Streaming services are fighting to grab gritty Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot

midian182

Posts: 6,013   +50
Staff member
In a nutshell: Say the words “Now, this is a story all about how” to many people, and they’ll likely respond with, “My life got flipped-turned upside down.” Yes, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was part of many childhoods, and it’s getting a reboot. But this isn’t a nineties-style laugh-out-loud comedy; it’s a dramatic reimaging based on a short fan film.

The new Bel-Air does have the same premise as the original: a street-smart kid from West Philadelphia gets into trouble and is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in the affluent Los Angeles neighborhood. But this version “will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today.”

The reboot is an expansion of a four-minute trailer from 2019 directed and created by cinematographer and Fresh Prince fan Morgan Cooper. Deadline reports that the viral clip caught the attention of Will Smith, and is now being turned into a series by Westbrook Studios, a division of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s Westbrook Inc., and Universal TV, which owns the copyright to the original series.

The new Bel-Air is currently being pitched to a number of streaming services, including Peacock, Netflix, and HBO Max, home of the original series. Interest is said to be high, with a bidding war in progress.

In addition to Smith, original producers Quincy Jones and Benny Medina, and creators Andy and Susan Borowitz, are all returning as executive producers. Cooper, meanwhile, will co-write the script, direct and be credited as a co-EP.

Reboots of old TV series are nothing new, and some, such as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (now canceled, sadly), have a darker tone than the originals. It’ll be interesting to see how Bel-Air fares with new audiences and fans of Will Smith’s show.

If you’re a lover of all things nineties, check out this offer to stay overnight in the world’s last Blockbuster store, courtesy of Airbnb.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 3,350   +3,174
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Different World, In Da House, Living Single, Family Matters and The Cosby Show are situational comedies that only could have existed when they did.

There were fewer choices of things to watch on TV during that time.
Very tight schedules during which to watch.
A culture of "gathering round the TV" to watch.

Back when "family programming" meant something.

They can try to bring it back and it may last a few seasons, but it will never be what the original was. nor get the same level of ratings.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,602   +906
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Different World, In Da House, Living Single, Family Matters and The Cosby Show are situational comedies that only could have existed when they did.

There were fewer choices of things to watch on TV during that time.
Very tight schedules during which to watch.
A culture of "gathering round the TV" to watch.

Back when "family programming" meant something.

They can try to bring it back and it may last a few seasons, but it will never be what the original was. nor get the same level of ratings.
It doesn't sound like they are trying to bring it back though. Sounds more like 'we are making Fresh Prince for today'. Less a reboot, and more of a re-imagining.
 

kira setsu

Posts: 285   +219
Geez man, then name it something else,

I'm black and even I'm tired of hearing how "horrible" my life is everyday, maybe, just maybe we dont need another show thats terribly depressing. just make a show about a normal family, just some folks in the middle livin life with some wise advice thrown in here and there.

stop beating me over the head with this, a lil positivity can go a long way, coming from someone who grew up watching the original show and family matters that worked without the guilt trip.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,187   +3,373
SIGH..so gender and race-swapping for its own sake, regardless of historical reality or common sensem wasn't enough - every old show and movie will be remade as an edgy SJW vehicle. Yeah, I'm sure that'll be reaaaal popular..just look at how well Doctor Who did this season, LOL