The Goldbergs has been going strong in its ninth season despite a tragedy during the eighth, but the show is in for a very big shakeup due to the departure of Jeff Garlin. The comedian was fired part of the way through Season 9, and without the show having the time to set up a way to write out his character. Based on some reports for what comes next, The Goldbergs has found a way to keep Murray Goldberg around without Garlin.
The current plan for the show is reportedly to include Murray without Jeff Garlin by using previously unused takes, off-camera dialogue, and a stand-in for group shots not requiring Murray to show his face, according to Variety. So, the show isn’t suddenly killing Murray off halfway through Season 9 or sending him off without any kind of set up. It’s not clear at this point how The Goldbergs will handle the absence of Garlin in the long run, but the character will still have a presence on the show in new episodes of Season 9.
And it’s worth noting that there is currently no guarantee that The Goldbergs has much of a future in the long run. Prior to news of his firing, Garlin actually shared that he thought the current ninth season could be the last, but for now, the show has a plan to work around the actor’s absence. At the time that Garlin was fired, the show was reportedly filming Episodes 15 and 16 for Season 9, which received an order for 22 episodes.
It should be interesting to see just how noticeable it will be that The Goldbergs is no longer airing newly-shot footage of Murray Goldberg. The use of takes that hadn’t been used before means that viewers will still get some never-before-seen content, but dialogue from earlier episodes might ring a bell for dedicated fans. Whatever happens, at least it should be less distracting than if the show had decided to recast Murray halfway through its ninth season.
Neither ABC nor production company Sony Pictures Television have commented on the reports of how The Goldbergs will manage to keep Murray around after losing Garlin, so there’s no official way to say whether there’s a chance that Garlin could ever reprise the role. There are undoubtedly some family events that Murray would show up for… assuming he isn’t killed off.
Whatever happens, unless the show plans to keep Murray around but off-screen for a long time, the Goldberg family will have to face the loss of another family member from their daily lives, less than a full season after the death of Pops. The real-life circumstances of losing Pops and losing Murray couldn’t be much more different; only time will tell how different they are for the characters.
The Goldbergs is currently in the midst of its winter hiatus after the midseason finale back in early December, and won’t be back with the midseason premiere until Wednesday, January 5 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For when more shows will be back with new episodes in the new year, be sure to check out our 2022 winter and spring premiere schedule.