It appears Hayden Fox’s wife will be warming the big bench in the sky when Coach returns to TV next season on NBC.
Barring an 11th-hour plot tweak, viewers will learn that the character of Christine, played by Shelley Fabares during the original sitcom’s nine-year run on ABC, passed away at some point during the intervening 18 years.
The new Coach series finds Craig T. Nelson’s Hayden being called out of retirement to serve as assistant coach to his and late wife Christine’s grown son, Tim, who is starting up a new team as the head coach at an Ivy League school in Pennsylvania.
Aside from Nelson, Bill Fagerbakke — AKA special teams coach Michael “Dauber” Dybinski — is the only other Coach vet currently attached to the new series.
Barry Kemp, who created Coach: Original Flavor, is writing and exec-producing the continuation.
NBC declined to comment for this story.