The new half-hour comedy series would focus on how a black middle class family in Montgomery, Alabama in the turbulent late 1960’s made sure it was The Wonder Years for them too. That puts the new show in the same time period as the original series, which was set between 1968 and 1973. A mini writer’s room for the show will be opened once ABC approves a pilot script.
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Saladin K. Patterson will write and executive produce. Lee Daniels and Marc Velez will executive produce via Lee Daniels Entertainment. Fred Savage, the star of the original series, will direct the pilot and executive produce. Neal Marlens, the co-creator of the original series, will serve as consultant. 20th Century Fox Television will produce, with both Patterson and Daniels currently under overall deals at the studio.
Related video: Fred Savage has wanted to direct since ‘The Wonder Years’
The original “Wonder Years” aired from 1988 to 1993 on ABC for six seasons and over 100 episodes. It focused on the Arnold family, with Savage playing youngest child Kevin. Daniel Stern provided the voice of Kevin as an adult, looking back on his childhood growing up in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The show was well-received by audiences and critics. Over the course of its run, it received a Peabody Award, multiple Humanitas Prizes, four Emmy Awards, and a Golden Globe.
Patterson most recently worked as a writer and executive producer on the FXX comedy “Dave.” Prior to that, he was the showrunner on the TBS comedy series “The Last OG.” His other TV credits include “The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Psych,” “The Bernie Mac Show,” and “Frasier.”
Daniels is a celebrated filmmaker, having received two Oscar nominations for his film “Precious.” His other films include “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and the upcoming feature “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” On the TV side, he is known for co-creating the Fox dramas “Empire” and “Star.”
In addition to his acting work, Savage has become a sought-after TV director in recent years. His directing credits include multiple episodes of shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “The Conners,” “Modern Family,” “The Goldbergs,” and “2 Broke Girls.”
(Pictured: Lee Daniels)
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