After losing two series regulars over the last year, the odds of a 10th season for ABC’s ’80s-set family sitcom “The Goldbergs” seem to be dwindling.
On Monday, the network announced it was adding four additional episodes to its ninth season, bringing the total to 22 episodes, as it did last year for new series “The Wonder Years” and “Home Economics.”
At the Television Critics Association media tour on Tuesday, Craig Erwich, president of Hulu Originals & ABC Entertainment, insisted that doesn’t mean the show is on its way out, although it still has no official renewal or cancellation.
When asked by TheWrap if the backorder was evidence that the series is being retooled to wrap up with its current season, Erwich replied, “No. We had an opportunity for more episodes. The show is doing really well. It was purely a scheduling decision.”
Last month, the clan’s TV dad Jeff Garlin left “The Goldbergs” after numerous complaints to HR about his behavior, which included “verbal and physical conduct on set that made people uncomfortable,” according to a scathing Vanity Fair article published just before his exit.
TheWrap reported in December that he had filmed a number of episodes before his departure and Garlin was in the Jan. 5 episode as the series returned from its holiday hiatus.
Filming will continue with a body double and old footage to replace Garlin, a practice begun while he was still a cast member due to the actor’s refusal to take mandated COVID-19 tests, according to Vanity Fair.
The extra episodes might address where Murray Goldberg has gone, although it’s not known how the show, created by Adam Goldberg, will explain his absence.
His exit follows the unexpected death of George Segal in March 2021. The veteran actor played Beverly Goldberg’s (Wendi McLendon-Covey) colorful dad, Albert “Pops” Solomon. His final episode aired the following month and the series paid tribute to him with a moving sendoff in the Season 9 premiere in September.
Ratings have been down for the sitcom with a series-worst 4.04 million viewers and an 0.8 rating through December 5.
Tony Maglio contributed to this report.