Wendi McLendon-Covey Prepares for Takeoff in ‘The Goldbergs’ Season 8 Premiere

ABC/Andrew Eccles

Like many shows, The Goldbergs’ previous season didn’t end the way it was supposed to, as COVID-19 shut down production before the intended finale could be filmed.

Fortunately, the cast and crew of the 1980-something family sitcom returned to work on Season 8 in August, albeit with a lot of new safety protocols.

“We can’t hug each other like we usually do,” laments Wendi McLendon-Covey, who stars as mom Beverly. “We’re a very tight-knit crew, so that was hard not seeing everybody for so many months and then not be able to give them a big hug and a smooch when you see them again.”

After five weeks on set, McLendon-Covey says they’ve had zero COVID-19 cases out of the nearly 200 people that work on the show. Plus, social distancing on set has an added bonus.

“It will be fun for the audience for our show — and any show that’s in production — to look around in the background and see which extras are dummies and which extras are real people,” McLendon-Covey says. “We’ve actually been using some of our crew members and our stand-ins as extras in a lot of things. We keep it to a small group that we can make sure is being tested all the time. We’re making it work.”

McLendon-Covey thinks the Goldberg family would’ve found a way to make it work if a pandemic had occurred in the Reagan Era. “I know that Bev would’ve been thrilled that her kids had to stay home,” she says. “But would Beverly have worn a mask all the time? I don’t know. But I think she would’ve browbeat her nail person and favorite salon into opening just for her.”

The new season debuts with back-to-back episodes Wednesday, Oct. 21, beginning at 8pm ET/PT on ABC, and in keeping with Goldbergs tradition, the premiere is an homage to a great ’80s movie. The family is hopping onboard the 1980 screwball comedy Airplane!. Will someone get food poisoning on the flight? Will Kareem Abdul-Jabbar make a cameo? Surely, we can’t wait to find out.

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Some things I like (in no particular order): Sports, Star Wars, LEGO, beer, 'The Simpsons' Seasons 1-13, my family and the few friends who are not embarrassed to be seen with me. Why yes, I am very interested in how much you like 'Alaskan Bush People.' #LynxForLife