A few years ago brought the surprising news that a fan-parody video of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, reimainging the hit sitcom as a drama, would be the basis for a full on reboot of the show. A bidding war quickly erupted after Will Smith himself became attached to the idea with NBCUniversal's Peacock nabbing it last year with a two-season order right out of the gate. Some bad news has arrived in the form of a new report on the series where it's been revealed that the show, previously expected to premiere this year, has been delayed to a 2022 premiere.
This news comes from The Hollywood Reporter, who buried the premiere reveal inside other new details about the show. The big news from their report is that showrunner Chris Collins has departed the series after developing it for a couple of years. T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson (of The Chi and The 100) will step in as co-showrunners. Morgan Cooper, the creator of the viral video that started that got this entire concept going, will remain on the project as writer, director and co-executive producer. Casting for the series has not yet begun.
"We have just officially closed the deal with Peacock with an unprecedented two-season-order from a pitch," Smith said when the deal was announced last year. "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."
Will Smith's Westbrook Studios and Universal Television will produce the series which takes the concept of the fan-favorite Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and flips its comedic elements on its head. The series will be a one-hour, dramatic version of the 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.
What are you hoping to see in the Fresh Prince reboot on Peacock?