Set in modern-day America, Bel-Air is a serialized one-hour dramatic analogue of the 90’s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” that leans into the original premise: 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 that were impossible to fully explore in a 30-minute sitcom format, while still delivering swagger and nods to the original show.
“At its heart, Bel-Air is a coming-of-age story that celebrates the strength and love of the Black family. 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,” previewed T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson, Executive Producers and Co-Showrunners. “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.”
They continued: “During the development of Bel-Air, the most daunting question was: Could we find a young actor who’d be able to step into the role of Will Smith? Well, did we ever find him. His name is Jabari Banks, and he won our hearts in the same way he won this role. Our creative team, including Will Smith, recognized that Jabari embodied the talent, charisma, and sheer swagger necessary to make this iconic role his own.”
The series stars newcomer Jabari Banks as “Will”, Adrian Holmes as “Phillip Banks” (At That Age, V Wars), Cassandra Freeman as “Vivian Banks” (The Enemy Within, Atlanta) , Olly Sholotan as “Carlton Banks” (Run Hide Fight, Evolution of Nate Gibson), Coco Jones as “Hilary Banks” (Let it Shine, Vampires vs. The Bronx), Akira Akbar as “Ashley Banks” (We Can Be Heroes, Captain Marvel), Jimmy Akingbola as “Geoffrey” (Most Dangerous Game, In The Long Run), Jordan L. Jones as “Jazz” (Rel, Snowfall) and Simone Joy Jones as “Lisa” (The Chair, What If).
T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson serve as the co-showrunners and executive producers for Bel-Air. Morgan Cooper is a director, co-writer and executive producer. Additional executive producers include Will Smith, Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Malcolm Spellman, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, and Andy & Susan Borowitz. The series is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, and Westbrook Studios, a division of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s media company Westbrook Inc.
Bel-Air will premiere exclusively on Peacock in 2022.