Like the viral video that inspired it, Peacock’s Bel-Air is leaning into the dramatic side of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s premise.
The series, based on Will Smith’s 1990s NBC sitcom, released its first teaser Tuesday, featuring Smith giving a dramatic reading of some of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song’s lyrics. It features Will (Jabari Banks) falling into a pool where he’s surrounded by pieces of his life in Philadelphia — including basketballs and a trophy — and swims toward a crown.
“At its heart, Bel-Air is a coming-of-age story that celebrates the strength and love of the Black family,” said co-showrunners T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson in a statement. “We have stayed true to the original premise of the legacy series — Will’s life is turned upside down after he is forced to leave West Philly and lands in Bel-Air with its gated mansions and wealth, however, our new series brings Will and the Banks family into the world as we know it now. It’s been incredible to bring these iconic characters to life when you tap them into the cultural pulse of our time. The series was the fabric of so many of our upbringings, tied to memories and the joy of seeing ourselves represented on TV so it is important to us to pay respect to its legacy.”
Added director, co-writer and EP Morgan Cooper — whose 2019 short inspired the series — “With this dramatic reimagining, we wanted to create a show that stands on its own while honoring the spirit and innovation of the original series. Because Bel-Air is a drama, we’re able to really peel back the layers of these characters and themes in a way that you simply couldn’t do 30 years ago in the half-hour sitcom format. We’re able to go have tough conversations that challenge perspectives. At its core, Bel-Air is a celebration of the Black experience through the perspective of a family.”
Universal Television and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios are producing Bel-Air, which is set to premiere in 2022. Brady, Newson and Cooper executive produce with Will Smith, Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Malcolm Spellman, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, and Andy & Susan Borowitz.
Watch the teaser below.