Check your egos at the door. Will Smith made the right choice Joyce. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast will reunite for an unscripted special to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the series and the cultural impact it’s had since its debut. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Special is set to tape on Sept. 10, 30 years to the day it launched on NBC in 1990. The reunion special was developed by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s media company Westbrook Media, and will debut exclusively on HBO Max around Thanksgiving.
The entire Banks family is coming back to the hood. Will Smith will be joined by series regulars Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary), Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey), Daphne Maxwell Reid (Aunt Viv No. 2), and Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton). Janet Hubert, who played Aunt Viv No. 1, didn’t show up to the 2017 cast reunion and probably won’t be involved in the reunion. Recurring character DJ Jazzy Jeff will spin for “a funny and heartfelt night full of music, dancing, and special surprise guests, in honor of the series,” according to the press statement. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion Special will be directed by Marcus Raboy (Laugh Aid, Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It?). It is being executive produced by Rikki Hughes, who will serve as showrunner, as well as Miguel Melendez, Lukas Kaiser, and Brad Haugen for Westbrook Media.
The cast last reunited in April for Smith’s Snapchat series Will From Home. The two-part episode paid tribute to James Avery, who starred as Phillip Banks. Avery died in 2014 from complications due to open heart surgery. He was 68. The episode featured appearances from Ribeiro, Ali, Parsons, Reid, Marcell, and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Earlier this month it was announced that Smith is developing a dramatic reboot of the multi-camera sitcom. Based on the short 2019 fan film from Morgan Cooper, the new The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will run an hour-long. The project will be co-written by Cooper and Chris Collins (The Wire, Sons of Anarchy), and is being shopped to streamers. Original producers Quincy Jones and Benny Medina, as well as original creators Andy and Susan Borowitz, will also be back on board. The reboot will be called Bel-Air. Westbrook Studios and Universal TV are currently in the process of shopping it to many of the big-time streamers.
The original The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air aired 148 episodes on NBC from 1990 to 1996. The series starred Smith as a fictionalized version of himself moving from the streets and playgrounds of West Philadelphia to the sunny and bourgeoisie Bel Air to live with his wealthy uncle and aunt.
HBO Max is also putting together a Friends cast reunion, which is experiencing production delays because of COVID-19. The streamer also plans to reunite the cast of The West Wing with its creator Aaron Sorkin for staged production of the show’s season 3 episode “Hartsfield’s Landing” as a benefit for nonprofit organization When We All Vote to raise voter awareness ahead of the 2020 election.
HBO Max has exclusive SVOD rights to the full series. The streamer has been airing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air since the site launched in May.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air unscripted reunion special will air around Thanksgiving on HBO Max.