The Goldbergs (2013 TV series)
First season promotional poster
|Created by||Adam F. Goldberg|
|Narrated by||Patton Oswalt|
|Theme music composer||I Fight Dragons|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||95 (list of episodes)|
|Location(s)||Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City, California|
|Cinematography||Joseph E. Gallagher
Peter B. Ellis
|Camera setup||Film; Single-camera|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Distributor||Sony Pictures Television|
|Picture format||720p (16:9 HDTV)|
|Audio format||5.1 surround sound|
|Original release||September 24, 2013– present|
The Goldbergs is an American sitcom that premiered on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 on ABC. The series was created by Adam F. Goldberg and stars Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jeff Garlin, Sean Giambrone, Troy Gentile, Hayley Orrantia and George Segal. The show is produced by Goldberg, Seth Gordon, and Doug Robinson. It is based on Goldberg's childhood and family in the 1980s, complete with a childhood version of himself. The fourth season premiered on September 21, 2016. In May 2017, ABC renewed the series for a fifth and sixth season.
The Goldbergs is set in the 1980s in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. The show is loosely based on the showrunner's own childhood, during which he videotaped events, many of which are re-enacted throughout the program. It shows the reality of the '80s from a young boy's eyes and gives an inspiring look into four aspiring writers.
The series stars Jeff Garlin as patriarch Murray and Wendi McLendon-Covey as matriarch Beverly. Their two older children are Erica (Hayley Orrantia) and Barry (Troy Gentile). The youngest child, Adam (Sean Giambrone), documents his family life with his video camera. Beverly's father, Albert "Pops" Solomon (George Segal), is frequently around to provide advice or to help out his grandchildren (often behind his daughter's back).
The present-day "Adult Adam" (Patton Oswalt) narrates every episode as taking place in "1980-something". The narrator takes creative liberties with the time frame. For example, the second season episode "Just Say No" has references to both the Walter Mondale/Geraldine Ferraro presidential campaign (which took place in 1984) and the TV shows American Gladiators and America's Funniest Home Videos (both of which debuted in 1989).
Many references to real-life Philadelphia-area businesses are made, including the Wawa Inc. convenience store chain, Gimbel's department store, Willow Grove Park Mall and Kremp's Florist of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
Cast and characters
- Wendi McLendon-Covey as Beverly Goldberg (née Solomon), the overprotective matriarch of the Goldbergs. She frequently injects herself into her children's lives, often to their embarrassment, and is supremely confident in their abilities.
- Sean Giambrone as Adam Fredrick Goldberg, the pop-culture obsessed youngest child of the Goldbergs. Smart and geeky, he often films his family's activities on a VHS camcorder.
- Troy Gentile as Barry Norman Goldberg, the overconfident, slightly dim-witted middle child of the Goldbergs. Though seemingly untalented in every way (except in ice hockey and wrestling, at which he excels), he remains highly self-assured while trying to become popular in high school.
- Hayley Orrantia as Erica Dorothy Goldberg, the nonchalant oldest child of the Goldbergs. Smart and musically gifted but rebellious, she is popular in school and dominant over her younger brothers.
- AJ Michalka as Lainey Lewis (Season 3–present; recurring 1–2), Erica's best friend and one of the most popular girls at school, whom Barry has had a lifelong crush on. To the surprise of many, Lainey kisses Barry at a party in the first season finale, the two slowly grow closer together in season two, and eventually become a couple.
- George Segal as Albert "Pops" Solomon, Beverly's laid back widower father. Though an elderly man with a number of goofy characteristics, he acts much younger than his age, often giving sage advice to his grandchildren. Adam considers him as his best friend. He once owned a successful furniture store called Ottoman Empire that allowed him to retire comfortably, and he now lets his son-in-law Murray run the business.
