'Bel-Air' Season 3 Fate Revealed at Peacock

Bel-Air, the dramatic reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, was renewed for a third season at Peacock last week. The series is a modern-day reimagining of the beloved 1990s sitcom, which itself was loosely inspired by Will Smith's life. Smith serves as an executive producer on the series, while Jabari Banks plays a fictionalized teen version of the actor.

Bel-Air scored Peacock's most-watched series premiere last year and continues to be the most-watched original on the NBCUniversal platform. Season 2 kicked off on Feb. 23, and new episodes will be released Thursday through April 27. Tatyana Ali, who starred as the original Ashley Banks on Fresh Prince, joined the cast in Season 2 as Mrs. Hughes, a teacher at Bel-Air Academy.

Bel-Air takes a dramatic look at Smith's journey from West Philadelphia to the mansions of Bel-Air, where he encounters a different culture and racial tensions. Banks is joined by Cassandra Freeman as Smith's aunt Vivian Banks, Olly Sholotan as Smith's cousin Carlton Banks, and Coco Jones as Smith's cousin Hilary Banks. Jimmy Akingbola, Akira Akbar, Simone Joy Jones, Jordan L. Jones, Adrian Holmes, and April Parker Jones also star in the series. Daphne Maxwell Reid and Vernee Watson-Johnson, who also starred in the original series, made special guest appearances in Season 1.

The series had a unique journey. Back in 2019, Morgan Cooper went viral with a four-minute trailer for a dramatic revival of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. After Smith publicly praised the trailer, he met with Cooper and expressed interest in making the show a reality. Peacock, HBO Max, and Netflix were interested in the project, with Peacock coming out on top in 2020. Smith's Westbrook Studios co-produces the show with Universal Television, Arbolada Roads, Cooper Films, The 51, and Ra Shines Inc. Cooper is an executive producer, with Carla Banks Waddles serving as showrunner.

All Fresh Prince alums who have appeared in Bel-Air have played new characters. Executive producer Morgan Cooper said it was important for these cameos to be organically weaved into the story. "Will [Smith] and I had conversations as we were developing Bel-Air [that] if there are organic moments where we can include some of the original cast in the Bel-Air universe, we should try to do that, but always in a way that felt organic and never forced," Cooper recently told TVLine. "[Ali] came in and absolutely knocked it out of the park and was such a collaborative partner for that story with her and Akira Akbar."

The success of Bel-Air is helping Peacock finally take off. The streaming service struggled to find its footing at first, but the recent renewals of Poker Face, Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin, Wolfe Like Me, Killing It, Dr. Death, and We Are Lady Parts prove that people are doing more than just watching The Office again on the platform. Peacock also recently ordered a Monk reunion movie.