The Wonder Years' Fred Savage Fired From ABC Reboot After Misconduct Investigation

Fred Savage on Jimmy Kimmel Live screenshot
(Image credit: ABC)

Fred Savage, best known as an actor for his roles in The Princess Bride and the original run of The Wonder Years, has been fired from his position as executive producer and director of the ABC and 20th Television reboot of his beloved sitcom. The big move comes after an investigation into multiple allegations of misconduct while working on the reboot. 

The news of Fred Savage's firing comes when The Wonder Years reboot has not yet been renewed for a second season, but it's not clear whether or not cutting Savage will affect its renewal chances. At the time of writing, Deadline reports that the allegations against the actor/producer/director include inappropriate behavior and verbal outbursts, and neither Savage nor any of his representatives have so far responded. A statement from a 20th Television spokesman confirms that Savage will no longer be part of the project:

Recently, we were made aware of allegations of inappropriate conduct by Fred Savage, and as is policy, an investigation was launched. Upon its completion, the decision was made to terminate his employment as an executive producer and director of The Wonder Years.

Details regarding specific complaints about Savage's behavior and the investigation that led to his firing are unavailable at this point, but this is not the first project that has resulted in allegations against him. Back in 2018, his former Wonder Years co-star Alley Mills revealed that there was a sexual harassment lawsuit against Savage during what turned out to be the final season of the show. That suit was settled out of court. 

Also in 2018, a lawsuit was filed against Savage regarding alleged behavior on the set of his short-lived Fox comedy The Grinder, which co-starred Rob Lowe and ran for one season. Deadline reported at the time that Savage dismissed the claims as "absolutely untrue," and 20th Century Fox TV – which now goes by 20th Television and produces the Wonder Years reboot – reportedly found no evidence against him. 

Although Fred Savage was the face of the original The Wonder Years – which ran for six seasons from 1988 to 1993 – his involvement in the 2021 ABC reboot involved working behind the scenes. (The reboot did include an emotional tie to the original series, but not in the form of Savage appearing on screen.) He has been a prolific producer and director over the years of his career, so he seemed like a natural fit behind the scenes for the new version of The Wonder Years. Now, his tenure at the show has lasted just one season, and there's no guarantee that a second season will happen at all. 

Prior to the eight episodes of The Wonder Years that he directed, he helmed episodes on a number of other ABC TV shows, including black-ish (which ended after eight seasons earlier this year), The Conners (on which he also appeared as guest star back in October), Single Parents, Modern Family, and The Goldbergs. As fans await news of whether or not the Wonder Years reboot will be renewed or cancelled in light of the news about Fred Savage's firing, you can find the full first season so far streaming with a Hulu subscription.

The Season 1 finale airs on Wednesday, May 18 in the 2022 spring TV schedule. The reboot stars Elisha "EJ" Williams, Don Cheadle, Dulé Hill, Saycon Sengbloh, and Laura Kariuki, among others. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.