- Jeff Garlin as Murray Christian Goldberg, the gruff, somewhat asocial patriarch of the Goldbergs. Unlike Beverly, he is realistic about his children's abilities and believes she smothers them too much. Despite his apathetic tendencies at home, he values hard work and has worked full-time since his teenage years. He also wants his children to learn how to fend for themselves. He runs his father-in-law's furniture business, loves sports, and is often seen lounging in front of his TV in his underwear.
- Troy Winbush as Puchinski, a police officer who sometimes runs afoul of the Goldbergs' craziness, and often sympathises with Beverly.
- Cedric Yarbrough as Vic, Murray's friend and co-worker from Canada.
- Ben Zelevansky as Dale, the manager of the arcade frequented by Adam, Barry, and Pops. (season 1)
- Natalie Alyn Lind as Dana Caldwell, Adam's classmate who becomes his girlfriend. In the Season 2 finale, it is revealed Dana may be moving to Seattle. The Season 3 premiere confirms she is now living in Seattle. Adam and Dana continue a long-distance relationship, but it ends when the two realise how different they have become. (season 1-3)
- Jackson Odell as Ari Caldwell, a popular student, a friend of Erica and Lexi, and Dana's older brother. (season 1-2)
- Virginia Gardner as Lexi Bloom, Barry's crush. (season 1, mentioned season 4)
- Kathryn Leigh Scott as Miriam Ferguson, one of Pops' lovers. (season 1)
- Jennifer Irwin as Virginia Kremp, Chad's mother, neighbor to the Goldbergs.
- Jacob Hopkins as Chad Kremp, Virginia's youngest son and a close friend of Adam.
- Tyler Stokes as Drew Kremp, Chad's older brother and Erica's ex-boyfriend. (season 1 and 3)
- Dan Fogler as Marvin Goldberg, Murray's carefree, unreliable younger brother. He moves in with the family near the end of season four
- Tim Meadows as Jonathan "Andre" Glascott, a disenchanted teacher who also delivers pizza and gives guitar lessons for extra money. He serves as the school's hapless guidance counselor.
- Barbara Alyn Woods as Mrs. Caldwell, Dana and Ari's mother. Woods is the real-life mother of Natalie Alyn Lind, who portrays Dana. (season 1)
- Stephanie Katherine Grant as Emmy Mirsky, a girl in the neighborhood with whom Adam likes to spend time. Because they grew up together, Adam tends to treat her like "one of the guys".
- Kenny Ridwan as Dave Kim, an awkward classmate and friend of Adam's, who is always addressed by both his first and last names, even by his own mother.
- Cooper Roth (season 1) and Zayne Emory (season 2-3) as J. C. Spink, a bully who torments Adam. The original film producer who inspired the character portrays a school bus driver.
- Mason Cook as Tyler Stansfield, a puny but fierce classmate of Adam.
- Dustin Ybarra as Nitrous, a university student who occasionally interacts with Beverly. Usually Beverly has to make a demand of Nitrous, which he will agree to, but only after trying to coerce her into showing him her breasts or giving him $1 million. (season 1 and 3)
- Bryan Callen as Rick Mellor, the high school's no-nonsense gym teacher and coach.
