Bel-Air (TV series)

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Created byAndy Borowitz & Susan Borowitz
Based on
Developed byMorgan Cooper & Malcolm Spellman & TJ Brady & Rasheed Newson
Music by
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20
Executive producers
  • Debra Lovatelli
  • Jeff Rafner
  • Jason B. Harkins
  • Douglas S. Ornstein
  • Jennifer Barbot
  • Christopher S. Capp
  • Angela Latimer
  • Shoshanah Tanzer
  • Mark Heiliger
  • Marc Wiltshire
  • Kendra Pasker
  • Nicole Vaskell
Running time40–60 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseFebruary 13, 2022 (2022-02-13) –
present (present)

Bel-Air is an American drama television series developed by Morgan Cooper, Malcolm Spellman, TJ Brady, and Rasheed Newson. It is a reimagined version of the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and is based on Cooper's short fan film of the same name. It stars Jabari Banks, Adrian Holmes, Cassandra Freeman, Olly Sholotan, Coco Jones, Akira Akbar, Jimmy Akingbola, Jordan L. Jones, and Simone Joy Jones. The series premiered on Peacock on February 13, 2022.[1] The second season was released on February 23, 2023.[2] In March 2023, the series was renewed for a third season.[3]


The series follows Will Smith's complicated journey from the streets of West Philadelphia to the gated mansions of Bel-Air.[4] It dives deep into racial tension, culture shock, and the elitist world of the black bourgeoisie.

Cast and characters[edit]


  • Jabari Banks as Will Smith, a 16-year-old from West Philadelphia who is sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Bel-Air by his mother, Vy
  • Cassandra Freeman as Vivian Banks, Will's aunt, wife of Philip and sister of Vy
  • Jimmy Akingbola as Geoffrey Thompson, the House Manager of the Bankses, originally from Jamaica before moving to London as a child
  • Olly Sholotan as Carlton Banks, the lacrosse-playing middle child of Viv and Phil and Will's cousin
  • Coco Jones as Hilary Banks, a social media influencer, excellent chef and eldest child of Viv and Phil and Will's cousin
  • Akira Akbar as Ashley Banks, the 12-year-old youngest child of Viv and Phil and Will's cousin
  • Simone Joy Jones as Lisa Wilkes, a potential love interest of Will, and Carlton's ex. She is also on the swim team.
  • Jordan L. Jones as Jazz, a taxi driver Will met and bonded with when he arrived at LAX. He also owns a record store and has a crush on Hilary.
  • Adrian Holmes as Philip Banks, Will's lawyer uncle, husband of Viv


  • April Parker Jones as Viola "Vy" Smith, Will's mother
  • SteVonté Hart as Tray Melbert, Will's former best friend in Philadelphia
  • Tyler Barnhardt as Connor Satterfield, Carlton's best friend during season 1 but later stopped the friendship due to Connor's behavior
  • Joe Holt as Fred Wilkes, Lisa's father who is a Chief of Police for the LAPD
  • Charlie Hall as Tyler Laramy, Will's friend and basketball teammate at Bel-Air Academy
  • Wendy Davis as Joan
  • Jon Beavers as Kylo
  • Michael Ealy as Reed Broderick
  • Karrueche Tran as Ivy
  • Tatyana Ali as Mrs. Hughes (season 2),[a] Ashley's English literature teacher at Bel-Air Academy. Ali portrayed "Ashley Banks" in the original series.
  • Reno Wilson as James Lewis (season 2)[6]
  • Brooklyn McLinn as Doc Hightower (season 2)[7]
  • Jazlyn Martin as Jackie (season 2)[7]
  • Riele Downs as Yazmin (season 2)[7]
  • Nicholas Duvernay as Drew (season 2)[6]
  • Shelley Robertson as Ms. Bassin (season 2)
  • Justin Cornwell as Lamarcus Alton (season 2)[6]
  • Diandra Lyle as Erika Baker (season 2)[6]

In addition, Aimee Li and Andi Rene Christensen costar as Phanta and Monica (two of Hilary's influencer housemates), with Al-Shabazz Jabateh also costarring as Hudson for the second season.[6]

Special guest stars[edit]

  • Daphne Maxwell Reid as Janice, a board member of the Art Council. Reid previously was the second actress to portray Vivian Banks in the original series. Also in the original series, Janice was the name the Vivian's youngest sister.[8]
  • Vernee Watson-Johnson as Helen, another board member of the Art Council. Watson-Johnson previously portrayed Viola 'Vy' Smith in the original series. Also in the original series, Helen was the name of Vivian, Vy and Janice's sister[8]
  • Marlon Wayans as Lou, Will's father whom he thought abandoned his mother and him


Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
110February 13, 2022 (2022-02-13)March 31, 2022 (2022-03-31)
210February 23, 2023 (2023-02-23)April 27, 2023 (2023-04-27)

