‘Wonder Years’ reboot casts Elisha Williams in Fred Savage role


ABC’s reboot of the beloved 1980s coming-of-age sitcom “The Wonder Years” has found an actor for its main role. 

Elisha “EJ” Williams — who has appeared in various children’s TV shows including “Henry Danger” and “3 … 2 … Wonder!” and as a voice actor on Disney Junior’s animated “Puppy Dog Pals” — will star as preteen Dean in the remake of the classic dramedy. 

“We got you on this Zoom because we wanted to welcome you to the family and tell you that it’s your turn to be the star of ‘The Wonder Years,’ ” said Fred Savage — who originally played Kevin, now renamed Dean — during a video call with Williams. “It’s your part, man; welcome,” added Savage, 44, who is directing the remake’s pilot, as well as serving as an executive producer. 

“Welcome aboard, man; couldn’t be happier,” chimed in executive producer Saladin K. Patterson, who is also writing the half-hour series. 

Elisha “EJ” Williams (left) has signed up for the reboot of "The Wonder Years," which starred Fred Savage.
Elisha “EJ” Williams (left) has signed up for the reboot of “The Wonder Years,” which starred Fred Savage.
Debi Patton/Flygirl Photography; Alamy

”Dean is an inquisitive and hopeful 12-year-old kid coming of age in a turbulent time. It’s 1968 in Montgomery, Alabama — and Dean is trying to figure out his place within his Black family and the world at large,” reads ABC’s description for the character, according to the Wrap. “Though a little insecure, a tad awkward and a bit self-conscious, he is determined to make his mark on the world around him.”

The reboot, the development of which was first announced in July, is employing the original show’s creator, Neal Marlens, as a consultant, Variety reported.  

“Wonder Years” aired on ABC for six seasons and more than 100 episodes from 1988 to 1993. The adult version of the main character was voiced by Daniel Stern, who reflected on his 1960s and ’70s childhood. The show won four Emmys, a Golden Globe, a Peabody Award and multiple Humanitas Prizes during the course of its run. The series also co-starred Dan Lauria as Kevin’s dad, Jack; Alley Mills as his mom, Norma; Olivia d’Abo as his older sister, Karen; Jason Hervey as Kevin’s older brother, Wayne; Danica McKellar as Kevin’s first love, Winnie Cooper; and Josh Saviano as Kevin’s dorky BFF, Paul Pfeiffer.



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