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It’s official: ABC orders The Wonder Years reboot centered on a Black family

Talk about the perfect reboot: ABC has ordered a new take on the classic Fred Savage dramedy The Wonder Years by turning the focus on a Black middle-class family from the ’60s.

The new show will take place in Montgomery, Ala., and will be told through the POV of Dean, a 12-year-old boy. The show will feature Don Cheadle as the narrator (he’ll pay the adult Dean), as well as Elisha “EJ” Williams as young Dean Williams; Dulé Hill as his father, Bill Williams; Saycon Sengbloh as his mother, Lillian Williams; and Laura Kariuki as his sister, Kim Williams. Julian Lerner will play Brad Hitman, Amari O’Neil will play Cory Long, and Milan Ray will play Keisa Clemmons.

The series is from Lee Daniels Entertainment and will be executive-produced by Savage


THE WONDER YEARSDulé Hill, Saycon Sengbloh, Laura Kariuki, and Elisha Williams on ‘The Wonder Years’   CREDIT: ERIKA DOSS/ABC

Elisha “EJ” Williams to play Dean, the 12-year-old boy that serves as the center of the show, much the same way Fred Savage’s Kevin Arnold did in the original “Wonder Years.”

Here’s how ABC describes the character: “”Dean is an inquisitive and hopeful 12-year-old kid coming of age in a turbulent time. It’s 1968 in Montgomery, Alabama — and Dean is trying to figure out his place within his Black family and the world at large. Though a little insecure, a tad awkward and a bit self-conscious, he is determined to make his mark on the world around him.”

Williams joins Saycon Sengbloh, who will play his mother, Lillian, in the pilot.

Put into development last summer, “The Wonder Years” reboot will be set in the same era as the original 1980s series, with “Dave” executive producer Saladin Patterson writing and executive producing. Daniels executive produces alongside Marc Velez of Lee Daniels Entertainment.

Original series star Fred Savage will direct the reboot pilot and executive produce, with “The Wonder Years” co-creator Neal Marlens serving as a consultant on the project from 20th Television.

The original “Wonder Years” ran for six seasons on ABC from 1988-1993 and focused on the Arnolds, a middle class white suburban family. Unlike this new version, the original run never specified the town where it was set. Along with Savage, it starred Dan Lauria, Alley Mills, Jason Hervey, Olivia d’Abo, Josh Saviano and Danica McKellar. Daniel Stern provided the narration as a grown-up Kevin.

QUEENS – “Episode TBD” (ABC/Kimberly Simms)
ABC also ordered three more new shows for its fall lineup: the comedies Abbott Elementary and Maggie and the drama QueensAbbott is a workplace comedy that takes place at a Philadelphia public school. It stars Quinta Brunson as Janine Teagues, Tyler James Williams as Gregory Eddie, Janelle James as Ava Coleman, Chris Perfetti as Jacob Hill, Lisa Ann Walter as Melissa Schemmenti, and Sheryl Lee Ralph as Barbara Howard.

Maggie is about a young female psychic who can already see her future. Rebecca Rittenhouse plays the title role.

Queens is a hip-hop drama about four fortysomething women who reunite their ’90s group, Nasty Bitches. It stars Eve as Brianna, a.k.a. Professor Sex; Naturi Naughton as Jill, a.k.a. Da Thrill; Nadine Velazquez as Valeria, a.k.a. Butter Pecan; Taylor Selé as Eric Jones; Pepi Sonuga as Lil Muffin; and Brandy as Naomi, a.k.a. Xplicit Lyrics.


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Written by The Editor

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