The Gritty ‘Fresh Prince’ Reboot Has Whistled For A Cab And Found A Streaming Home

Will Smith had some exciting news for the creator of the gritty reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that caused a bidding war when Smith began shopping the series in early August.

After playing a few clips from the fan trailer that got the ball rolling on the hour-long project, Smith fired up a video chat with Bel-Air creator Morgan Cooper and let him in on a huge development: Peacock has picked up the show with a two-season order. The NBC-loaded streaming service beat out some heavy competition to land it, too, as both HBO Max and Netflix were reportedly looking to add the show to their streaming slate.

While the idea of a gritty and serious take on the classic sitcom might sound unusual, the concept energized Smith, who had resisted a Fresh Prince reboot for years and repeatedly told reporters it would happen “when hell freezes over.” But after seeing Cooper’s Bel-Air trailer on YouTube, Smith was on board and began championing the project, which will see Cooper in the role of showrunner with an assist from executive producer Chris Cooper (The Wire, The Man in the High Castle).

Here’s the official synopsis:

Set in modern-day America, BEL-AIR is a serialized one-hour dramatic analogue of the 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. With a reimagined 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.

No pressure, but someone better be working on a haunting cover of the original theme song.

(Via Will Smith)