Why You Shouldn't Call the New Wonder Years a Reboot

In an exclusive chat with E! News, the stars of ABC's The Wonder Years explain the importance of this iteration, including why it isn't a revival.

By Alyssa Ray Sep 22, 2021 6:00 PMTags
Watch: "The Wonder Years" Cast Dishes on Reboot

It may be on the same network and have the same title, but don't call 2021's The Wonder Years a reboot.

The stars of the new coming-of-age comedy made sure to make this very point during an exclusive chat with E! News ahead of the Sept. 22 premiere. In fact, Elisha "EJ" Williams, who is stepping into Fred Savage's shoes by taking on the lead role, said the show isn't "categorized as a reboot."

"We're just another regular show," he added, "who's trying to be just as great, and it just so happens to be another version of another one."

The Wonder Years could certainly be defined as a reimagining, as the ABC show is telling new stories from the perspective of a Black family living in Alabama in the late 1960s. Williams' co-star and on-screen mom Saycon Sengbloh put it best when she told E! News, "We're just absolutely a different family, but it's that same slice of time. I think of it like this, if you imagine a neighborhood...that show was about what was going on in that house. And now we're just over here at this house."

2021 TV Premiere Dates

According to fellow Wonder Years star Laura Kariuki, even Savage, who serves as an executive producer, isn't calling the show a reboot. "He has assured us that this isn't just like, 'the new Wonder Years,'" she said. "It's a whole different show."

Because of this, Dulé Hill, who plays Williams patriarch Bill, could not have been more excited to be a part of this project.


"The original Wonder Years was a phenomenal show, and it's set the bar really high," he shared. "But there were things that were missing for me, anyway and my own experience. So, to be able to...expand the lens and tell a different, unique story in that same time period, it's an honor for me to be a part of it."

And, just like its predecessor, Hill predicted that this version of The Wonder Years may have a "cultural impact," noting, "We are looking back on yesterday, but so much of what has happened yesterday is happening today."

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His hope for the show? That it will "challenge us to take pause and take stock of where we are."

For all of this and more, watch the exclusive interview above.

The Wonder Years premieres tonight, Sept. 22 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.

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