We’ve been following the news about Bel-Air, a dramatic reimagining of Will Smith‘s 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, for over a year. Now, the new reboot finally has a home.
Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, has just given the upcoming drama series a two-season order – something Smith calls “unprecedented” since the order was granted based on a pitch. (Though that viral short film probably helped.) Watch Smith reveal the news in a new video below.
Bel-Air Peacock News
For those who haven’t been following along with this news, Bel-Air is based on a viral short film by Kansas City cinematographer Morgan Cooper, who was grew up with the show and was struck with inspiration about how to bring the characters and themes into the modern day. The short removes the comedy from the equation and trades it for a down-and-dirty, real world exploration of what it would be like for this particular Black family to be living in the upper echelons of Bel-Air society and how a young, street-wise kid from Philadelphia would react when dropped into that environment. Check out the trailer/pitch video below:
Cooper is set to direct, co-write, and serve as co-executive producer on this Peacock series alongside the more seasoned veteran Chris Collins (The Man in the High Castle, The Wire), who will serve as a writer, showrunner, and executive producer. Here’s the official synopsis of the upcoming show:
Set in modern-day America, Bel-Air is a serialized one-hour dramatic analogue of the 90’s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” that leans into the original premise: Will’s complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air. With a reimagined vision, 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.
After once saying that a Fresh Prince reboot would happen “when Hell freezes over,” Smith changed his tune after seeing Cooper’s short film and sparking to the idea of exploring modern versions of these characters. Peacock beat out outlets like Netflix and HBO Max to become the home of this new take. But HBO Max is getting in on a little bit of Fresh Prince action itself: that streaming service will be the home of a reunion special with Smith and the surviving cast members of the original series, which will air sometime around Thanksgiving of this year.
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