The Wonder Years reboot just released its first trailer for the upcoming ABC series, which is based on the iconic 80s sitcom of the same name. ABC ordered a pilot with Fred Savage, one of the stars of the original series, attached to direct back in summer of 2020, and gave it a full season order earlier this year. The Wonder Years is set to premiere as a fall entry in the 2021–22 television season. Saladin Patterson is the creator and executive producer for the series, accompanied by Lee Daniels, Marc Velez and Savage.
Both shows are coming-of-age comedies set in the late 60s, following a young teenager in a middle class family as he endures the trials and tribulations of growing up during a changing America. The new series will now follow Dean Williams, a black teen growing up in Montgomery, Alabama.
While there will be differences that comes with any reboot attempting to update for current sensibilities, the reboot of The Wonder Years will maintain the same spirit and tone as the beloved 80s sitcom. Elisha “EJ” Williams will star as Dean, with Don Cheadle voicing an older Dean as the narrator. Rounding out the rest of the cast are Saycon Sengbloh, Dulé Hill, Laura Kariuki, Julian Lerner, Amari O’Neil, Milan Ray and Allen Maldonado.
The trailer starts out with a brief homage to the original series: the iconic, primary colors logo appears on screen with some nostalgic shots of the Arnold family, all while we hear the wistful tune of Joe Cocker‘s “With a Little Help from My Friends.” While the trailer does offer bits and pieces of the new series, the primary focus are interviews with the new cast and creatives.
We also hear from Savage on why he decided to join the reboot, and what drew him back to the series that made his career. He described the experience as unreal, feeling transported back to his teens when he was on the show, but also experiencing it for the first time in a different role. Savage solidifies the hook of the series by explaining that the setting will be different, but the point-of-view of just a kid growing up will be the same.
The Wonder Years will premiere on ABC on September 22, 2021. Check out the first trailer below.