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Schooled: ABC Removes R. Kelly Song From Series Premiere Prior to Air

Schooled R. Kelly Song

Schooled is getting a last-minute edit: ABC has removed an R. Kelly song from the Goldbergs spinoff’s series premiere, just prior to it airing tonight on the network.

In the original version of the pilot screened for critics, a scene featuring Bryan Callen’s Coach Mellor and his basketball players included a voiceover noting that ’90s kids were inspired by Michael Jordan, who is “literally changing the game of basketball,” Mellor noted. R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” then played in the background of several basketball scenes, a nod to the NBA superstar’s “Air Jordan” nickname and the song’s appearance on the Space Jam soundtrack. But in the final version airing tonight, the R. Kelly song has been replaced.

The change is understandable: R. Kelly’s name has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, thanks to Lifetime’s documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which accuses the R&B singer of abusing and enslaving a number of young women. Kelly even faces a new investigation in Georgia this week stemming from the documentary’s shocking revelations.

ABC declined to comment on the song change, but a network source tells TVLine that the early version of the pilot screened for critics was a work in progress.