Schooled, the 1990s-set spinoff of ABC’s hit comedy The Goldbergs, follows the grownup adventures of Lainey Lewis (AJ Michalka) and her fellow teachers at William Penn Academy.
“We’ve run around the halls for the last six years, and now Lainey’s running the halls,” says Michalka, whose character on The Goldbergs ruled the school as one of its most popular students who dreamed of finding fame as a singer. “She did not find her footing as an artist, so life led her back to William Penn and this idea of being a music teacher.”
Joining Lainey in the snappy workplace comedy are Tim Meadows’ Mr. Glascott (now the school’s principal), Bryan Callen reprising his role as Coach Mellor and Brett Dier playing a very eager new teacher named Charlie Brown. “We’re going to see all four of us run this school in a different way than it’s ever been run,” says Michalka.
She shares that she’s excited to explore the challenges Lainey will face as a new teacher, although Michalka is still trying to reconcile the fact that her character is now an adult. “Lainey will still be Lainey,” Michalka says. “She’ll be helping guide these young students through life while still trying to figure it out herself.” She adds with a laugh, “She’ll mess things up, for sure, because she’s still a grownup kid herself.”
A hallmark of The Goldbergs has always been its delicious references to ’80s pop culture and an impeccable eye towards totally rad costuming. Michalka promises the same attention to ’90s details on Schooled, courtesy of Keri Smith, the head costume designer for both series. Michalka reveals, “The nod that we’re giving Lainey — at least behind the scenes — is Alicia Silverstone’s character in Clueless.” The actresses also hints that plenty of fly ’90s references show up in the series — especially within Lainey’s classroom. “I don’t want to really give anything away, but I think you’re going to see some really fun story points in there,” she teases.
Schooled > ABC > Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c, beginning Jan. 9