May 14, 2013

THE SKED 2013 UPFRONTS: ABC Trailer – “The Goldbergs”


THE GOLDBERGS, as it will be described in roughly 10 billion places between now and September, is The Wonder Years set in the 1980s, based on the childhood of series creator Adam F. Goldberg, with Jeff Garlin as gruff but loving dad, Wendi McLendon-Covey as mom, and George Segal as grandpa, who’s losing it but not in a sad way.  ABC thinks enough of the series to give it the post-Agents of SHIELD Tuesday 9PM timeslot, and the trailer is unusually long at over 4 1/2 minutes.

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Goldbergs, like Modern Family, is a celebration of dysfunction that works, and planting it at 9PM before a younger-skewing companion sitcom seems to be a strategy aimed at duplicating ABC’s Wednesday success.  The new show lacks the snap of Modern Family‘s premise (and writing), but it’s smooth and comforting, without a surprise in sight.  The main plot of the pilot–is the older son ready to start driving?–plays out just about exactly as one would expect, and that seems to be the idea.  The gimmick of the younger son (who presumably stands in for Adam Goldberg himself) filming everything in the house on videotape feels very familiar after so many mockumentary sitcoms, and hopefully won’t be leaned on too heavily (the same goes for the 1980s icon jokes), but Goldbergs appears to be an amusing, likable show, and there’s probably an audience for it.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."