Danica McKellar on ‘The Wonder Years’ reboot featuring a Black family

Danica McKellar, who played Winnie Cooper on “The Wonder Years,” tells Yahoo Entertainment she’s excited about the series getting a reboot with a Black family. “I think it's an amazing idea,” she says. “I'm sure they're going to create an amazing cast and amazing story, both honoring our show as it was originally, and also doing justice to the struggles of Black Americans in the 1960’s.”

Lee Daniels will executive produce the reboot for ABC, with Fred Savage tapped to direct. The half-hour comedy will focus on a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, "in the turbulent late 1960's, the same era as the original series.

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.

Video Transcript


DANICA MCKELLAR: Fred actually emailed me to tell me about this, about this reboot with a black cast. Lee Daniels from "Empire" is [INAUDIBLE]. Fred's going to direct. I think it's an amazing idea.

One of the things that we did not deal with on "The Wonder Years" so much is the idea of race and what it was like to be Black in America in the 1960s. And now they're going to have an opportunity to handle this straight on, head on. So I'm very much looking forward to seeing what they create. Fred's very talented as a director. Lee Daniels, obviously super talented. I'm sure they're going to create an amazing cast, an amazing story, both honoring our show as it was originally and also doing justice to the struggles of Black America in the 1960s.

This is a show that's going to be set in 1968 when our characters were all 12 years old. So we won't be around. "The Wonder Years" told a very specific story from a very specific point of view. And yes, it did deal with a lot of things that were happening in history. It would sort of touch on things here and there in the background, always in the context of this 12-year-old boy's life. Is she going to call me? Or should I call her, while the Vietnam War is going on the background. It's just sort of like there are these big issues going on in the background of his everyday crises as a 12-year-old boy and his egocentric life, as it is when you're a kid.

Did those outside big issues ever really deal with race? I don't remember them focusing on that. And yes, I think it probably was a missed opportunity. I always thought the show should go on for another extra year, at least to let the characters graduate from high school. And it would've been great to take an opportunity to get some more of those issues that were going on in the 1960s. Let's honor the show as it was and also do justice to the struggles of Black America in the 1960s.

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