After almost three decades off the air, The Wonder Years is getting a modern reboot at ABC. Moving on from Kevin and the Arnold family depicted in the original series, the new Wonder Years will instead follow a Black family living in the same era. From ABC and Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, the reboot has been given a "sizable pilot-production commitment" with plans to develop the series for the 2021-22 television season. A mini-writers' room is set to open once the network approves of the script.
In the original version of The Wonder Years, the story was set in the '60s, following a middle-class suburban family. The reboot will focus on how "a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, in the turbulent late '60s made sure it was 'the wonder years' for them, too." The Big Bang Theory writer Saladin K. Patterson is on board to write the script in addition to executive produce, with Daniels also exec producing alongside Marc Velez. Nearl Marlens, who co-created the original series, is also on board to consult, and original star Fred Savage will direct and exec produce.
The Wonder Years first debuted on television in 1988, telling the story of Kevin Arnold and his family as narrated by Daniel Stern. In addition to Savage, the series also starred Josh Saviano and Danica McKellar as Kevin's closest friends, Paul and Winnie, with the other Wayne family members played by Dan Lauria, Alley Mills, Olivia d'Abo, and Jason Hervey. Perhaps just as memorable as the cast and its storylines would be the theme song, with Joe Cocker asking the age-old question, "What would you do if I sang out of tune?" The show is one of the most memorable series of its era, running for six seasons before concluding its run 1993.
It's not shocking to see a new version of The Wonder Years going into development, as reboots have become the norm in movies and television. Many classic movies and shows have gotten modern remakes or sequels in recent years, and it might have been just a matter of time before The Wonder Years was next to go up. As of now, it's not clear if there will be any other connections between the two versions beyond the setting and the title of the series, but more information on the project will be forthcoming if ABC gives the pilot the green light by approving the script.
If the project is a go, the reboot will be produced by the Disney-owned studio 20th Century Fox Television, where Daniels and Savage are already present under overall deals. For now, there's no word on when the new Wonder Years will begin filming the pilot, and casting information has not yet been made available. It also remains to be seen if the reboot's theme music will be just as catchy as the original. In the meantime, you can watch six seasons of the original version of the show on Hulu. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.