Although 2020 has been filled with uncertainty, fans of the hit 90’s show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” are in for a stroke of luck. Will Smith took it to his YouTube channel on Tuesday to announce the show’s reboot. The new series has been signed by NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock.
“We have just officially closed the deal with Peacock with an unprecedented two-season order from a pitch,” Smith said in the video, which shows him on a virtual call with others including writer/director Morgan Cooper, who posted the viral video that inspired the new series. Smith continued, “I’ve been in this business for 30 years, and that does not happen.”
Cooper’s four-minute trailer put a modern day twist on the comedy starring Smith, which ran on NBC from 1990 to 1996, as a drama. It debuted on Youtube in March 2019. The video, written and directed by Cooper caught Smith’s attention and he called the video and idea “brilliant.” It has since racked up more than 6 million views. The new series, like the video, is titled “Bel-Air,” for the upscale Los Angeles neighborhood where it takes place.
“Set in modern-day America, BEL-AIR is a 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,” according to a news release from Peacock.
“With a re-imagined 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.”
Smith showcased his excitement about seeing his hit show about a black family in today’s era. “The Carlton character — a Black, young Republican, modern day?” He said. “The heat that will be stirred up between these characters. It’s like, what’s the Hilary character in a world of Instagram and social media?”
Smith will be the executive director of the project, the announcement of which comes on the heels of news that the cast of the original show will participate in a reunion coming to HBO Max.