Classic 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is being rebooted as a drama for streaming service Peacock, its original star Will Smith has announced on YouTube. The new version, titled Bel-Air, is based on a viral trailer released last year which was a dramatic reimagining of Will’s journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the mansions of Bel-Air. The series is coming in 2021, according to its announcement video.
Deadline reports that Bel-Air became the focus of a bidding war last month, with Netflix and Peacock emerging as the two frontrunners. Peacock has ordered two seasons of the reboot, in a deal that Will Smith called “unprecedented.”
“I’ve been in this business for thirty years and that does not happen,” Smith said. The Bel-Air trailer has amassed over six million views on YouTube since its release in March last year.
Morgan Cooper, who wrote and directed last year’s trailer, will co-write and direct Bel-Air, which NBC Universal is billing as a “one-hour dramatic analogue of the 90’s sitcom.” Chris Collins, who previously worked on The Wire and The Man in the High Castle is attached as a showrunner, and will co-write the show with Cooper as well as serving as an executive producer alongside Will Smith.
The Fresh Pirnce of Bel-Air is not the only show that Peacock has plans to revive, according to Variety. Reboots of Battlestar Galactica and Queer as Folk are in development, alongside a sequel to Saved by the Bell. Meanwhile HBO Max, where the original Fresh Prince series exclusively streams, has announced plans to air an unscripted reunion special for the original sitcom around Thanksgiving.