How ABC’s New ‘The Wonder Years’ Reimagines a TV Classic Through the Black Experience

”I want this to be a story about a new family that was very different from the Arnolds,“ showrunner Saladin Patterson tells TheWrap

ABC is going back to the wonder years of the late 1960s with a new version of the beloved coming-of-age comedy “The Wonder Years” that swaps out Fred Savage’s Kevin Arnold for Elisha Williams’ Dean Williams.

In doing so, the Lee Daniels-produced remake focuses that time period around a middle class Black family in Alabama. For showrunner Saladin Patterson, it was a chance to showcase an aspect of Black culture that has rarely been seen in entertainment. “We have not seen the middle class Black experience on TV during the civil rights movement, during the turbulent ’60s,” Patterson tells TheWrap. “We have seen Black stories, a lot of Black stories, but it hasn’t really been an experience of the Black middle class, specifically showing how, first of all, there was a Black middle class.”

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Tim Baysinger

TV reporter • • Twitter: @tim_bays