- Joey Luthman as Roger McFadden, a nerdy classmate of Barry's. (season 1)
- Stephen Tobolowsky as Principal Earl Ball, the principal of the Goldberg children's high school. Beverly frequently confronts him when she knows something has gone wrong in her children's classes or school activities. (season 2-present)
- Ana Gasteyer as Susan Cinoman, a music teacher at the Goldberg children's high school and love interest of Rick Mellor. (season 2-present)
- Sam Lerner as 'Madman' Geoff Schwartz, one of Barry's best friends. He is infatuated with Erica and makes many futile attempts to win her affections. At the end of the third season, he begins dating Evelyn Silver just as Erica realizes she reciprocates Geoff's feelings. He later breaks up with Evey to be with Erica. (season 2-present)
- Noah Munck as 'Naked' Rob Smith, one of Barry's best friends who goes shirtless at any opportunity. (season 2-present)
- Matt Bush as 'Ladies' Man' Andy Cogan, one of Barry's best friends who is frequently teased for his short stature. (season 2-present)
- Nathan Gamble as Garry Ball, the Principal's rebellious son and Adam's only cool friend. (season 2-3)
- Dan Bakkedahl as Mr. Woodburn, Adam's lonely and depressed science teacher. (season 2)
- Suzy Nakamura as Mrs. Kim, Dave Kim's mother and the owner of a Chinese restaurant frequented by the Goldbergs. (season 2)
- Rob Huebel as John Calabasas, an opportunistic businessman with several careers. (season 2-3)
- Judd Hirsch as Ben "Pop Pop" Goldberg, Murray's cantankerous, opinionated father. He frequently fights with Murray, with whom he has trouble communicating, and he views Pops as a rival. (seasons 3-present; Pop Pop first appeared in one season 2 episode, and was portrayed by Paul Sorvino)
- Allie Grant as Evelyn "Evey" Silver, a girl Beverly tries to set up Barry with. Erica is deeply disturbed by this, because Evey is eerily similar to Beverly. She later becomes Geoff Schwartz's girlfriend. (season 2-present)
- David Koechner as Bill Lewis, Lainey's father who is raising her as a single parent. To Murray's dismay, Bill is a major fan of the Dallas Cowboys, starting a rivalry between the two. Bill and Murray eventually become good friends as they discover that, outside of football, they have a lot in common. (season 2-present)
- Nate Hartley as Dan, a nerdy punching bag, who is always in the wrong place at the wrong time. (season 2-present)
- Charlie DePew as Anthony Balsamo, a popular, good-looking student and Lainey's ex-boyfriend. (season 2-3)
- Sam Kindseth as David Sirota, Adam's goofy friend and classmate. In the present he is an American political commentator and radio host. (season 2-3)
- Michaela Watkins as Ms. Taraborelli, a socially awkward Spanish and sex education teacher. (season 2)
- Christopher Avila as Raji Mitra, an intelligent student Beverly hires to tutor Lainey. (season 3)
- Sean Marquette as Johnny Atkins, a ponytailed, saxophone-playing troublemaker who, much like Barry Goldberg, has a high opinion of himself. Erica dated him briefly. (season 3-present)
- Niko Guardado as Rubén Amaro, Jr., a highly popular student and champion athlete. In adulthood, he will become a major league baseball player and General Manager of Philadelphia Phillies. (season 3-present)
- Alex Jennings as Carla Mann, a vaguely popular student and friend of Erica and Lainey who is a bit of a troublemaker. She is also an on-off girlfriend of Johnny Atkins. (season 3-present)
- Froy Gutierrez as Benjamin "Handsome Ben" Bauman, a highly popular student whom Adam sees as his rival, though Ben is always friendly to him.
- Quincy Fouse as Taz Money, a popular friend of Adam. (season 3)
- Lucky: Lucky is an actual dog introduced in season 3 as the Goldberg family pet.
- Shayne Topp as Matt Bradley; a punk rocker-turned-Deadhead who becomes the newest member of the JTP, over Barry's initial objections. Adult Adam's voice-over later confides that Matt would become Barry's closest friend after high school. (season 4)
- Rowan Blanchard as Jackie Geary, Adam's girlfriend. (season 4).
