Tony-nominated actress Saycon Sengbloh will star in ABC's The Wonder Years reboot pilot. Sengbloh, who recently starred in The CW's In The Dark, will play the mother of the children featured in the new series. The new Wonder Years will be set in the same time period as the original classic 1980s family sitcom but is set in a different city to show what the 1960s were like for a Black family.
The Wonder Years reboot pilot was written by Saladin Patterson (Dave) and will be directed by the original show's star, Fred Savage. Empire co-creator Lee Daniels is also an executive producer, and The Wonder Years co-creator Neal Marlens joined as a consultant. The new show will follow the Williamses, a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama during the late 1960s. The original Wonder Years was set from 1968 to 1974 and tracked a white suburban family. The show's setting was never disclosed.
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Sengbloh was cast as Lillian Williams, who is described as "confident, kind, perceptive and has a good sense of humor," reports Deadline. Lillian can convince her children of anything. She works as a full-time accountant and is "organized, efficient and hard-working, but she always puts family first." The mother in the original 1988-1993 series was Norma Arnold, played by Allison Mills. The rest of the casting for the pilot has not been announced.
Sengbloh, 43, is primarily a stage actor. She earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Play for Danai Gurira's 2016 play Eclipsed. The production also earned her an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play. Her other stage credits include Motown: The Musical, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Aida, The Color Purple, and The Secret Life of Bees. Her television credits include episodes of Scandal, In The Dark, and the new OWN series Delilah. She also stars in the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect as Erma Franklin, Aretha Franklin's older sister.
ABC began work on the Wonder Years reboot in July 2020 and finally put in a pilot order last month. The original Wonder Years was a critically acclaimed series and is still considered an influential classic. The series ran six seasons and starred Savage as Kevin Arnold, who narrated the show as an adult. Daniel Stern voiced the adult Kevin. Other actors on the show were Dan Lauria, Olivia d'Abo, Jason Hervey, Josh Saviano, and Danica McKellar.