Peacock’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reboot has undergone its second showrunner switch, TheWrap has learned.
The show, which is a dramatic update on the classic ’90s sitcom starring Will Smith, has seen the exits of original showrunner Chris Collins, who left in December over creative differences, and of his replacement showrunner, Diane Houston, who has now herself stepped away.
The series, which is based on Morgan Cooper’s viral YouTube video and is produced by Smith, is now on its third showrunner, this time deciding to bring in two leaders: co-showrunners T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson (“Shooter,” “Army Wives” and “Lie to Me”).
Casting has not yet begun for the reboot.
Here’s the official description for the one-hour drama, which received a two-season order at Peacock last September:
“Set in modern-day America, ‘Bel-Air’ is a serialized one-hour dramatic analogue of the ’90s 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. 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.”
That plot is based on a four-minute spec trailer for a dark version of “Fresh Prince,” which Cooper wrote, directed and posted to YouTube in March 2019. The video, which currently has more than 5 million views, was seen by Smith, who thought it was a great take on the ’90s sitcom.
Cooper will direct, co-write and serve as co-executive producer on “Bel-Air,” alongside new writers, executive producers and showrunners Brady and Newson. Additional executive producers include Smith, Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina and Andy and Susan Borowitz.
Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Universal Television will produce the show.
“Fresh Prince” originally ran on NBC for six seasons between 1990-96 and helped to catapult Smith to stardom. It also starred James Avery, Alphonso Ribeiro, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell and Janet Hubert.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news of Peacock’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” showrunner changes.