Notable guest stars
- Brec Bassinger as Zoe McIntosh, a girl Adam had a crush on. (season 1, episode 1 and season 4, episode 3)
- Tom Cavanagh as Charles Kremp, Chad's father. (season 1, episode 8)
- Martin Starr as Andre, the local video store clerk who bans Murray after an excessively late rental. (season 1)
- Thomas Lennon as Taun-Taun Todd, a Star Wars fan that Erica and Adam meet while waiting in line to see Return of the Jedi. (season 1, episode 22)
- David Spade as Gus, a sketchy manufacturer of fake IDs. (season 2, episode 1)
- Charlie Sheen as the man in police station, reprising his iconic role from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. (season 2, episode 14)
- Nick Swardson as Rick, a sketchy black market toy dealer. (season 2, episode 15)
- Chuck Norris as himself (voice only), who is heard from offscreen reading a letter to Barry. (season 3)
- Weird Al Yankovic as himself. (season 3, episode 15)
- Chad Coleman as Leon. (season 4)
- Martin Kove as Master John, reprising his role as Cobra Kai dojo sensei. (season 4)
Cameos from real-life Counterparts
- "Handsome" Ben Beauman, alongside "Regular" Amy Gross as Double Dare Producers
- Jackie Geary as her mother
- Chad Kremp as a deli worker (season 1), and as his father (season 4)
- JC Spink as Joe the Bus Driver
- Mike Levy and Mike Levy as Computer Technicians
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||Nielsen ratings|
|First aired||Last aired||Rank||Viewers
|1||23||September 24, 2013||May 13, 2014||76||6.20|
|2||24||September 24, 2014||May 13, 2015||57||8.37|
|3||24||September 23, 2015||May 18, 2016||57||7.62|
|4||24||September 21, 2016||May 17, 2017||54||6.97|
The project originally received a script commitment from Fox in August 2011. After Adam Goldberg's previous show, Breaking In, was canceled, he did not want to wait for another pilot season to arrive and moved it to ABC, who agreed to immediately produce it. On January 11, 2013, Wendi McLendon-Covey was cast as the pilot's lead; later, Jeff Garlin and George Segal joined the cast.
The pilot episode was directed by Seth Gordon. On May 10, 2013, ABC picked up the show to series to air in the 2013–14 American television season. The show's theme song, "Rewind," was written at Goldberg's request by I Fight Dragons, his favorite band, specifically for the show. On November 1, 2013, ABC picked up the show for a full season order.
Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter called it "one of the rare freshman comedies to deliver", giving credit to the show's "outstanding writing" and "strong cast". David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle said "you'll immediately like everyone in the family and the jokes derive from credible situations".
Hank Stuever of The Washington Post said the show was "obnoxiously loud". David Hinckley of The New York Daily News said the show is "just awful". Tierney Bricker of E! News gave a more positive review, saying that the show is "like Modern Family mixed with A Christmas Story".
The Goldbergs was included in TV Guide's 2013 Top Twenty "Best Shows of the Year", along with The Hollywood Reporter and Today. In addition, SpoilerTV awarded The Goldbergs with the honor of Best Comedy of 2013-2014.
The second season had a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100% fresh with five reviews, and there were many calls from both critics and the public to renew the show for a third season. The show continued to be well received, with Entertainment Weekly calling the season two premiere "the best of any family comedy on TV in the way it eschews dysfunction for its more appropriate, real-world term: love".
After the series was renewed for season 3, ABC network chief Paul Lee stated that both he and ABC believed that the show will be around for "a long time".
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||# Ep.||Premiered||Ended||TV Season||Rank||Viewers
|Nielsen Rating (18-49)|
|1||Tuesday 9:00 pm||23||
|2||Wednesday 8:30 pm||24||
|4||Wednesday 8:00 pm||24||
It has been broadcast in the United Kingdom on E4 since 20 April 2015, in Ireland on RTÉ2 since 19 October 2015 and in Turkey on DiziSmart since 2015. In France, the series began broadcasting since 17 October 2015 on Comedie+.
The show has been broadcasting on Neox TV channel in Spain since May 8, 2016 . In India, the series is aired on Star World. In Germany, the series is aired on the Disney Channel since February 16, 2016. In Portugal, the series is aired on Fox Comedy.
It was announced that Goldberg will develop a spin-off Goldbergs series for ABC set in the 90's with Bryan Callen's character of Rick Mellor. On May 17, 2017, ABC passed on the spin-off. The spin-off would have been titled "Schooled".
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