12:54pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Goldbergs' Spinoff, Set in the 1990s, in the Works at ABC (Exclusive)
ABC is looking to add a second dose of Adam F. Goldberg's brand of nostalgia.
The network is teaming with the creator of The Goldbergs to develop an untitled 1990s-set spinoff of the fourth-season "1980-something" comedy, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
From The Goldbergs producer Sony Pictures Television — where Goldberg is under an overall deal — the project landed at ABC with a script commitment and significant penalty attached. The comedy is set in the 1990s and stars Bryan Callen. It centers on two high school teachers who become unlikely father figures to the school secretary's three misfit kids. It is rumored to take place in Philadelphia, where The Goldbergs is set. Callen, who recurs as The Goldbergs' no-nonsense high school gym teacher/coach Rick Mellor, is attached to star.
Goldbergs exec producer Marc Firek and 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 spinoff comes as The Goldbergs has turned into reliable performer for ABC's comedy brand. The semi-autobiographical comedy 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 spinoff news arrives a day after it was reported that CBS is reteaming with The Big Bang Theory creators Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady and showrunner Steve Molaro for a prequel series centering on a young version of Emmy winner Jim Parsons' character Sheldon Cooper. NBC, meanwhile, is also launching a spinoff of SPT-produced The Blacklist — The Blacklist: Redemption — later this season. Broadcast, cable, premium networks and streaming services alike have repeatedly turned to spinoffs in a bid to cut through the crowded "Peak TV" landscape of more than 400 originals. Spinoffs boast a built-in viewership and offer a leg up on expensive promotion and advertising.
For Goldberg, the spinoff arrives as he's prepping midseason live-action/animated comedy Imaginary Mary. The Jenna Elfman entry, which had its episode cut from 13 to nine in a bid to allow more time for its animation, is awaiting a premiere date.
Firek (Mr. Sunshine, 'Til Death, Will & Grace) is repped by UTA and Hansen Jacobson; Goldberg is with WME, Circle of Confusion and Bruce Gellman. Callen, a stand-up comedian, counts MadTV and Kingdom among his credits. He is with Innovative Artists.
Check out video of Callen as Coach Mellor below.