The Wonder Years is returning to ABC, but not as you may remember it. The Hollywood Reporter has it that a reboot from Empire co-creator Lee Daniels will focus on a Black family in the late 1960s.
Running for six seasons between 1988 and 1993, the original Wonder Years featured the Arnolds, a white, middle-class family living in a typical suburban American home. Daniels’ new take will purposefully take place in the late Sixties in Montgomery, Alabama, a setting that will present the Black family at the show’s center a very different set of challenges
Daniels will executive produce alongside TV veteran Saladin K. Patterson (The Big Bang Theory, The Bernie Mac Show), who is also writing the teleplay. Marc Velez, president of Lee Daniels Entertainment, will also be EP, while original Wonder Years co-creator Neal Marlens is on as a consultant.
What’s more, Fred Savage, who became the youngest actor ever nominated for a Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy for his star role as Kevin Arnold, is also back. He’ll get an EP credit and direct the pilot.
Disney-owned ABC has given a commitment to produce the pilot, with a “mini-writers’ room” expected to be established once the script is approved. According to THR, the quartet of Daniels, Savage, Patterson, and Velez brought the pitch straight to Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment. Burke has been known to point to The Wonder Years as one of the reasons she got into TV, so you can imagine how excited she was about the reboot idea. Should it get picked up for series, sources say the new version of The Wonder Years would target the 2021-22 television series.