doctor and people are like, 'I can't believe that Barry is a doctor.' ... Watching characters evolve on different shows is something we haven't seen before."

Goldberg, whose wife's parents are teachers, intends for the show to be a positive portrayal. "For me, having crazy parents, my teachers were like the sane people who raised me. And they like being there. And, yeah, they don't make a ton of money. They're heroes."

 

 

 

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