After a reported bidding war Peacock has landed the buzzy dramatic reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air from director Morgan Cooper and Will Smith. The series, titled Bel-Air, is out of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Universal Television. It is based on the viral concept trailer from Cooper released in 2019.
Smith announced the news in a YouTube video on Monday, calling it an “unprecedented two-season order based on a pitch.”
In the video, he said, “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.”
Deadline reports that the project drew strong interest from multiple streamers, with Peacock and Netflix duking it out in a final bidding match. Peacock makes sense, as the NBCUniversal-owned streamer has forthcoming revivals of Punky Brewster and Saved by the Bell.
The hourlong series is described as a dramatic retelling “that leans into the original premise of 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 of what it means to be a Black man in America today, while still delivering the swagger and fun nods to the original show.”
Cooper would co-write, direct and executive produce the series. The concept trailer was released last spring and was the subject of much fanfare. It currently has over 6 million views. Quincy Jones, Benny Medina and Andy & Susan Borowitz are all returning as executive producers, while Chris Collins would be the showrunner and co-write the script with Cooper.
Photo: Will Smith/YouTube