Now this is a story all about how the dramatic reimagining of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air landed at Peacock.
On Tuesday, Sept. 8, Will Smith took to his YouTube page and revealed that Peacock has ordered two seasons of BEL-Air. As E! readers may recall, in August 2020, Smith's Westbrook Studios and Universal TV confirmed they were creating a series inspired by cinematographer Morgan Cooper's 2019 viral trailer, which reimagined the show as a drama.
"We have just officially closed the deal with Peacock with an unprecedented two-season-order from a pitch," Smith shared with Cooper and BEL-AIR showrunner Chris Collins. "I've been in this business for 30 years and that does not happen. 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."
Cooper, who will direct, co-write and co-executive produce the drama, revealed that he plans to "peel back the layers of these iconic characters and explore this world in a really unforgettable way."
He continued, "You know, it's a show that's really gonna surprise people in the best way possible."
BEL-AIR will be a one-hour drama set in modern-day America. While the Will character will still be "West Philadelphia born and raised," his journey to Bel-Air may be darker than addressed in the beloved '90s NBC sitcom.
"It's an idea that came straight from the heart," Cooper noted. "The vision came to me, I knew it was something I had to create no matter what…To be walking in this journey together with you and Chris is, not only a dream come true but, something that I really honestly feel was destined."
By transforming the show from a 30-minute sitcom to an hour-long drama, BEL-AIR can dive deeper into timely themes and important character arcs.
"As funny as the episodes are, there was a whole other layer that you couldn't do," Smith previously stated. "In a one hour drama, you can do eight episode arcs! The dramatic version of these ideas means that you can use existing storylines, but it's not going to seem like you're redoing an episode, because the storyline's gonna be brand new from the dramatic perspective."
Check out more original series coming to Peacock below.
(E!, Peacock and Universal TV are part of the NBCUniversal family.)