ABC’s Wonder Years pilot lands Don Cheadle to narrate
After rounding out its lead family cast with the additions of Dulé Hill (Psych) and Laura Kariuki (Black Lightning), ABC’s reboot pilot of iconic sitcom The Wonder Years has found its narrator in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier‘s Don Cheadle, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The role of the narrator in the original series was performed by Daniel Stern, best known for his roles in the Home Alone and City Slickers franchises as well as voicing Dilbert in the eponymous animated series and starring in Shrill as Aidy Bryant’s character’s father.
The single-camera comedy is being developed by Saladin Patterson (Dave), Lee Daniels (Empire) and original series star Fred Savage and will shift the focus from the world of the Arnolds in the late ’80s to the Williamses, a middle-class Black family in Montgomery, Alabama in the turbulent time of the ’60s who worked hard to make sure the time was still the Wonder Years for them too.
Hill has signed on to star as Bill Williams, the family patriarch who is a music professor by day and a funk musician by night, described by the adult version of central character Dean as “the baddest guy I knew” who is almost always calm and composed and whose favorite words are “be cool.” Bill works hard to let his family and their Black, middle-class neighborhood to remain self-sufficient. Kariuki is set to play Kim Williams, Dean’s teenage sister who is confident, bright and popular and despite bickering with Dean, she does have a good relationship with her sibling. Though Bill and mother Lillian are trying to have her prepare for college, she is beginning to rebel and refer to Eldridge Cleaver’s “Soul on Ice” as her source of inspiration for her life rather than the SATs.
The Psych alum joins a cast set to be led by Elisha Williams as Dean as well as Saycon Sengbloh as Lillian, described as being sharp as a tack, confident, kind, perceptive and with a good sense of humor who knows exactly the right thing to say to convince you of anything and expertly balances her life as a mother and accountant thanks to her organization, efficiency and hard-working spirit.
Patterson and Savage are executive producing the project alongside Daniels and Marc Velez via their Lee Daniels Entertainment production banner while Neal Marlens, the original series’ co-creator, is set to serve as consultant. 20th Television is the studio for the project.
The original Wonder Years ran from 1988-1993. Co-created by Marlens and Carol Black, the Golden Globe and Emmy winning comedy-drama starred Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Alley Mills, Olivia d’Abo, Jason Hervey, Danica McKellar, and Josh Saviano, and was narrated by Daniel Stern.
(Photo Credit: Michael Tran/FilmMagic)