‘Wonder Years’ Reboot in The Works, ABC Moves Forward With Pilot Inspired by Classic Show

by Matthew Wilson

The year is about to get a lot more wonderful. A reboot of the classic sitcom “The Wonder Years” is reportedly currently in the works.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, ABC has reportedly ordered a pilot of the hit 1980s series. The original starred a young Fred Savage and explored a time in a boy’s life from age 12 to 17. The show explored adolescent friendships, puberty, first relationships, and a variety of other topics. Running through the 1980s, the show was actually set a decade prior from 1968 to 1973.

Rather than capitalize on 1980s or 90s nostalgia, the show will explore the same time period as the original. The key difference is the show will explore the perspective of a black family during this time period. While the original’s location was never revealed (New York or California was thrown around), the new show will be set in Montgomery, Alabama.

The show will come in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement. Montgomery was a key location during the movement and the site of violence when police officers turned water hoses and dogs against protesters. Saladin Patterson will write the show with “Empire” and “The Butler” director Lee Daniels executive producing.

The New ‘Wonder Years’

The announcement of the reboot comes during an age of revivals for classic TV. Many of yesterday’s hits have been repackaged and remixed for today’s audiences. Perhaps, executives are hoping to hit that sweet bit of nostalgia. Some shows like “Cobra Kai” have acted as sequels to their original property (“The Karate Kid” franchise).

Meanwhile, others have reinvented similar concepts with a new cast of characters. For instance, few audience members would mistake the new “Walker, Texas Ranger” for the Chuck Norris hit of yore. Many viewers may have liked to see what Savage and his character Kevin got up to. Perhaps a sequel about his kids like the recent “Girl Meets World.”

But the reboot may offer an interesting take by following a new family for audiences to love. Patterson has experience in sitcoms, writing for “The Big Bang Theory” and also “Psych.”

Savage plans to return as well. Just don’t expect to see him on camera. The former child star is lending his talents behind the camera and will direct the pilot episode. The cast and expected air date haven’t been announced. But it’s clear what old is new again.