We’re going to have to wait a bit longer for the darker-toned reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It has been announced that the series will release in 2022 rather than this year as the series changes showrunners behind the scenes.
According to “The Hollywood Reporter“, Bel-Air was meant to get started this year on NBC’s streaming service Peacock but those plans have now changed as the show has parted ways with showrunner Chris Collins. This move was actually made back in December as the series wants to go in a slightly different creative direction but it has been made public now. Collins was actually replaced earlier this year by Diane Houston but she has also departed the series. Taking over showrunning duties is writing duo, T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson. They were actually brought in under Houston and Bel-Air is the first showrunning job for both. It’s a little concerning that there are so many behind-the-scenes changes already but it appears the differences came down to what the streaming service wants and what the original showrunner had in mind.
Peacock was looking for a more broad-skewing network-style show while Collins wanted the show to be a more edgy, premium series. Houston’s vision for the show wasn’t revealed after her departure but “The Hollywood Reporter” states that the series has already undergone a series of rewrites. Collins had been quietly prepping the show for more than a year before news of its two-season order at Peacock went public. The streamer was reportedly happy with what Collins delivered but it just wasn’t what they had in mind for the long run of the show so he will no longer be involved with the series moving forward.
Bel-Air’s journey to Peacock has certainly been an interesting one. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air superfan, Morgan Cooper, reimagined the Fresh Prince concept by creating a viral trailer for the show that gave the series a more serious edge than its sitcom roots. The video caught the attention of the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith, and he became a driving force to getting this new take on the show made. Smith serves as a producer on the series along with Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, and original show creators Andy and Susan Borowitz. Cooper, the creator of the original viral video, is also a part of the team as a writer, director, and co-executive producer.
The original Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran on NBC from 1990-1996 and starred Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali, Joseph Marcell, and Janet Hubert-Whitten/Daphne Maxwell Reid. The cast last got together for a reunion special on HBO Max, where all six seasons of the popular sitcom are available to stream.
Are YOU looking forward to the Bel-Air reboot?