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‘The Wonder Years’ reboot: Cast, trailer, release date and everything else you need to know

The Wonder Years reboot
(Image credit: ABC)

The Wonder Years was a beloved TV series from creators Carol Black and Neal Marlens that ran from 1988-1993 on ABC. The network has ordered a pilot for a reboot of The Wonder Years, which is set to premiere this year from Lee Daniels, Saladin Patterson (also serving as showrunner) and Fred Savage, who was the star of the original series. According to IMDb, Fred Savage directed the pilot.

Here’s everything we know about The Wonder Years reboot so far.

What’s ‘The Wonder Years’ about?

The original Wonder Years was a dramedy that focused on Kevin Arnold, as his older self recalled his childhood growing up in the late 1960s and '70s learning about personal and social issues.

The reboot will have the same basic premise, but is changing things up by focusing on a Black family living in Montgomery, Ala., during the late 1960s, with the 12-year-old Dean Williams serving as the focus.

Who’s in ‘The Wonder Years’ reboot cast?

The original cast of The Wonder Years featured Savage, Daniel Stern, Dan Lauria, Alley Mills, Danica McKellar and more. Here are the actors who will make up the main cast of The Wonder Years reboot: 

  • Elisha Williams — Dean Williams
  • Don Cheadle — Narrator 
  • Laura Kariuki — Kim Williams 
  • Dulé Hill — Bill Williams 
  • Saycon Sengbloh — Lillian Williams 
  • Milan Ray — Keisa Clemmons 
  • Amari O’Neil — Cory Long 
  • Julian Lerner — Brad Hitman 

When does ‘The Wonder Years’ reboot air?

The Wonder Years holds the 8:30 p.m. time slot on ABC every Wednesday.

The Wednesday time slot puts it on a busy night for ABC, which will have The Goldbergs at 8 p.m., The Conners at 9 p.m., Home Economics at 9:30 p.m. and A Million Little Things at 10 p.m.

Is there a ‘The Wonder Years’ reboot trailer?

ABC released a teaser trailer as part of its upfront presentation in May. Led in with a rendition of “With a Little Help from my Friends” (though not the Joe Cocker-sung version the ‘80s The Wonder Years had as its theme song), the trailer features some narration of Don Cheadle over a young Dean Williams playing baseball and spending time with his friends and family. Watch the trailer below. 

While not a trailer, some more footage was shown in this behind-the-scenes look of The Wonder Years that includes interviews with writer and executive producer Saladin K. Patterson, Dulé Hill, Saycon Sengbloh, Elisha Williams and original series star and director of the reboot's pilot, Fred Savage.

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Are there 'The Wonder Years' reviews?

Ahead of the series premiere on Sept. 22, the first reviews for The Wonder Years reboot have been shared. 

In Variety's review of the show, it finds that show is less interested in the sentimentality of the original series is dulled in this new version (inferring this is because of the setting being more than 50 years ago) and more about the impact of growing up in such a historic time period.

"Credit the pilot of The Wonder Years 2.0 with this: With brainpower that’s rare for a contemporary network sitcom, it makes its characters’ relationships feel vivid and real against the backdrop of changing times," the Variety review reads.

The Hollywood Reporter, meanwhile, dubbed the new Wonder Years a "winning and worthy reboot," saying that it effectively balances pointed cultural commentary with its coming-of-age story thanks to its humor and ensemble cast.

As of Sept. 22, The Wonder Years has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 70 on Metacritic.

How to watch 'The Wonder Years' reboot

The Wonder Years reboot will air live on local ABC stations on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET. To tune in live on broadcast TV, viewers will need to have a cable or satellite subscription, a TV antenna or a subscription to services like Fubo TVHulu with Live TVSling TV or YouTube TV.

If watching live is not your top priority, viewers can catch the latest episodes on-demand on ABC.com or by streaming them Hulu the day after they air on broadcast TV.

Here’s where you can watch the original The Wonder Years right now.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.