Last month brought the news that the fan-trailer of a dramatic reinterpretation of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was being officially turned into a television series with none other than Will Smith actually involved. The new series will be in the same vein as Morgan Cooper's viral trailer and now it officially has a home. After a competitive bidding war, NBCUniversal's Peacock streaming service has picked up the series and given it a two season order. Peacock marks a fitting home since the original sitcom aired on NBC. Smith confirmed the news on his official YouTube channel, revealing the announcement with Cooper and series showrunner Chris Collins.
“We have just officially closed the deal with Peacock with an unprecedented two-season-order from a pitch,” Smith said. “I’ve been in this business for thirty years and that does not happen. They ordered two full seasons of Bel-Air based on the quality of the pitch and the work that you guys have done. So I want to say congratulations. I am hyped.”
The series will be a one-hour, dramatic version of the Will Smith starring sitcom which takes the premise of his character's journey from West Philadelphia to living with his family in Bel-Air but treats it with a grounded and serious tone. There will still be some playful references to the original series however and plenty of swagger for the lead character.
"That's what I'm most excited about and what really clicked in my mind when I saw the trailer that Morgan did," Smith added. "The concepts in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reimagined as a drama, like a real kid from West Philadelphia, modern day, a black family in Bel-Air, the Carlton character, a black, young Republican, modern day. The heat that would be stirred up between these characters it's like, What's the Hilary character in a world of Instagram and social media? What does that become? Uncle Phil a black lawyer turned judge, today with young black kids coming before him? Aunt Viv, a professional woman that decided to raise her family and now that her kids are older, making her way back into the world of what is her life going to be as her kids have grown up. That stuff is so rich dude.
"There's so many layers to these characters," Mordan said. "We're really going to peel back the layers of these iconic characters and explore this world in a really unforgettable way. It's a show that's really going to surprise people in the best way possible."
Bel-Air is set to premiere in 2021 on Peacock.