by Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Jenkintown native making waves in Hollywood by creating and co-writing “the Goldbergs,” a popular TV sitcom, is not only hitting on all cylinders, but it’s driving a spin-off, also loosely based on his actual upbringing.
The storyline by Adam F. Goldberg centers on real people, teachers who influenced his life at William Penn Charter School, and how they interacted with and affected students on that East Falls campus.
Like Rick Mellor, a Penn Charter teacher for 40-years, who is depicted already in The Goldbergs.
“I get phones calls and texts as soon as the show comes on from old teachers, especially when he shows the old clips at the end,” said Mellor.
When asked why Goldberg may have picked him, Mellor called himself an “easy subject.”
Another character in the show is a combination of the former Dean of Students and Penn Charter Assistant Head of School Beth Glascott.
“We have really close student-teacher relationships, and that’s why he keeps coming back,” Glascott said, “he was always the kid with the big video camera on his shoulder walking around. I feel like he filmed half of his high school career.”
Apparently, the spin-off will use voice-overs of a teacher looking back on his experiences.
Another Penn Charter teacher, Charlie Brown, recalls Goldberg struggled with math in middle school, but says he was “phenomenal” through his high school years in English.
“When was a senior, he put on a two-day long extravaganza, writing four plays, and starring in two others. He got every kid in the school to be in one of them. It was some of the best theater I’ve seen here, Adam Goldberg, during his senior year,” said Brown.
While the Goldbergs draws from and is inspired by his family and the events in his life in the 1980’s, the yet-to-be-named spin-off is set in the 90’s, portraying the faculty of Penn Charter, from which Goldberg graduated in 1994.