Dulé Hill and Laura Kariuki have been cast in “The Wonder Years” reboot pilot at ABC, Variety has learned.
They join previously announced cast members Elisha Williams, who will play main character Dean, and Saycon Sengbloh, who will play family matriarch Lillian. The project will show how a black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama in the turbulent late 1960s, made sure it was The Wonder Years for them too.
Hill will star as family patriarch Bill Williams. He’s a music professor by day and a funk musician by night – described by Adult Dean as “The baddest guy I knew.” Almost always calm and composed, his favorite words are “be cool.” Bill wants his family and their black, middle class neighborhood to remain self-sufficient and he puts his money where his mouth is.
Hill is known for starring in the NBC political drama “The West Wing” as well as the USA Network series “Psych.” He received an Emmy nomination in 2002 for “The West Wing” in the best supporting actor in a drama category. He has reprised his role from “Psych” in both “Psych: The Movie” and “Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.” His recent TV credits include “Black Monday,” “Suits,” “Ballers,” and “Doubt.”
He is repped by ICM, Washington Square Films, and Fuller Law.
Kariuki will play Kim Williams, Dean’s teenage sister. Kim is confident, bright and popular. She and Dean bicker as siblings do but they have a good relationship. Her parents have her preparing for college – but Kim is starting to rebel, telling them “Bobby Seale and H. Rap Brown didn’t even finish college” and that she’ll learn more from Eldridge Cleaver’s “Soul on Ice” than the SAT’s.
“The Wonder Years” would mark Kariuki’s second onscreen credit. She has otherwise appeared in eight episodes of the CW superhero series “Black Lightning.” She is repped by A3 Artists Agency.
The reboot hails from writer and executive producer Saladin Patterson with Lee Daniels and Marc Velez of Lee Daniels Entertainment also executive producing. Original series star Fred Savage will direct the pilot and executive produce. Neal Marlens, the original show’s creator, will serve as consultant.