Lee Daniels Is Rebooting The Wonder Years With African-American Cast, Fred Savage Will Direct and EP

Another TV series is getting the reboot treatment, but this time with a twist that will welcome a refreshing and entirely new perspective and voice.

ABC has announced they are developing a pilot for an updated version of The Wonder Years – the 1988 coming-of-age dramedy which ran for six seasons and starred Fred Savage as a middle-class suburban teenager growing up during the late 1960s and early ’70s.

The revival will be set during the same time period, except it will focus on a African-American family in Montgomery, Alabama.

The show will be executive produced by Empire co-creator Lee Daniels, while Saladin K. Patterson (The Big Bang Theory) is the showrunner and original series co-creator Neal Marlens will be a consultant. Savage is on board as well, as a director and executive producer.

What the cast of The Wonder Years looks like now

The official description for the show reads:

“How a black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama in the turbulent late 1960’s, the same era as the original series, made sure it was The Wonder Years for them too.”

Alabama is one of the main locations of the American civil rights movement, such as the bus boycott of 1955, a white supremacist church bombing in 1973 and the five-day march from Selma to Montgomery led by Martin Luther King which pushed the government to approve the Civil Rights Act in 1965.

Savage being on board despite repeatedly going against the idea of reviving The Wonder Years.

“My answer will remain the same — so I won’t get tired of people asking if everyone else doesn’t get tired of me saying, ‘No, it’s not going to happen,'” Savage told Vanity Fair.

“You know, I’ve always said that The Wonder Years, it’s not just the name of the show — it’s a time in your life, a very special, finite time in your life. And the way the show was written, it’s about looking back with some longing. I think we all look back at that time in our lives and long for it and idealize it. One of the reasons it takes on this kind of mythic, almost haunting quality in our lives is because it’s something you can’t go back and can’t revisit. It only exists in our memories, in our shared experiences with people who went through it with us. That’s really what the show was all about. And I think that the idea of revisiting the show mirrors that. And I like that … I love all the reboots and revisitations and reimaginings of all these [other] shows, but I don’t think it works, conceptually, for The Wonder Years.”

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