ENTERTAINMENT

‘The Wonder Years’ canceled by ABC after 2 seasons

The coming-of-age comedy starred Elisha “EJ” Williams as Dean Williams, a 12-year-old boy growing up in Montgomery, Ala., during the 1960s.

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The Wonder Years (2021 TV show)

The coming-of-age comedy, which was inspired by the 1980s and early-’90s series of the same name, has been canceled at ABC after two seasons, EW has confirmed. The news comes one month after the series — which starred Elisha “EJ” Williams, Dulé Hill, Saycon Sengbloh, and Laura Kariuki — concluded its second season on Aug. 16. 

Created by Saladin K. Patterson and original Wonder Years star Fred Savage, The Wonder Years followed 12-year-old Dean Williams (Williams) and the many life lessons he learned while growing up in a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Ala., during the late 1960s. Don Cheadle served as the series’ narrator, an older version of Dean.

The Wonder Years

Anthony Jenkins, Yvonne Orji, Spence Moore II, Saycon Sengbloh, and Dulé Hill on ‘The Wonder Years’

| Credit: Mathew Miller/ABC

Shortly after the show’s cancellation was announced, its stars shared their reactions on social media. 

“Be cool…. when chapter ends, another begins,” Hill, who starred as Williams family patriarch Bill, posted on Instagram. “Congrats to Saladin Patterson, this talented cast, and our amazing crew on bringing this beautiful story to our TV screens for the last two seasons. I had hoped to share this story a little bit longer, but that’s how it goes sometimes in this thing called show business. Grateful. What’s next?” 

In the comments section of Hill’s post, Williams wrote, “You will never stop being an inspiration to me. Been an honor being apart of this show with you. Cheers to what the future holds.” 

Patterson explained that he was “still processing” the show ending in his own Instagram post

“But I owe it to the amazing writers, cast, and crew that walked in their God-given gifts every day to help make this show one I will be proud of for the rest of my life,” he continued, taking a moment to thank them all. “The two biggest compliments I never got tired of hearing were: 1) We watch this show together as a family, and 2) Thank you for showing the positive side of our experience. I pray that God’s purpose was fulfilled.”

Julian Lerner, who played Dean’s friend Brad, commented on Patterson’s post, saying, “You created something special and touched many lives. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be a part of this family. It was truly an honor to be involved in your show.”

“There’s something about human nature where we look back to those formative years of adolescence, regardless of what happened, and still find moments of joy and happiness,” he said at the time. “Our show is going to show those moments, but not pretend like the moments of sadness, frustration, disappointment, and discouragement didn’t exist.”

Savage, who played the lead role of Kevin Arnold in the original series, served as a director and executive producer for the revival’s first season before he was fired following an investigation into misconduct allegations.

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The Wonder Years (2021 TV show)

This reimagining of the classic coming-of-age series follows young Dean Williams growing up in a middle-class Black family in 1960s Montgomery, Ala.

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