NBC’s new streaming service Peacock has officially picked up the Punky Brewster reboot with a ten-episode order, and star Soleil Moon Frye says that returning to play the titular character more than three decades after the original series went off the air has been “an amazing experience.”
Frye told Us Weekly at the CORE benefit gala just hours before NBC announced they had picked up the show that shooting the pilot was “dreamy,” and when she went to work every day she cried tears of joy and gratitude.
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PUNKY POWER! The secret is out. Thank you to my @ucp & @peacocktv family, our incredible, writers, producers, crew, my cast/family and my babies and everyday life family and friends, the angels who give me the gift to fly on their wings, the light, and all that those that were such a part of the Punky magic then and now. I want to honor your memory. To every person that has helped me get to this moment I am forever thankful. I love you. To the Punky fans who are like family I will try my very best to make you proud. I am deeply humbled. #PUNKYPOWER FOREVER! 🌈❤️🌈❤️
In the reboot, fans will see Punky living life as a single mom of three kids who is trying to get her life back on track after a divorce. Freddie Prinze Jr. stars as Punky’s ex-husband, and fans of the original series will be happy to hear that Cherie Johnson – who played Punky’s best friend – is part of the reboot.
“Reconnecting with Cherie was so magical and Freddie Prinze Jr. is dreamy to work with and incredible,” dished Frye. “It felt like magic. It really did. The whole experience, the audience … I had tears, they had tears. Punky, there’s something so special about her because she is this living, breathing human being. I feel like [she] brings out the superpowers in all of us.”
The 1980s sitcom featured the smart and creative orphan Punky Brewster being raised by her foster dad, Henry, and she handled all of the problems that came her way with “Punky Power.” Frye was only seven-years-old when she landed the role, and played the character for four seasons.
The series ran on NBC from 1984 to 1986 before it was cancelled, but it was immediately picked up for two more seasons in syndication. Now, the 43-year-old is married to producer Jason Goldberg and they have four children.
In 2018 – well before the Punky Brewster reboot was being talked about – Frye told Us Weekly her thoughts about where the character would be today. She said that she might be a fashion designer who possibly took in a bunch of kids. It’s possible she even adopted some children.
Frye said the character has a lot of possibilities, and she would be “totally happy” with people calling her Punky until she’s 90-years-old.
After NBC announced they had picked up the reboot, Frye took to Instagram to share an emotional video with her fans. She wrote in the caption that her Punky fans are like family, and she “will try my very best to make you proud. I am deeply humbled. #PUNKYPOWER FOREVER! 🌈❤️🌈❤️.”
Punky Brewster will premiere on Peacock later this year. The new streaming service is scheduled to launch on April 15th.