The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a staple of childhood and teen viewing for many in the UK, catapulting Will Smith to global superstardom with his lauded comedy performance.


The strong legacy of the show is what compelled US broadcaster Peacock to get behind a reboot, although it may not take the form you expect.

Rather than a standard revival, the likes of which have become commonplace over recent years, 2022's Bel-Air is a bold reimagining that puts a firmly dramatic spin on the premise of the original show.

Newcomer Jabari Banks plays a fictionalised version of Will Smith, who is once again sent across the United States from West Philadelphia to Bel-Air after getting into trouble in his neighbourhood.

However, this reimagining treats the situation far more seriously, incorporating societal issues of the day into its story and a subplot about a dangerous criminal out for revenge.

Read on for everything you need to know about Bel-Air, including how to watch in the UK.

How to watch Bel-Air in the UK

Bel-Air (2022) is released on Peacock, which is available to Sky and NOW subscribers at no additional cost, from Monday 14th February 2022.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was hugely popular here in the UK thanks to its teatime slot on BBC Two, so it's not surprising that this reboot had no trouble finding a broadcaster on our shores.

You can sign up for Sky TV here.

How many episodes of Bel-Air are there?

Bel-Air season 1 consists of 10 episodes.

The series released three episodes in its first week and will release one a week until its conclusion.

Bel-Air received a two-season order when greenlit by Peacock, so expect even more episodes down the line.

Who stars in the Bel-Air cast?

2021 Peacock TV LLC

Newcomer Jabari Banks leads the cast of Bel-Air, playing a fictionalised version of Will Smith, who makes the long journey from West Philadelphia to Bel-Air at the orders of his concerned mother.

Adrian Holmes (The Boys) and Cassandra Freeman (Luke Cage) play his uncle Phil and aunt Viv respectively, who become his guardians upon his arrival in Los Angeles.

Disney Channel star Coco Jones joins Akira Akbar (Captain Marvel) and rising star Olly Sholotan as cousins Hilary, Ashley and Carlton, the last of whom became a firm fan favourite on the original series.

Jimmy Akingbola (Kate & Koji) will portray housekeeper to the Banks family Geoffrey, while Jordan L Jones (All Rise) and Simone Joy Jones (The Chair) round out the rest of the main cast.

How is Bel-Air connected to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air?

Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air SEAC

2022's Bel-Air does not share the same continuity as '90s series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, hence why the principal roles have all been recast and the tone is much more serious.

However, there is a key link between the two shows in the form of Will Smith himself, who remains involved in this reboot as a developer and executive producer.

Bel-Air was inspired by a fan-made faux trailer by filmmaker Morgan Cooper, which went viral in 2019 and ended up catching the attention of Smith, ultimately acting as an unofficial pitch for this darker take on the sitcom's premise.

It remains available online – watch above.

Bel-Air trailer

Will Smith debuted the first trailer for Bel-Air on his personal YouTube channel in January 2022, just under a month before the show's premiere on Peacock. Watch below.

What is Bel-Air about?

Bel-Air shares the same basic premise as the '90s sitcom that inspired it, following teenager Will Smith as he adapts to a new life in Los Angeles, after being forced to leave his home on the other side of the country in West Philadelphia.

Of course, the key difference is that while The Fresh Prince used this plot to create a classic fish-out-of-water comedy, Bel-Air will be telling a firmly dramatic story with crime thriller and social commentary elements.

Bel-Air is available to stream on Sky and NOW from Monday 14th February 2022. Find out more about how to sign up for Sky TV here. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


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