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Park Ridge teen mans a vintage videocam in ‘The Goldbergs’



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Updated: September 29, 2013 6:18AM

In his first TV role, Sean Giambrone of Park Ridge plays a boy whose favorite hobby is capturing the exploits of his wacky family on video.

Unfortunately for Sean’s arm, “The Goldbergs” is set in the pre-iPhone age of the ’80s, when handheld recorders were as big as watermelons.

“The video camera was kind of cool … but it wasn’t really portable,” Sean said about the prop at the center of the ABC sitcom starting at 8 p.m. Sept. 24. “The Goldbergs” is part of the network’s revamped Tuesday night line-up featuring two new family comedies and a pair of freshman dramas.

Among the better offerings in a relatively weak crop of new sitcoms this fall, the show stars Chicago comic Jeff Garlin (“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Arrested Development”) and Wendi McLendon-Covey (“Bridesmaids,” “Rules of Engagement”) as Murray and Beverly Goldberg. They’re a suburban Philly couple raising three kids in an era when no one paid attention to peanut allergies, posted family photos on Facebook or consulted parenting blogs.

It marks a television series debut for Sean, 14, who got his start in commercials at age 9. He’s been in ads for Sea World and McDonald’s, to name a few.

Sean plays a young Adam F. Goldberg (“Fanboys”), the series’ creator whose real-life home movies inspired the sitcom.

“I had over 100 tapes that I digitized before this pitch … and on every one there’s some family meltdown,” Goldberg said. “That’s how we communicated: just screaming at each other. And then — my wife calls it Adam-nesia — a minute later, my mom would be like, ‘Who wants waffles?’ ”

Like the real Adam Goldberg, Sean is the youngest in the family. He has one older brother, while Goldberg has two. (For TV purposes, brother Eric has become Erica, played by “The X Factor” contestant Hayley Orrantia.)

The former Lincoln Middle School student was supposed to start high school this fall in Park Ridge, but the show’s production schedule means it will be a few months before Sean sets foot in Maine South. He has a tutor at his temporary abode in Los Angeles, where “The Goldbergs” is filmed.

To prepare for the role, Sean watched a lot of Adam Goldberg’s home movies.

“He’s just happy all the time,” Sean said about Adam, whose unique laugh is proving difficult to imitate. “I haven’t gotten it down yet but I’m trying.”


Twitter: @lorirackl

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