Now, this is a story all about how an old ‘90s sitcom turned 2020 upside down. And I’d like to take a minute—just sit right there—and I’ll tell you how we got a reboot of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
So, why now for a belated return of a series that has been off the air for the better part of a quarter of a century? According to THR, a YouTube video reframing Fresh Prince as a drama called Bel-Air caught the eye of Will Smith, who set about turning it into a series.
The report also states that the likes of Netflix, NBC’s Peacock streaming service, and HBO Max are all bidding on the rights for the series, which sees Smith attached as executive producer – maybe don’t expect his character to return – and The Wire writer Chris Collins will act as showrunner.
The creator of the original viral clip, Morgan Cooper, is also on board will be on co-writing duties and will even direct.
Whatever becomes of the Fresh Prince reboot, it’s at least heartening to know it’s probably not going to be a carbon copy of the original series transplanted into the 21st Century without understanding what makes it great.
Smith’s presence is a plus but Bel-Air, which you can watch above, also digs deeper into the hard-hitting themes of identity, fitting in, and growing up that occasionally punctuated the original series.
Just, please, please, please – keep the theme song. Preferably a slow acoustic cover. Call me, Will.