6:45pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Goldbergs' Spinoff Scores ABC Pilot Pickup
One of development season's most high-profile spinoffs is moving forward.
ABC on Thursday handed out a pilot pickup to its 1990s-set The Goldbergs spinoff, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The untitled project follows two high school teachers who become unlikely father figures to the kids at their Philadelphia school.
The Goldbergs executive producer Marc Firek and creator Adam F. Goldberg are penning the script for the single-camera comedy. Happy Madison's Doug Robinson and Seth Gordon — who executive produce The Goldbergs — are attached to exec produce the spinoff as well. The project hails from Sony Pictures Television, where Goldberg and Robinson are under overall deals.
The comedy landed at ABC with a script commitment and significant penalty attached in November. At the time, Bryan Callen (who plays Coach Rick Mellor on The Goldbergs) was attached to star as one of the two central teachers for the show, which like The Goldbergs, will take place at the Philadelphia school. ABC notes that no actors are currently attached. Sources say Callen is still likely to be involved. The plan since Day 1 has been for Tim Meadows to also reprise his recurring character as guidance counselor Andre Glascott in the spinoff. Meadows is currently awaiting word on the future of his Fox comedy Son of Zorn, which remains in first position. The Goldbergs star Wendi McLendon-Covey is also expected guest star in the pilot.
The spinoff comes as The Goldbergs has turned into reliable performer for ABC's comedy brand. The semi-autobiographical show has developed into a self-starter in its fourth season, where it launches the network's critically praised Wednesday family-comedy block. Season four is averaging a 2.7 among adults 18-49 with seven days of DVR and 8.3 million total viewers. The series has already been sold in syndication to Tribune stations across the country, with Hulu scoring the series' VOD window.
The Goldbergs is one of three high-profile spinoffs in the works this development season. ABC is also readying a Black-ish spinoff starring Yara Shahidi, while CBS is near an official order for its Big Bang Theory prequel Sheldon.
In an era of dwindling mass-audience TV hits, spinoffs are seen as a proven way to keep bankable franchises going. CBS is also looking to The Good Wife for its All Access spinoff, The Good Fight, while NBC is poised to launch an offshoot of The Blacklist with The Blacklist: Redemption, which will join its deep roster of Dick Wolf's Chicago spinoffs.