ABC passed last spring on a proposed spinoff of The Goldbergs, but in an unusual move, it's decided to air the pilot as a special at 8 p.m.  Jan. 24.

The Goldbergs: 1990-Something takes some characters from the show — based on creator Adam F. Goldberg's  1980s boyhood in Jenkintown — into a new decade and focuses on William Penn Academy, the school styled after William Penn Charter School, from which Goldberg graduated.

Describing the pilot as a "special event," ABC said it "picks up where the Goldberg family leaves off at William Penn Academy in the 1990s as former teacher and now head of school John Glascott leads a faculty of teachers with wildly different views on how to mentor students and recruits his tough-as-nails sister Lucy to join his staff and enroll her teenage daughters Felicia and Gigi as new students. Lucy is desperate to ensure they avoid the social pitfalls of high school and finds herself torn between Glascott's nurturing and communicative approach to parenting and Coach Mellor's tough-guy belief that physical competition brings out the best in students. Even Beverly Goldberg [Wendi McLendon-Covey] comes to visit the school's staff, despite all her kids having already graduated, and can't help but meddle one last time."

Tim Meadows stars as Glascott, Bryan Callen as Mellor, Nia Long as Lucy Somers, Rachel Crow as Felicia, and Summer Parker as Gigi.

"I am beyond grateful that [ABC Entertainment president] Channing [Dungey] and ABC has decided to give my Goldbergs spinoff show a chance," Goldberg told the Hollywood Reporter, noting that the spinoff had tested higher than the pilot for The Goldbergs, and holding out hope that if the show makes "a real splash when it airs … we can begin the conversation again about getting this on the air."