|The Wonder Years|
|Created by||Saladin K. Patterson|
|Narrated by||Don Cheadle|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||11|
|Distributor||Disney–ABC Domestic Television|
|Original release||September 22, 2021 –|
The Wonder Years is an American coming-of-age comedy television series developed by Saladin K. Patterson for ABC. Inspired by the 1988 series of the same name, it stars Elisha "EJ" Williams as Dean Williams, and follows his life as he grows up in Montgomery, Alabama, in the late 1960s. Don Cheadle lends his voice as the narrator for the series as the adult counterpart of Dean. The series premiered as a fall entry in the 2021–22 television season on September 22, 2021.
The Wonder Years is set in the late 1960s and takes a nostalgic look at the Williams family, Black middle-class residents of Montgomery, Alabama, through the point of view of imaginative 12-year-old Dean.
|No.||Title ||Directed by||Written by||Original air date ||Prod.|
|1||"Pilot"||Fred Savage||Saladin K. Patterson||September 22, 2021||1EDT01||3.23|
|2||"Green Eyed Monster"||Fred Savage||Mary Fitzgerald||September 29, 2021||1EDT02||2.69|
|3||"The Club"||Fred Savage||Max Searle||October 6, 2021||1EDT03||2.45|
|4||"The Workplace"||Shiri Appleby||Meredith Dawson & Kendra Cole||October 13, 2021||1EDT05||2.72|
|Dean spends the day at his mother's office. Lillian is an accounting executive with a master's degree. Dean finds new appreciation for how hard his mother works, despite the fact that her co-workers generally do not. At the end of the episode, she is promoted over Coach Long (who also works in the office).|
|5||"The Lock In"||Molly McGlynn||Amberia Allen||October 20, 2021||1EDT06||2.08|
|6||"Be Prepared"||Numa Perrier & Fred Savage||Bob Daily||October 27, 2021||1EDT07||2.57|
|7||"Independence Day"||Robert Townsend||Jacque Edmonds Cofer||November 3, 2021||1EDT04||2.23|
|8||"Science Fair"||Matthew A. Cherry||Yamin Segal||November 17, 2021||1EDT08||2.47|
|9||"Home for Christmas"||Fred Savage||Bob Daily||December 1, 2021||1EDT09||2.18|
|10||"Lads and Ladies and Us"||Ken Whittingham||Yael Galena||January 5, 2022||1EDT11||2.41|
|11||"Brad Mitzvah"||TBA||TBA||January 12, 2022||1EDT10||2.54|
|12||"I'm With the Band"||TBA||TBA||January 19, 2022||TBA||TBD|
|13||"The Valentine's Day Dance"||TBA||TBA||February 2, 2022||TBA||TBD|
The Wonder Years was announced on July 8, 2020, when the ABC gave the project a pilot order with Fred Savage, the star of the original series, attached to direct and executive produce. In January 2021, the pilot was confirmed, with production taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. In March 2021, Saycon Sengbloh, Elisha "EJ" Williams, Dulé Hill, Laura Kariuki, Milan Ray, Julian Lerner, and Amari O'Neil joined the cast, with Don Cheadle announced to serve as the show's narrator. On May 14, 2021, The Wonder Years was given a series order. In July, Allen Maldonado was cast in a recurring role.
At a Television Critics Association panel discussion in August 2021, crew members revealed that the series would tackle major events from 1968, including the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. When asked about casting Maldonado, whose character at the time was speculated to be Afro-Latino like Maldonado, writer and executive producer Saladin K. Patterson said they "wanted to represent the diaspora of Blackness for sure. And some of that is in appearance and looks but some of it is just in the background and those individual stories that come from those mixes of cultures. He certainly fits into that tableau that we want to set."
The first season was originally given a 9-episode order. On October 26, 2021, the first season was expanded to a full season of 22 episodes. In November 2021, it was reported Richard Gant and Spence Moore II would also star.
In the U.S., the series premiered on ABC on September 22, 2021, airing on Wednesdays at 8:30 pm, with availability the next day on Hulu. In Canada, the series aired on CTV. The series is also set to premiere on Disney+ via the streaming hub Star as an original series in selected countries. In Latin America, the series premieres as a Star+ original.
On November 8, 2021, Hollywood Records made the show's theme song available to stream and download. The song is written by Roahn Hylton and Jacob Yoffee and features vocals by Scotty Granger.
On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 95% of 20 reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Sweetly nostalgic without sacrificing substance, The Wonder Years captures the magic of the original while adding necessary nuance and context to its tale of Black life in America." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 75 out of 100 based on 17 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
The pilot episode was given to critics to review the series ahead of its premiere, and TVLine's Dave Nemetz gave it a "B," praising The Wonder Years for its vintage soundtrack, comedic tone, and focus on minorities for a story set in the 1960s. Nemetz summarized the series as "a decent enough remake, but one that lacks the groundbreaking verve of the original and pulls its punches a bit." In their review for Variety, Daniel D'Addario said that while parts of the 22-minute pilot felt "rushed," its focus on the time period made "its characters' relationships feel vivid and real against the backdrop of changing times." In his final points, D'Addario gave positive feedback to the cast and said "the pilot's final insight is nicely communicated." The Hollywood Reporter's Angie Han had similar comments, writing that "the series manages to invoke nostalgia for bygone days while also remaining relatively clear-eyed about the challenges of that period ... and it accomplishes this while delivering the cozy appeal of the best family sitcoms."
|1||"Pilot"||September 22, 2021||0.67||3.23||TBD||TBD||1.82||6.40|||
|2||"Green Eyed Monster"||September 29, 2021||0.50||2.69||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||
|3||"The Club"||October 6, 2021||0.47||2.45||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||
|4||"The Workplace"||October 13, 2021||0.54||2.72||0.13||0.68||0.67||3.40|||
|5||"The Lock In"||October 20, 2021||0.39||2.08||0.17||0.68||0.56||2.76|||
|6||"Be Prepared"||October 27, 2021||0.43||2.57||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||
|7||"Independence Day"||November 3, 2021||0.41||2.23||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||
|8||"Science Fair"||November 17, 2021||0.40||2.47||0.17||0.63||0.57||3.09|||
|9||"Home for Christmas"||December 3, 2021||0.34||2.18||0.10||0.62||0.44||2.79|||
|10||"Lads and Ladies and Us"||January 5, 2022||0.44||2.41||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||
|11||"Brad Mitzvah"||January 12, 2022||0.50||2.54||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|||