*Lee Daniels has revealed the new family in his reboot of “The Wonder Years,” which is executive produced by Daniels and original series star Fred Savage.
Daniels has teamed with ABC to revisit “The Wonder Years,” and this time with an all-Black cast. He will exec produce the comedy with original series co-creator Neal Marlens.
“The Wonder Years” ran on ABC from March 15, 1988 until May 12, 1993, and centers on Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold, a teenager growing up in a suburban middle-class family. Throughout the series’ six-season run, Kevin deals with middle and high school, encounters puberty, has ups and downs with childhood sweetheart Winnie Cooper, deals with annoying older brother Wayne, and hangs out with geeky-but-lovable Paul. The series is told from Kevin’s point-of-view, per Wiki.
The new series stars Elisha “EJ” Williams as Dean Williams, along with Dulé Hill, Saycon Sengbloh, and Laura Kariuki. You can take your first look at the Williams family above.
First look at The Wonder Years pic.twitter.com/0ERhbyZv44
— Lee Daniels (@leedanielsent) April 8, 2021
Per TV Web, Dean Williams is described as an “inquisitive and hopeful 12-year-old kid coming of age in a turbulent time. It’s 1968 in Montgomery, Alabama – and Dean is trying to figure out his place within his Black family and the world at large. Though a little insecure, a tad awkward and a bit self-conscious, he is determined to make his mark on the world around him.”
Savage personally informed Williams that he had been selected to lead the reboot series, and the moment was captured on video.
“We got you on this Zoom because we wanted to welcome you to the family, and tell you that it’s your turn to be the star of The Wonder Years,” Savage said.
Writer and executive producer Saladin K. Patterson added: “It’s kind of like the passing of the torch, right? From one generation of The Wonder Years to another one. I cannot tell you how blessed we are that you are going to be part of this one.”
Meanwhile, Milan Ray has been cast as Keisa Clemmons, Dean’s love interest. Danica McKellar, who played Winnie Cooper in the original series as Kevin Arnold’s love interest, spoke about Milan’s casting on social.
“HUGE congrats to Milan Ray who plays the young love interest in the new Wonder Years reboot that started shooting this week!” McKellar said. “Milan, you are already far more seasoned an actress than I was when I joined the cast of The Wonder Years many moons ago. From what I’ve seen of your work and from what I read in the script, you’re gonna knock it out of the park!! Go get ’em, girl.”
Don Cheadle will serve as the narrator of the series, as the voice of the adult Dean Williams.