'The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air' Is Getting A Reboot As A Serious Drama Series

Now this is a story all about how the sitcom premise of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air got flipped-turned upside down. Yes, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is getting the inevitable reboot, but it won't be as a sitcom again — this time, things are taking a turn for the dramatic.

Will Smith is teaming up with Morgan Cooper, whose viral video reimagined the hit NBC sitcom as a drama, to reboot The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a serious show, inspired by Cooper's video, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Titled Bel-Air, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot is described as a "dramatic take on the former NBC comedy that catapulted Smith to stardom after he spent six seasons starring as the street-smart kid who moved from Philly to the upper-class neighborhood."Bel-Air has reportedly been in the works for more than a year, with reports of a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air spin-off produced by Smith first surfacing in October 2019, since Morgan's fake "trailer" for Bel-Air went viral in March 2019. The four-minute clip, which treated the events of the sitcom — in which a fictional version of Smith gets sent from his poor neighborhood in Philadelphia to live with his rich uncle in Bel-Air — as a serious drama, was created and directed by Cooper, a self-described super-fan of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The idea sounds ridiculous knowing the comical nature of the original beloved sitcom, which ran on NBC for six seasons from 1990-1996, but the clip actually gives a pretty convincing depiction of what The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air would be like as a drama. It's something like a cross between Atlanta and Friday Night Lights.

The clip caught Smith's eye, as did Cooper's talents. Cooper will co-write the script, direct, and be credited as co-executive producer for Bel-Air. Original series producers Smith, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina as well as creators Andy and Susan Borowitz, are all set to return as executive producers. Chris Collins (The Wire, Crash, Sons of Anarchy) will serve as showrunner, exec producer and is set to co-write the script alongside Cooper.

THR reports that the drama, which is a co-production between Smith's Westbrook Studios and original producers Universal TV, is currently being shopped to streamers, with Peacock, Netflix, and HBO Max among those bidding on the potential series. It's likely it could land at HBO Max, which is the current streaming home for the original sitcom.

But while the pitch for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot could yield some surprising returns, setting itself apart from the glut of samey reboots of beloved sitcoms, the question is: will people tune into a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air show without Smith? The large appeal of the show was that it was loosely based on Smith's own persona and life story, with the best dramatic moments of the show stemming from Smith's own personal relationships. But if Smith is behind the series and supporting an exciting new creative voice, perhaps Bel-Air could feel as fresh as the original.