The dramatic reboot of Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is officially coming to Peacock, with a two-season order. The news was announced on Tuesday, with Will Smith — who starred in the original, iconic sitcom — revealing that he will serve as executive producer of the new show. At this time, there is no word on casting.
Titled Bel-Air, the show is set in modern-day America and is a serialized one-hour dramatic analog of the '90s sitcom that leans into the original premise: Will's complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. Based on the hit viral video by Morgan Cooper — which reimagined that comedy series as an emotional drama — Bel-Air will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases that were impossible to fully explore in a 30-minute sitcom format, while still delivering swagger and nods to the original show. Cooper will direct, co-write and serve as co-executive producer alongside writer, showrunner and executive producer Chris Collins (The Man in the High Castle, The Wire).
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In a statement, Smith said, "18 months ago, a young filmmaker from Kansas City [Cooper] uploaded a video on YouTube reimagining The [Fresh Prince of Bel-Air] for present day as a DRAMA! Everybody sent it to me. It was outstanding. I had NEVER envisioned revisiting the Banks family in this way. We knew this was special, so we called [Collins] and asked him to lead the team (he wrote on The Wire) and he said YES! Months of writing, developing and pitching… and now it's happening. Bel-Air got a TWO SEASON order, debuting in 2021 on [NBC's] streaming service [Peacock]. Morgan Cooper and Chris Collins, you are THE TRUTH!!"
Cooper wrote and directed the aforementioned four-minute spec trailer, which debuted on social media in March 2019. The trailer, which currently has over 6 million views on YouTube, caught the attention of Smith, and in a reaction video, he called the film and idea brilliant. Bel-Air is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group and Westbrook Studios, a division of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith's media company Westbrook Inc. In addition to Smith, the series is also executive produced by Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, and Andy & Susan Borowitz. At this time, no premiere date has been announced.