The Goldbergs Season 9 premiere will feature a tribute to George Segal.
Segal, who portrayed the Goldberg family’s patriarch, Albert “Pops” Solomon, passed away on March 23. He was 87 and died from complications of bypass surgery.
He died just two days before the series finished filming its eighth season. Because of this, they couldn’t do an in-episode tribute to him. Though at the time, they did debut a title card that acknowledged his passing.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, star and executive producer Wendi McLendon-Covey spoke about his homage during the Television Critics Association press tour. The actress said that they will tribute their former co-star through a 1980’s movie.
“Every time we open a season, it’s a movie tribute,” McLendon-Covey explained. “We’re doing one that takes us on the journey of where to spread Pops’ ashes. It’s hysterically funny, and you’ll cry your eyes out. Sean Giambrone and I could barely get through filming.”
Although he is gone, they will be “mentioning George a lot this season.” Overall, Segal was in more than 160 episodes during the first eight seasons.
McLendon-Covey previously shut down speculation that they would recast his role. “We would NEVER replace George in the role of Pops. If we get a season 9, we will address it then,” she tweeted.
George Segal’s final episode aired on April 7 and was titled“Couple Off.”
‘The Goldbergs’ Tributes
During Season 8, The Goldbergs paid tribute to him by releasing a mashup of his best moments on the show. The montage concluded with the message, “We will miss you, George.” Let’s always remember his catchphrase, “Now come here and give me a hug.”
“Today we lost a legend,” series creator Adam F. Goldberg tweeted. Goldberg said that it was “a true honor” just to be a small part of his legacy. He noted that he was the perfect actor to play the role and he was similar to his own grandfather.
McLendon-Covey took the loss to heart. She shared a sweet photo of the pair and captioned it, “Didn’t know the last time I saw you would be the last time I’d see you.”
The Goldbergs cast and crew said that it is “no surprise to any of us that knew him so well that he is a true national treasure. He will be missed by all.”
Hayley Orrantia, who portrays Erica, his granddaughter, shared a sweet tribute to Segal on social media. She shared a photo of the pair laughing on set.
“To me, George Segal was invincible so I’m having a hard time believing that he is really gone,” she wrote. “He was an absolute light that illuminated every room he walked into. His laugh was utterly infectious and so rewarding if you were the one who got him to do it …”
Sean Giambrone, who plays the youngest member of the family, Adam Goldberg, shared his admiration for the late Segal.
“My heart is broken. I lost a dear friend. Working with George was an honor and some of the happiest moments of my life,” Giambrone said. “What a sweet & wonderful man. He was my confidant & teacher. When he smiled it changed my day. I wish everyone could have met him. I love you George and I’ll miss you so much. My prayers are with the family.”