Earlier this week ABC found their lead for the upcoming The Wonder Years reboot. Today, more talent has joined the cast. According to Deadline, Dulé Hill (Psych) and Laura Kariuki (Black Lightning) have joined the Lee Daniels single camera comedy.
Written by Patterson and directed by original series’ star Fred Savage, the reboot of the classic 1980s family comedy-drama is set in the same era as the original. It looks at how the Williamses, a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, AL, in the turbulent late 1960s made sure it was the Wonder Years for them too.
Elisha “EJ” Williams is set to play Dean, a curious and awkward preteen growing up in 1960s America. His character is the equivalent to Savage’s Kevin Arnold, who was the protagonist in the original series. Also on board the project is Saycon Sengbloh who will play Lillian Williams, the matriarch of the family that the new show will follow.
Hill will play Bill Williams, Dean’s (Elisha Williams) dad. He’s a music professor by day and a funk musician by night, described by Adult Dean as “The baddest guy I knew.” Almost always calm and composed, his favorite words are “be cool.” Bill wants his family and their black, middle-class neighborhood to remain self-sufficient and he puts his money where his mouth is. Kariuki is Kim Williams, Dean’s teenage sister, Kim is confident, bright and popular. She and Dean bicker as siblings do but they have a good relationship. Her parents have her preparing for college – but Kim is starting to rebel, telling them “Bobby Seale and H. Rap Brown didn’t even finish college” and that she’ll learn more from Eldridge Cleaver’s “Soul on Ice” than the SAT’s.
Neal Marlens, who co-created the original series with Carol Black, will be a consultant. 20th TV, which owns the rights to the 1988 series, is the studio. Part of Disney TV Studios, 20th TV has overall deals with Daniels, Patterson, and Savage.
The original series ran for six seasons on ABC from 1988 to 1993, and followed Kevin Arnold (Savage) who recalls growing up during the late 60s and early 70s; during the turbulent social times make the transition from child to adult unusually interesting. The series was narrated by Arnold as an adult, and played by Daniel Stern (Home Alone).
The series also starred Dan Lauria co-starred as his father Jack, Alley Mills as his mother Norma, Jason Hervey as his brother Wayne, Olivia d’Abo as his sister Karen, Josh Saviano as his best friend Paul Pfeiffer, and Danica McKellar as his girlfriend Winnie Cooper.