Segal died on March 23 from bypass surgery complications, just days before the ABC sitcom wrapped production on Season 8. As such, the April 7 episode that would mark his final on-camera appearance simply closed with a heartfelt video tribute (shown below).
But the Season 9 opener, airing Wednesday, Sept. 22, will do right by the veteran actor.
“Every time we open a season, it’s always a movie tribute [and] we are doing a movie tribute that actually takes us on the journey of where to spread Pop’s ashes,” Segal’s TV daughter, Wendi McLendon-Covey, shared on Thursday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “So it is not only a traditional tribute, but it’s hysterically funny, and you will cry your eyes out…. Sean Giambrone (who plays Adam) and I could barely get through filming. And we’ll be mentioning [Pops] a lot during the season.”
In the immediate wake of Segal’s springtime passing, McLendon-Covey indicated that Pops’ absence would be addressed this fall, saying, “We would NEVER replace George in the role of Pops. If we get a season 9, we will address it then.”
Segal was also known for his starring role on NBC’s Just Shoot Me, where he portrayed magazine owner and publisher Jack Gallo for seven seasons. Segal scored an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in 1966’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The Goldbergs this season will lead into ABC’s The Wonder Years reboot, followed by The Conners, Home Economics and A Million Little Things.