Friday, September 30, 2022

Alfonso Ribeiro Talks Will Smith’s New ‘Bel-Air’ Series: ‘It’s Based on the Theme Song’

*“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is getting a dramatic reboot based on Morgan Cooper’s viral clip and NBC’s streaming service Peacock has already ordered two seasons of the highly-anticipated series.

Cooper will direct, co-write and serve as co-executive producer alongside writer, showrunner and executive producer Chris Collins. The drama will be a co-production between original “Fresh Prince” star Will Smith and his Westbrook Studios as well as original producers Universal TV, per Complex

This time, the story of the street-smart teen who moves in with his rich uncle in Bel-Air, California will not be a comedy, BBC reports. The reboot was inspired by a viral YouTube trailer that flips the script on the narrative. Smith described it as a “brilliant idea, the dramatic version of The Fresh Prince for the next generation.”

Watch the trailer via the YouTube clip above.

READ MORE: Peacock Likes it! Streaming Net Places 2 Season Order for Will Smith’s Drama Series ‘BEL-AIR’


Alfonso Ribeiro, who played Carlton Banks on the original series, wants fans to know that the new “Bel-Air” project will not be a reboot of the “Fresh Prince.” During an exclusive interview with E! News’ Justin Sylvester, Ribeiro describes the new series as a “reimagining” of the original “Fresh Prince.”

“I like to call it a reimagining,” he said. “We sometimes throw a lot of things into one word, one concept. A reboot would be taking the actual show and characters and bringing it back. This is a totally different show.”

Ribeiro added “It’s not even based on the show. It’s based on the theme song. It’s a completely different thing. It’s drama. It’s not comedy. I have nothing to do with it so I don’t really know anything more,” he continued. “But I actually appreciate it even more than a reboot. Let’s take a concept and turn it into a different show.”

“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” ran on NBC from 1990 to 1996 for six seasons. The show also starred Janet Hubert, Alfonso Ribeiro, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, and Ross Bagley. The new series is based on Cooper’s “Fresh Prince” mock trailer that went viral. 

“Set in modern-day America, BEL-AIR is a serialized one-hour dramatic analog 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,” a release from Peacock said. “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.”

Original creators Andy and Susan Borowitz will serve as executive producers, alongside Smith and original EP’s Quincy Jones and Benny Medina.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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