Black Wonder Years, From Lee Daniels, Eyed at ABC; Fred Savage to Direct

The Wonder Years Reboot

Cue up a little Joe Cocker before reading this news: A reboot of The Wonder Years, centered on a Black family, is in the works at ABC, TVLine has learned.

Empire co-creator Lee Daniels is behind the half-hour project, which has scored a pilot production commitment at the network. Set in the turbulent late 1960s — the same era as the original series — it will follow a Black, middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, as it makes sure these are the Wonder Years for them, too.

Original Wonder Years star Fred Savage is set to direct the pilot, and he’ll exec-produce with Daniels and Saladin K. Patterson (DavePsych). Patterson will pen the pilot. Neal Marlens, who co-created The Wonder Years, is on board as a consultant for the new iteration.

The first Wonder Years ran on ABC from 1988 to 1993, starring Savage as teenager Kevin Arnold during the late ’60s and early ’70s. Narrated by Daniel Stern as an adult version of Kevin, the dramedy followed his transition from childhood to adulthood in a suburban, middle-class family. The cast also included Dan Lauria, Alley Mills, Olivia d’Abo and Jason Hervey as Kevin’s parents and siblings, plus Josh Saviano as Kevin’s best friend, Paul, and Danica McKellar as his neighbor and love interest, Winnie Cooper.

ABC’s Wonder Years commitment comes after the network recently passed on other nostalgia-filled projects: A sequel to the ’80s drama thirtysomething is not moving forward, nor is a reboot of the soapy series Revenge.

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