‘The Goldbergs’: Wendi McLendon-Covey Announces Four More Episodes in Wake of Jeff Garlin Exit

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

The Goldbergs lost one of its stars but will get four more episodes. ABC recently upped the number of episodes for this season from 18 to 22. The decision comes only weeks after star Jeff Garlin quit the show after reports surfaced that he acted inappropriately on set.

The Goldbergs star Wendi McLendon-Covey tweeted about the increase of episodes Monday. ABC said the additional episodes have nothing to do with Garlin exiting the series. The Hollywood Reporter said the move will fill out the network’s schedule. ABC also recently requested more episodes of The Wonder Years reboot and Home Economics. They’ll all have 22 episode seasons.

While this is a boost for fans of the show, it doesn’t help explain how producers will continue the series without Jeff Garlin. The comedian played the family patriarch Murray.

Executives said the show will use unused audio, previously shot footage, body doubles, CGI, and other means to keep the character in the series for the remainder of this season. But those are costly and time-consuming and will require additional work and rewrites. And it’s unclear if ABC has extended plans for the series. The Goldbergs is in its ninth season with diminishing ratings.

The Goldbergs has weathered uncertainty before. The alphabet network didn’t announce the show would be back for its ninth season until May 2021. And that happened two months after the show lost one of its most important co-stars in George Segal. The Oscar-nominated actor died in March.

Jeff Garlin Didn’t Think ABC Would Pick Up Show for Season 10

Before he exited The Goldbergs, Jeff Garlin gave a grim assessment of the show’s future. The Curb Your Enthusiasm star told Vanity Fair in early December that it seemed like the series was about to come to an end. He said producers hadn’t heard from the network about next season yet, which is unusual.

“We’re the first show of the night, and we’re very popular, and we set the tone for everybody else,” Garlin said. “But we’re in a world where ABC doesn’t own the show. Sony does, they own the other shows of that night. So, it’s about money and the bottom line. That’s all.

“And I don’t know, my gut feeling is we won’t be back next year,” Garlin added.

Though, this could be a case of sour grapes. Garlin was battling accusations of misconduct on set and reports that Sony was looking for ways to fire him at the time.

Reports surfaced in November that The Goldberg staffers had complained to Sony HR. People complained that he hugged colleagues without their consent and used inappropriate language. Garlin denied the allegations and couched the situation as a “misunderstanding.”

“We have a difference of opinion, Sony and myself,” he said. “My opinion is, I have my process about how I’m funny, in terms of the scene and what I have to do. They feel that it makes for a quote ‘unsafe’ workspace.”