The Wonder Years is coming back, this time with a Black family. The classic coming-of-age sitcom, which aired on ABC from 1988 to 1993, will return to the same network, this time with Empire co-creator Lee Daniels as executive producer, per the Hollywood Reporter. Big Bang Theory writer Saladin Patterson will write the script, and the original series co-creator, Neal Marlens, will consult. Fred Savage, who starred in the original as Kevin Arnold, will executive produce and direct. The goal is for a premiere during the 2021-22 television season.
The Arnolds lived in the suburbs in the 1960s in the original show; the new show will feature a Black family during the same time frame, which includes the later years of the civil rights movement. The official description of the show, per Entertainment Weekly: "How a black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, in the turbulent late 1960s, the same era as the original series, made sure it was The Wonder Years for them too." "A look at social changes during the era of the civil-rights movement, through the personal lens of a Black family, set in the town of Freedom Riders and Rosa Parks, is a very promising way to retool ABC’s nostalgia property," writes Rebecca Alter at Vulture. "We hope the music budget is massive." (Read more Lee Daniels stories.)