The dramatic reimagining of The Fresh Of Bel-Air has an official network home. The series has been given a two-season order on NBC Universal's new streaming service, Peacock.
Will Smith broke the news on his YouTube channel. The series is born of a viral trailer called Bel-Air that became a Web sensation in 2019. Filmmaker Morgan Cooper earned a meeting with Smith, who praised the concept as "brilliant." Serving as executive producer on the show, Smith explained that he's excited to see the classic Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air characters in a contemporary -- and dramatic -- context.
"The Carlton character, a Black young Republican, modern day? The heat that will be stirred up between these characters," he said. "It's like, what's the Hilary character in a world of Instagram and social media?... Uncle Phil, a Black lawyer turned judge today with young Black kids coming before him."
The original series, which ran on NBC from 1990 through 1996, is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its debut on Sept. 10th. The sitcom's cast is reuniting for a special to air on HBO Max. The show was a ratings smash for NBC and kickstarted Smith's career as an actor.
In 2019, Smith talked to Cooper about how his real-life experience was close to the gritty depiction of his fictional character's story.
“We get to go back to the beginning and start talking about my real experiences,” he said. “For example, for me, I moved to LA and started ‘The Fresh Prince,’ all of my friends started getting killed and going to jail. The escape that I made from it in real life, was the escape that Will made in the show. Was I gonna be that same statistic, or was I gonna do and be something different?”
Cooper will direct the series and will be a writer as well as co-executive producer.