The Wonder Years Reboot Cast & Character Guide | Screen Rant
ABC’s reboot of the much-beloved 1988 classic The Wonder Years is here with a new cast of characters. Created by Saladin K. Patterson, The Wonder Years reboot will take place in 1968, just like its predecessor. However, this time it plays out through the eyes of a Black family, touching on social themes still relevant in society today. The pilot episode of The Wonder Years reboot premiered on September 22 after getting positive reviews from critics.
The original The Wonder Years series was centered on a 12-year-old kid played by Fred Savage and his middle-class family in the 1960s. The reboot focuses on a brand-new family, with the central character being 12-year-old Dean growing up with a family that is also middle class. Rather than being set in a suburb that’s never specified, like the original series, The Wonder Years reboot is set in Montgomery, Alabama, a fitting backdrop for the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and more.
There are still ties to the original series, however. Fred Savage himself directed the reboot’s pilot episode and may direct more in the first season. Meanwhile, Don Cheadle will narrate the grown-up version of the main character, replacing Daniel Stern from the original TV show. Here’s a guide to the cast and characters of The Wonder Years reboot.
Elisha “EJ” Williams is in the lead role as Dean Williams, who attends the desegregated Jefferson Davis Junior High. Dean doesn’t feel comfortable around some of his classmates and teachers. The Wonder Years reboot is the first major acting credit for Williams. He has previously appeared in a handful of kid’s television shows, including Puppy Dog Pals, Henry Danger, Danger Force and 3… 2… Wonder!
Dulé Hill takes on the role of Dean’s father, Bill Williams. He’s a college music professor who has found a bit of success as a funk musician with one of his songs currently in rotation on the radio. His mantra throughout the pilot episode is “Be cool.” Hill is best known for his role as Gus on Psych. He first started on Broadway as the understudy for Savion Glover in The Tap Dance Kid and performed the lead role in the musical’s national tour. Beyond Broadway, Hill has a long career in television, notably appearing in The West Wing, Ballers and Black Monday.
Saycon Sengbloh completes Dean’s set of parents as Lillian Williams, who is solid and supportive of her family. Sengbloh is arguably best known for her role as Angela Webster in Shonda Rhimes political drama Scandal. She also had a supporting role in films Across the Universe and American Gangster and landed recurring roles in Delilah and In the Dark.
Laura Kariuki is Dean’s sister, Kim Williams, who is a budding activist in her community. In the pilot episode, there is even a direct reference to her being inspired by the Black Panther movement. Kariuki’s previous role before The Wonder Years was playing JJ, a.k.a. Lightning on the Arrowverse’s Black Lightning.
Amari O’Neil as Cory Long – One of Dean’s best friends and the son of Coach Long. O’Neil has had minor roles on Station 19, Grey’s Anatomy, Raven’s Home, All American, S.W.A.T and NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Julian Lerner as Brad Hitman – Dean’s other best friend, Brad is from a Jewish family. Lerner made his film debut in Pottersville. He is also known for the Netflix feature films Yes Day, Leo the Lionhearted, and Happy!
Milan Ray as Keisa Clemmons – Dean’s crush, who can hold her own against bullies. Ray is best known for her roles in Modern Love, Troop Zero, Boomerang and Charm City Kings.
Allen Maldonado as Coach Long – Dean’s baseball coach and a comical figure. In The Wonder Years pilot episode, there is a running joke about Coach Long being “sweet” on Dean’s mother, Lillian. Maldonado is best known for his role as Curtis in Black-ish and Bobby in The Last O.G.