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January 22, 2018 at 08:30 AM EST

It would have showcased The Goldbergs costar Tim Meadows in a leading role as an eternally optimistic principal and Nia Long as his unfiltered sister who comes to run his attendance office, but The Goldbergs spin-off was rejected for the 2017-18 season.

But ABC is giving it a brief moment in the sun anyway. The episode, which also features former Goldbergs favorite Bryan Callen as Coach Mellor, will air this Wednesday at 8 p.m. in The Goldbergs timeslot. In preparation for its network debut, EW has obtained an exclusive first look of the comedy from Adam F. Goldberg.

In an interview with EW, Goldberg acknowledged the spin-off — now dubbed The Goldbergs 1990-Something Spinoff — tested higher than his original Goldbergs pilot but ABC passed on the workplace comedy that’s (obviously) set in a high school. One network insider says contractual issues with the actors made it difficult to make a deal. (Long has since joined NCIS: Los Angeles while Meadows became a co-lead on the CBS All Access show No Activity). 

“It just kind of came and went,” recalls Goldberg. “It’s really bizarre to us. I was told they wanted a workplace show. Ours was a family meets the work place. That fit into what they wanted to do. It had a diverse cast they were looking for, and it had two of the most popular characters from its No. 2 show.”

Pilots almost never see the light of day after they are rejected, which is why Goldberg is particularly happy that his spin-off will be seen by audiences.

“I’m really happy that ABC is at least giving it a shot an airing it as an episode,” Goldberg continued. “Maybe we can build a case for ABC to consider it again, which would be amazing.”

The spin-off will air at 8 p.m. Jan. 24 on ABC.

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