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.
— TV Insider (@TVInsider) October 19, 2020
“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.