The Goldbergs: Why Jackie Was Recast For Season 6

The Goldbergs: Why Jackie Was Recast For Season 6

In season 6 of The Goldbergs, Adam’s girlfriend returns with a new personality – and a new actress. Here’s the reason why Jackie Geary was recast.

Jackie Geary was recast in The Goldbergs season 6; here’s why the switch happened. Introduced in season 4 of The Goldbergs as Adam Goldberg (Sean Giambrone)’s new girlfriend, Jackie was portrayed by Girl Meets World star Rowan Blanchard. The couple shared an affinity for nerdy fandoms, and their chemistry worked well. However, in The Goldbergs season 6, Jackie returns after spending the summer at NYU with a new personality — and a new actress. Alexis G. Zall had taken Blanchard’s place and brought a new punk aesthetic to Jackie’s attire and disposition.

Jackie’s casting change felt jarring because The Goldbergs is autobiographical, and the characters represent real people. The series was created by Adam F. Goldberg, who wrote the show based on his childhood and family experiences while growing up in the 1980s. Because the characters were inspired by people from Goldberg’s life, it seems odd that they could be replaced by new faces.


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It turns out Jackie was recast for The Goldbergs show because Blanchard chose not to continue with the show. In October 2018, a tweet complaining about the recast caught the attention of Goldberg, who responded with an explanation. The user had listed the recast as a reason why the show wasn’t the same anymore. In his response to the disappointment, Goldberg stated, “I did not recast anyone. The actress passed for the season.” Nearly two weeks later, Goldberg addressed additional Twitter comments and emphasized that Blanchard had not been fired as some had speculated, but that the decision to leave the show was her choice. Following the popularity of Girl Meets World, the spinoff of Boy Meets World, it’s likely that Blanchard wanted to pursue other projects as her career was starting to take off.

The Goldbergs’ Creators Recast Jackie Instead Of Writing Her Off

Rowan Blanchard The Goldbergs

Rather than writing off Jackie after Blanchard departed, The Goldbergs’ creator wanted to keep her character around – at first. He had also explained on Twitter that it wasn’t a simple change due to the personal nature of the show for him. “She turned us down and that meant having the character vanish and this is my life and Jackie didn’t vanish suddenly,” he said in a tweet. However, after the graduation during The Goldbergs’ season 6 finale, Jackie (and thus her new actress, Zall) did not make an appearance on The Goldbergs again, nor was her character mentioned. While it’s implied in story terms that she went off to college and that she and Adam broke up, it’s unclear why Zall didn’t return to play Jackie.

Other The Goldbergs Cast Changes

The Goldbergs season 9 cast

Jackie’s circumstance wouldn’t be the first instance in which The Goldbergs made a casting change. In season 7, Erica’s friend Ren from the University of Philadelphia was introduced and played by Kelli Berglund. Ren ended up becoming Barry’s love interest, and while Berglund had been ready to continue playing the character in The Goldbergs season 8, Big Little Lies’ Carrie Wampler joined the cast as her replacement. This was because Berglund had to drop the role due to another commitment, and the pandemic threw a wrench into production timelines.

Rowan Blanchard: Where Is She Now?

Chantal sits just behind Paige and AJ at the school assembly in Crush

Since playing Jackie in The Goldbergs seasons 4-6, Rowan Blanchard has gone on to make some other interesting projects. She had leading roles in two kids’ sci-fi/fantasy movies, A Wrinkle in Time (2018) and A World Away (2019). In the former, she plays Veronica Kiley, a classmate who bullies Meg, and in the latter, she has a leading role as Jessica Patterson. Most notably, Blanchard also plays Alexandra Cavill on TNT’s Snowpiercer series. The daughter of series antagonist/anti-hero Melanie Cavill, Alexandra appeared once in Snowpiercer season 1 but has had a more significant role in seasons 2 and 3. Finally, Blanchard’s most recent project is the Hulu original coming-of-age movie Crush, in which she stars as high-school artist Paige. While leaving her role as Jackie on The Goldbergs meant a significant change to the show, it seems Rowan Blanchard’s decision was for the best, as she’s gone on to take other career-advancing roles.

Next: What To Expect From The Goldbergs Season 9

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About The Author

Kayleigh Fongers
(59 Articles Published)

Kayleigh Fongers is a features writer for Screen Rant, covering movies and TV shows. She’s a communications coordinator for a nonprofit organization by day and a freelance writer by night. In addition to Screen Rant, Kayleigh has contributed to Religion News Service, The Banner, and Grand Rapids Magazine. She holds a BA in Writing from Calvin University and also writes for an alumni blog. When she’s not behind a screen, she’s probably listening to Harry Styles, obsessing over a sunset on Lake Michigan, or buying more books than she’ll ever read.

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