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The Wonder Years Reboot - What We Know So Far

The ultimate nostalgia sitcom is coming back. On July 8, news broke that ABC is moving forward with a reboot of the iconic series The Wonder Years. The original series followed the day-to-day life of Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage), a teenager living the life of a typical white, middle-class family in suburban America in the late 1960s. The planned reboot will keep the 1960s setting, but will focus on a Black family living in Montgomery, Alabama. Lee Daniels, creator of Empire and Star, is set to executive produce, along with Saladin K. Patterson and Fred Savage, who will direct the pilot. One of the original show's creators, Neal Marlens, will also act as a consultant (via Variety).

The Wonder Years originally ran for six seasons and was a massive hit, garnering a plethora of Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and wins during its tenure. It's remembered as a hugely influential and well-loved sitcom. The upcoming reboot will certainly have big shoes to fill, but considering the talent involved, it looks like it will be up to the challenge.

The project may have just been announced, but there are a few details we can speculate on in terms of the potential release window, cast, and plot. Let's get into everything we know so far about the reboot of The Wonder Years.

What we know about the current release date for The Wonder Years reboot?

As of right now, The Wonder Years reboot is still in the very early stages of development. ABC has OKed a pilot to go into production, but at this juncture, that doesn't even mean that the show will ever even make it to air. However, considering the appetite for reboots and all the talent involved, there's good reason to think that The Wonder Years will eventually hit TV screens.

So, if we are working under the assumption that The Wonder Years reboot will make it past the pilot stage, that leaves us with the question of when the show itself will premiere. According to sources who reported to The Hollywood Reporter, the show is eyeing a premiere during the 2021-2022 TV season. If all that goes to plan, we'll likely see The Wonder Years reboot beginning in fall 2021 or spring 2022. However, at the time of writing, nothing has been confirmed by ABC.

Who is going to star in The Wonder Years reboot?

The original The Wonder Years was notable for the young cast at the heart of the show. For his role as Kevin Arnold, 13-year-old Fred Savage became the youngest person at the time to be nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Savage also received two Golden Globe nominations during the run of the show. His co-star, Danica McKellar, won a Young Artist Award for her portrayal of Winnie Cooper.

That is all to say, the reboot is likely going to be looking to stack their cast with talent. One of the main questions will be whether they look to actors who have already made a name for themselves, or seek out some new talent. We'll have to wait and see.

Another big X-factor is whether or not any of the original cast will return to make guest appearances. With Fred Savage attached to direct the pilot, it's not inconceivable to think that he might also create a cameo opportunity for himself. Most of the main cast of the original The Wonder Years is still active in the industry. Considering both the timeline and the show's focus on a Black family, we wouldn't expect any of them to have significant roles, but we also wouldn't be surprised to see a few Arnold family members pop up in the reboot.

What to expect from the plot of The Wonder Years reboot

The original The Wonder Years was known for mixing the personal lives of the Arnold family with the political realities of their era. We know that the reboot will also begin in the late 1960s, however, the plan to center the story on a Black family living in the south likely means the show will cover different ground politically than the original.

1968, the year that kicked off The Wonder Years, was a particularly turbulent one in America's history. It was the year that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. Furthermore, the Vietnam War was in full swing, the hippie movement was changing the cultural landscape of the world, and at the end of the year, Richard Nixon was elected president. Expect all of those monumental events to play out across the sitcom's reboot.

However, as with the original, The Wonder Years reboot will likely have a sharp focus on the family life at the center of its story. Even though it's still early days for the project, it's already shaping up to be another successful update of a classic premise.