Pilot for “The Wonder Years” reboot featuring Black family in the works

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(CBS News)-Fans of “The Wonder Years” could be in luck, because a pilot for a reboot of the beloved show is in the works at ABC. The potential new series will be set in the late 1960s, the same era in which the original show began — but this time, it will center around the life of a Black family instead of a White one.

The proposed 30-minute comedy series has received a pilot production commitment from the network, meaning a pilot of the show will be produced for ABC. The show will also receive a mini writers room if ABC approves the pilot script, the network announced on Wednesday. 

The goal is for the show to be developed for the 2021-2022 season. 

The original coming-of-age series aired from 1988 to 1993 on ABC. It revolved largely around Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage), his main love interest and neighbor Gwendolyn “Winnie” Cooper (Danica McKellar) and his best friend Paul Pfeiffer (Josh Saviano) as they navigated their teenage years during a transformative period in history.

The new project will aim to show how a middle-class Black family “made sure it was The Wonder Years for them too,” according to the network.

In another departure from the original show, the proposed reboot is set in Montgomery, Alabama, the network said. The original characters led their lives in an unspecified suburb.

Saladin Peterson, the former co-executive producer of “The Big Bang Theory,” will write and executive produce the reboot, with “Empire” creator Lee Daniels also serving as an executive producer. 

Marc Velez, the president of Lee Daniels Televison within Lee Daniels Entertainment, will also executive produce. Savage is slotted to direct and executive produce as well. The original series’ co-creator, Neal Marlens, will serve as a consultant. 

McKellar tweeted her excitement for the new project Wednesday evening, with a photo of her and Savage as kids. 

“Fred emailed me last night to share the news!” McKellar wrote. “I can’t wait to see what he & @leedanielsent create. I have no doubt it will both honor the original show & do justice to the realities of growing up black in 1960’s.” 

First published on July 9, 2020 / 10:26 PM

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