September 09, 2020
An avid fan of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is getting an opportunity to bring his reimagined version of the popular 90s sitcom to life.
NBCUniversal has ordered two seasons of "Bel-Air," a reboot envisioned by Morgan Cooper, to premiere on its streaming service, Peacock, in 2021. Will Smith, the star of "The Fresh Prince," unveiled the news Wednesday on his YouTube channel.
Smith will serve as an executive producer on the series, which transforms "The Fresh Prince" into a drama. The show will retell Smith’s journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated neighborhood of Bel-Air in California.
Smith congratulated Cooper, the show's director and co-writer, and executive producer/co-writer Chris Collins for landing a rare, two-season order.
"I've been in this business for 30 years and that does not happen," the Philadelphia native said.
Netflix and HBO Max, the streaming platform that currently carries "The Fresh Prince" also were pursuing the reboot. But "Bel-Air" will follow in the footsteps of its predecessor, which aired on NBC from 1990 to 1996.
In West Philadelphia born and raised…Will Smith announced today that the beloved comedy series #FreshPrince of Bel-Air will come to #PeacockTV reimagined as the highly anticipated dramatic adaptation of Morgan Cooper’s lauded fan film, #BELAIR. pic.twitter.com/iNteDiXsmY— Peacock (@peacockTV) September 8, 2020
The concept for the show stems from a trailer Cooper produced in 2019, reimagining the sitcom as a dark modern drama. The trailer caught Smith’s attention, leading many to believe that a reboot was a real possibility.
Smith said he’s hyped for the reboot, crediting Cooper and Collins for "the quality of the pitch and the work that you guys have done."
Westbrook Studios, Smith’s production company, is behind the reboot. It will be working with show’s original producers, Quincy Jones and Benny Medina, and creators Susan and Andy Borowitz.
Cooper’s trailer can be viewed below.
Last week, HBO Max announced that the original cast of "The Fresh Prince" will reunite for a 30th anniversary special.
The show's actors – Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton), Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Reid (Vivian) and DJ Jazzy Jeff — will reunite on Sept. 10, the same date the series debuted on NBC in 1990. The special is expected to hit the streaming platform around Thanksgiving.