Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Don Cheadle will be the grown-up narrator on ABC's new Wonder Years pilot

Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle
Photo: Amy Sussman (Getty Images)

A few weeks ago, we reported that Elisha “E.J.” Williams had been cast as the new main kid in ABC’s Wonder Years reboot pilot, with Williams getting the news on a humorously choppy Zoom call from original Wonder Years main kid (and new Wonder Years executive producer) Fred Savage. The new Wonder Years will be narrated by Williams’ character—who is named Dean—as a grown-up in the present day, just like the famous gimmick of the original series, and now ABC has announced that grown-up Dean will be played by none other than Don Cheadle.

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Cheadle’s narrator will be slightly older than Daniel Stern’s narrator was in the Fred Savage show, since both take place in 1968 and time has continued to progress since the old show first aired in the ‘80s, with a press release explaining that Cheadle’s Dean will be a new grandfather who is presumably recounting tales of his youth to his grandchild (otherwise the fact that he’s a grandfather would be irrelevant, right?). The project is still just a pilot at this point, but ABC is certainly making a big deal out of these casting announcements, so either it’s really using news stories like this one to gauge interest or the network is just waiting until TV production can go back to normal before it starts to move forward with a series order.

Also, as we pointed out in our last story: The timelines being the same for this show and the other one means there could theoretically be some kind of crossover, even though it would be hard to justify and even harder to pull off. Fred Savage isn’t a kid anymore (again, time has continued to progress), but maybe they could pull a This Is Us and have a present-day storyline where 2021 Daniel Stern meets 2021 Don Cheadle?