The series will follow a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama in the late 1960s

By Georgia Slater
July 09, 2020 11:01 AM
The Wonder Years
| Credit: ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images

The Wonder Years is returning to ABC with a brand new focus.

Nearly three decades after the iconic coming-of-age comedy aired on ABC, the network is working on a pilot for a rebooted version of the classic series about a Black family in Alabama for the 2021-2022 television season, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The original series aired from 1988 to 1993 and followed a white middle-class family in the 1960s. Fred Savage and Josh Saviano starred as best friends Kevin Arnold and Paul Pfeiffer, respectively, and Danica McKellar played Kevin’s love interest, Winnie Cooper.

The reboot will instead focus on a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama during the turbulent late 1960s as they "made sure it was The Wonder Years for them too," THR reported as the description.

Comedian Saladin K. Patterson (The Big Bang Theory) will write and executive produce the upcoming half-hour series with Empire co-creator Lee Daniels also as an executive producer. Neal Marlens, who co-created the original series, will act as a consultant.

Savage, who broke out in Hollywood with his role in The Wonder Years, is also set to direct and executive produce the pilot episode.

At only 13, Savage became the youngest actor nominated for a lead actor in a comedy series Emmy for his role in 1988.

Fred Savage

The Wonder Years aired a total of 115 episodes, which fans expected to be the end as Savage made it clear there would never be a reboot.

In 2015, Savage told PEOPLE there was “zero” chance of an official revival.

“The show was about a time in your life,” he said at the time. “The show was about this finite moment in your life that has a beginning and an end, and I think that’s what makes people long for that time in your life.”

“You can’t really go back to it,” he added. “You can’t all be 12 again, and that’s why that time in our life is so special and why all the memories still stay with us and warm us and haunt us and all those things — because we can’t go back to it.”

In 2016, McKellar said a reboot could “possibly” be done without Savage, but might not “feel the same.” Plus, she wondered, “Who would narrate it?”