EXCLUSIVE: The Wonder Years reboot has found its mom. Saycon Sengbloh (In the Dark) has been cast as a lead in the ABC single-camera comedy pilot from Dave exec producer Saladin Patterson, the original series’ star Fred Savage and Empire co-creator Lee Daniels.
Written by Patterson and directed by Savage, the reboot of the classic 1980s family comedy-drama is set in the same era as the original. It looks at how the Williamses, a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, AL, in the turbulent late 1960s made sure it was the Wonder Years for them too.
Sengbloh will play Lillian Williams. Sharp as a tack, Lillian is confident, kind, perceptive and has a good sense of humor. She knows exactly the right thing to say to convince you of anything. As a mother, wife and full-time accountant, she’s organized, efficient and hard-working, but she always puts family first.
Patterson and Savage executive produce along with Daniels and Marc Velez via Lee Daniels Entertainment. The original series’ co-creator Neal Marlens serves as a consultant. 20th Television is the studio.
In the 1988-93 ABC series, the mom, Norma Arnold, was played by Allison Mills.
Sengbloh recurs in the new OWN series Delilah. The actress-singer next will be seen in the Aretha Franklin feature biopic Respect headlined by Jennifer Hudson. She previously recurred on the CW drama In the Dark and on ABC’s Scandal. She also did an arc on ABC’s Ten Days in the Valley.
On stage, Sengbloh has starred in such Broadway and Off-Broadway productions as Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along with Wayne Brady, Motown the Musical, Holler If Ya Hear Me, Hair, The Color Purple, Wicked, Fela! and Aida. She earned a Tony nomination and won a Drama Desk Award and an Obie Award for her performance in Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed opposite Lupita Nyong’o. Sengbloh is repped by Stewart Talent and Untitled Entertainment.