Will Smith nabs a rare two series order for 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' drama reboot

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·2-min read
THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR -- Season 1 -- Pictured: Will Smith as William 'Will' Smith -- Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank
Will Smith as William 'Will' Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Credit: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank)

Will Smith's new drama reboot of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has been commissioned for two series, he's confirmed.

US TV shows usually have to go through the pilot stage and then may only get a single series commissioned at a time, so this is a big win for the Hollywood icon, who is producing the show.

To celebrate, Smith filmed himself delivering the news to his co-producers Morgan Cooper and Chris Collins.

“I’ve been in this business for thirty years and that does not happen,” he said. “They ordered two full seasons of Bel-Air based on the quality of the pitch and the work that you guys have done. So I want to say congratulations. I am hyped.”

Called simply Bel-Air this time around, the idea came from a four-minute fan film, made by Cooper in 2019, which reimagined the comedy series as a gritty drama.

The video scored itself over 7.5 million views on YouTube, and caught the attention of Smith himself, who grabbed it for his and wife Jada Pinkett Smith's Westbrook Studios company.

According to Deadline, new NBC streaming service Peacock nabbed the series following a bidding war with Netflix.

Newcomer Cooper will both direct and co-executive produce the show with Collins, a former story editor on The Wire and a producer on Sons of Anarchy.

THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR -- Season 4 -- Pictured: (l-r) Back: Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks, James Avery as Philip Banks, Daphne Reid as Vivian Banks, Joseph Marcell as Geoffrey; Front: Tatyana Ali as Ashley Banks, Will Smith as William 'Will' Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks  (Photo by Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR (Credit: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Music legend Quincy Jones, who helped bring the original series to the screen, also has a producer credit.

As with the original series, it will follow a young man who, after getting into trouble in his hometown of Philadelphia, is sent to live with his wealthy relatives in California's Bel-Air neighbourhood.