Lee Daniels’ “Wonder Years” reboot pilot at ABC has added two new cast members.
“Psych” and “The West Wing” alum Dule Hill has joined the series as Bill Williams, Dean’s father and patriarch of the central family. Per ABC, “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.”
Newcomer Laura Kariuki will play Bill’s daughter and Dean’s teenage sister, Kim Williams. According to the character description, she 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 SATs.”
The pair join previously announced star Elisha “EJ” Williams, who will play Dean, the 12-year-old boy that serves as the center of the show, much the same way Fred Savage’s Kevin Arnold did in the original “Wonder Years.” Saycon Sengbloh will play his mother, Lillian.
Put into development last summer, “The Wonder Years” reboot will be set in the same era as the original 1980s series, with “Dave” executive producer Saladin Patterson writing and executive producing. Daniels executive produces alongside Marc Velez of Lee Daniels Entertainment.
Original series star Fred Savage will direct the reboot pilot and executive produce, with “The Wonder Years” co-creator Neal Marlens serving as a consultant on the project from 20th Television.
The original “Wonder Years” ran for six seasons on ABC from 1988-1993 and focused on the Arnolds, a middle class white suburban family. Along with Savage, it starred Dan Lauria, Alley Mills, Jason Hervey, Olivia d’Abo, Josh Saviano and Danica McKellar. Daniel Stern provided the narration as a grown-up Kevin.