ABC Reportedly Orders Pilot For Lee Daniels-Produced Reboot Of ‘The Wonder Years’

One of the seminal television titles of the late 1980s and early ’90s may be returning to the small screen with a reboot of the original property. As relayed by The Hollywood Reporter, ABC has officially ordered a pilot for a Lee Daniels-produced take on The Wonder Years.

The project joins two others — an untitled multicamera comedy written by Regina Hicks and executive produced by Viola Davis and Larry Wilmore, as well as the single-cam comedy Maggie, which is based on the Tim Curcio short film of the same name — as potential series pick-ups.

Airing for six seasons, from 1988 to 1993, the original Wonder Years was created by Neal Marlens and Carol Black and told the story of the Arnold family — a White, middle-class clan living in the suburbs — as it navigated the turbulent times of the late 1960s and early ’70s. The show starred Fred Savage as Kevin Arnold, the family’s teenage son, as well as Danica McKellar and Josh Saviano as his friends, Winnie Cooper and Paul Pfeiffer.

The program won or was nominated for a slew of Emmy Awards, Golden Globes and other accolades.

Daniels’ iteration will feature a different take with a similar premise, as the pilot will focus instead on a Black, middle-class family living in Montgomery, Alabama in the late ’60s as it works to ensure “it was ‘the wonder years’ for them, too.”

The pilot script will reportedly be written by Saladin K. Patterson, who also did work on The Big Bang Theory, Frasier and The Bernie Mac Show. He’ll also act as a producer alongside Daniels and Marc Velez.

Marlens is said to be attached to the project as a consultant as well, while Savage — who transitioned from acting into a career as one of TV’s most highly regarded directors — is on-tap to direct the first episode.

Actor/director Fred Savage attends the 15th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball in 2016.

Per the THR, sources have indicated that Daniels, Velez, Patterson and Savage pitched the idea directly to then-ABC Entertainment head Karey Burke, who had once singled out The Wonder Years as one of the shows that inspired her to pursue a career in TV.

Daniels has an incredibly strong track record in the medium, having co-created, written and directed the hit Fox series Empire. Meanwhile, Savage and Patterson are reportedly close friends and have worked together previously.

As shared by The Inquisitr, original series stars Savage, McKeller and Saviano reunited for a lunch in 2019, much to the delight of Wonder Years fans.