Bel-Air Is A Massive Hit For Peacock

Who knew a YouTube homage could go so far? The team behind "Bel-Air" clearly had a hunch, because the series developed from a fake trailer for a dramatic reinterpretation of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" has turned out to be Peacock's biggest hit yet. Deadline is reporting that "Bel-Air" has pulled in bigger streaming numbers for Peacock than any other original series on the NBC Universal platform to date.

The series, which stars Jabari Banks as West Philadelphia teen Will, has reportedly climbed to a total of 8 million viewers of the streamer's 28 million total subscribers. Peacock is still a fledgling platform, offering paid and free versions of its services along with original programming like "Rutherford Falls," "Dr. Death," and "The Amber Ruffin Show." Apparently, none of the streamer's hidden gems have reached the audience "Bel-Air" has, though.

The crown prince of Peacock

As with most streaming data these days, the 8 million number came from Peacock itself, with the company also announcing that the series has been responsible for the most subscriptions and account upgrades of any show. The show has already been renewed for a second season, with Deadline also reporting today that Anthony Sparks ("Queen Sugar") will join season two as an executive producer.

The idea for "Bel-Air" first made the rounds in 2019, when filmmaker Morgan Cooper created a trailer for a show that didn't actually exist and posted it on YouTube. It's a dramatic retelling of the beloved '90s sitcom "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," which is actually so much cooler than it sounds. The fresh prince himself, Will Smith, saw the trailer and signed on to executive produce it as a series, with Cooper co-writing and directing the pilot and earning an executive producer credit as well.

The show's first season began in February 2022 and aired weekly, proving once again that a week-by-week model garners positive word of mouth among fans. Although Peacock didn't explicitly state how much audience growth the show saw by week, shows like "Euphoria" and "Yellowstone" have recently broken records using the good, old-fashioned weekly release method.

Peacock president Kelly Campbell pointed out that the show was given a prime slot for its premiere, and that likely bolstered its viewership and brought in some instant fans. Here's her statement to Deadline:

"The incredible performance of Bel-Air really demonstrates the power of culture-defining content. Bel-Air is our most-streamed Peacock Original series and the third biggest title on the platform, breaking records for customer acquisition, viewership, and upgrades. We strategically launched the series in February amid two of the biggest sporting events, the Olympics and Super Bowl, making Bel-Air a cornerstone of our most-streamed month in Peacock history. We couldn't be more excited to dive deeper into this story next season."

"Bel-Air" season one is available on Peacock.