The original star of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith, revealed that the dramatic reimagining of the classic 1990s sitcom, Bel-Air, had been given the go-ahead for two seasons by streaming network Peacock.
Smith was “hyped” to announce the news to executive producer Chris Colins and creator/director Morgan Cooper, whose 2019 reinterpretation of the sitcom as a gritty drama for his short film led to this remarkable deal.
“My guys, we have just officially closed the deal with Peacock with an unprecedented two-season-order from a pitch,” said Smith. “I’ve been in this business for 30 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.”
Collins replied: “Nothing says we believe in you guys like a two-season commitment.”
Bel-Air was pitched to the various streaming networks last month, according to Deadline, and it created a massive buzz and a bidding war.
Apparently it came down to a contest between Peacock and Netflix, with the NBCUniversal company Peacock triumphing.
Watch Morgan Cooper’s short film which led to the commission:
Bel-Air replicates the scenario of the Will Smith sitcom, in which a young black man with a propensity for trouble is shipped out of the tough streets of Philadelphia to live with his uncle and aunty in the plush surroundings and gated mansions of LA’s luxurious suburb Bel-Air. But there the similarity to the sitcom ends.
Will is sent out west after he is found with a gun and the one-hour gritty drama will dive deeper into the fish-out-water culture-clash drama that was only touched upon in the sitcom, while still paying homage to the original show intact.
Cooper will direct and co-executive produce the series, which he is co-writing with Collins (The Man in the High Castle), who will be executive producer and showrunner.
It’s not yet clear which network Bel-Air will stream on in the UK.
It’s just been announced that the original cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will gather for a reunion show on HBO Max.
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