The Wonder Years reboot: Everything we know so far
The Wonder Years was a hit ABC coming-of-age drama that aired in the late '80s to early '90s starring Fred Savage as young teen Kevin Arnold as he maneuvers through the hard facts of life in the late '60s. Uptight parents. Nerve-wracking crushes. Watching the Vietnam War on the rinky-dink TV set. The show saw nearly immediate success, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series in its very first year.
Now, The Wonder Years is getting a reboot focusing on a Black family in Montgomery, Ala., in the same era. The pilot has been ordered by ABC and has already rounded out its new family. The original Wonder Years starred Dan Lauria as Kevin's father, Alley Mills as his mother, Olivia d'Abo as the older sister, Jason Hervey as Kevin's older brother, Josh Saviano as his best friend, and Danica McKellar as his girl-next-door love interest.
Before turning back the dial, let's break down all we know so far:
Who's behind the reboot?
The show is executive produced by Empire co-creator Lee Daniels and Lee Daniels Entertainment banner president Marc Velez. Saladin K. Patterson (The Big Bang Theory, Psych) is the showrunner, and original series co-creator Neal Marlens will be a consultant. Savage will also be on the show as director of the pilot, and executive producer.
When will the show come out?
That is still left to be learned, although we do know Patterson and Savage have already been seen scouting Alabama leading up to the show's pilot being shot.
Who's in the new cast?
Savage is handing the reins over to newcomer Elisha "EJ" Williams as the show's lead. Williams will play Dean, an inquisitive and hopeful 12-year-old who is trying to figure out his place within his Black family and the world at large.
Savage recently surprised Williams with the news via a Zoom call. "Oh my God, thank you," an overjoyed Williams said when learning the news.
Just like in the original, the show will be told via a series of narrations by a future version of the main character. The original show's narrator was Daniel Stern, who you may know as the slimy thief Marv from the Home Alone series. This time around that will be Black Friday's Don Cheadle.
"Yay @DonCheadle! Join me & @RealRonHoward for a cocktail later at Expositions, the bar exclusively for narrators. It's in the mini-mall on Pico next to the paint ball supplies store," comedian Patton Oswalt wrote on Twitter after the Cheadle news broke.
Dean's father Bill will be played by Psych alum Dulé Hill. Bill is slated to be a music professor by day and funk musician by night on the show. Hill celebrated on social media when the news had been announced. "Giving thanks for this next chapter of life. Honored to join this team of cast and creatives to go on this wonderful journey!!," he wrote.
Dean's mother Lillian will be played by Saycon Sengbloh, a Tony Award-nominated actress who is also set to play the role of Aretha Franklin's elder sister Erma in the upcoming Jennifer Hudson-led film Respect. Lillian will be a full-time accountant while also juggling her roles as mother and wife.
We also know Black Lightning star Laura Kariuki will play Kim, Dean's bright and confident older sister. Kim will be introduced on the show as having a good relationship with her bro, but she's starting to rebel against her parents' plans for her to attend college.
Deadline recently reported that child actors Milan Ray, Julia Lerner, and Amari O' Neil would be joining the cast, too. Ray will play Dean's crush. Ray has appeared on Amazon's Troop Zero and Charm City Kings. Lerner and O'Neil will play Dean's best friends, Brad Hitman and Cory Long, respectively.
This article will be updated as more information comes to light.