Season 1 (2022)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Dreams and Nightmares"Morgan CooperMorgan Cooper & Malcolm Spellman & TJ Brady & Rasheed NewsonFebruary 13, 2022 (2022-02-13)
Will Smith is a West Philadelphia straight-A student with a high chance of winning a college basketball scholarship. After a basketball game, he and friend Tray are insulted by a gang member named Darnell and make a bet with local drug lord Rashad. Will and Tray win, but Darnell instigates a fight by throwing a basketball at Rashad's head and making it seem like Will threw it. When Rashad and his crew gang up on Tray, Will clears the court by firing Tray's unregistered gun into the air and is arrested. Will's mother and her brother-in-law Philip Banks get him released and flown to Bel Air, Los Angeles to live with Philip. He hitches a ride with a local named Jazz and goes to a fundraiser for Phil's District Attorney campaign. Will is on good terms with his aunt Vivian and cousins Hilary and Ashley, but Philip worries he will ruin his campaign. Will flirts with Lisa, his cousin Carlton's ex-girlfriend. Will learns that Tray's in trouble and tries to return to Philadelphia with Jazz' help; he's caught by Philip and house manager Geoffrey. He watches Carlton play lacrosse and flirts with Lisa again, and nearly starts a fight when Carlton's white teammate Connor raps ethnic slurs. Later, Will catches Carlton sniffing Xanax and agrees to stay silent if he helps get Uncle Phil to ease up on him. They pretend to make peace and go to Connor's beach party. Will meets Lisa again and kisses her, and a jealous Carlton pushes Will into the pool. Will can't swim, so Lisa pulls him out, and he punches Connor and Carlton.
22"Keep Ya Head Up"Carl SeatonJaNeika James & JaSheika JamesFebruary 13, 2022 (2022-02-13)
Will gets a call from his mother that his friend Tray was shot. Will attends his first day at Bel-Air Academy and is humiliated in front of the entire Junior Class by Carlton. Uncle Phil is interviewed on a Radio Show by Big Boy and asked more questions about his personal life than political. Hilary gets an offer from Haute Magazine on the condition that she tone down her recipes and outfits. With the help of Jazz, Uncle Phil, and Tyler's advice, Will is able to get a spot on the basketball team, but while leaving campus his bag is searched and Connor planted cocaine in his bag.
33"Yamacraw"Nick CopusYolonda LawrenceFebruary 13, 2022 (2022-02-13)
After what happened at school, Will has in-school suspension. However, Phil and Vivian learn that the Principal didn't watch the tapes of who planted the drugs in Will's bag. After things get sorted out and returned at school, Phil invites Will to a crawfish boil event where his fraternity host.
44"Canvass"Dale SternNicole Delaney & Henry "Hank" JonesFebruary 17, 2022 (2022-02-17)
Phil convinces Hilary, Carlton, Will and Ashley to get fifty people to register to vote. He makes a deal with Carlton that if he doesn't make drama with Will, he'll get VIP seats to the Grand Prix at Monaco. Tray informs Will that Rashad now knows he's in Bel-Air, which leads to Geoffrey to help. He learns from Hilary that Carlton made a deal with Phil which leads him to make a deal with Vivian that if he doesn't make drama with Carlton, they can fly Tray out for the weekend which she accepts.
55"PA to LA"Tasha SmithEphraim Salaam & Rasheed NewsonFebruary 24, 2022 (2022-02-24)
Tray visits Bel-Air, following the deal Will had with Vivian. At the Banks, the family supports Hilary by hosting an influencer event at the Bank's residence. Tray's loyalty is put to test, as he shares Will's secret with Carlton, while tipsy at the dinner table. Carlton speaks with Phil and confronts Will with a new rule or he will snitch on him.
66"The Strength to Smile"Aurora GuerreroTJ Brady & Paul EriksenMarch 3, 2022 (2022-03-03)
Tray's abrupt return to West Philadelphia, has left Will with some hard feelings. And now, he's being trolled on social media. Viv is hosting a fundraiser to raise money for lupus research and honor the memory of her sorority sister and BFF Gayle, and best friend. Ashley is struggling with her feelings for Lucia. Romario and Lucia are at the event, mostly hanging out with Ashley, and Ash is trying really hard to impress Lucia. Vivian also is struggling with her return to the art world. Reid comes to the event and that ruffles Phil, who is aware of what Broderick is up to. Phil urges Geoffrey to watch Reid. Phil also loses one of his campaign endorsements, and it’s because Fred has joined the race as an opponent. Aunt Viv is preoccupied with Fred and Angela's history. Fred's first wife Gayle died in 2019, and Fred’s new wife met Fred in 2018 at an LAPD golf tournament. Viv is pondering whether or not Fred was cheating on his dying wife, and Viv's best friend, the entire time. Lisa has planned a poetry reading with Carlton for the event honoring her mother Gayle, and Lisa confided in him that she doesn't trust her stepmother Angela, who Lisa feels was trying to replace her mom. In a drug-fueled emotional breakdown, Carlton accuses Will of betraying him before tearfully apologizing. Will sits on the floor with his heartbroken cousin and offered to step in for him during Lisa’s reading. While talking with Will and Vivian, Angela inadvertently revealed she was having an affair with Lisa’s father while Gayle was still alive. She also tried to insert herself into this already planned event, leading to Vivian confronting Angela, and Angela and Fred leaving the event.
77"Payback's a B*tch"Ava BerkofskyCarla Banks WaddlesMarch 10, 2022 (2022-03-10)
88"No One Wins When The Family Feuds"Sylvain WhiteJaNeika James & JaSheika JamesMarch 17, 2022 (2022-03-17)
99"Can't Knock The Hustle"Matthew A. CherryMalcolm Spellman & Rasheed NewsonMarch 24, 2022 (2022-03-24)
1010"Where To?"Dale SternMorgan Cooper & TJ Brady & Rasheed NewsonMarch 31, 2022 (2022-03-31)
Will finally meets his father face to face and asks him why he left him and his mother. Lou tries to make it sound like he was incarcerated for something that wasn't his fault, but it becomes evident that he felt emasculated by Philip's wealth and had desperately tried to make his own fortune the wrong way. When that didn't work out, Lou started blaming Vy for being "too demanding" and calls their marriage the biggest mistake of his life. Enraged, Will physically retaliates and Lou almost strangles him until Philip and Vivian intervene and kick Lou out. Feeling like his world is falling apart, Will runs away and meets up with Jazz, who asks him where he wants to go from here.

Season 2 (2023)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"A Fresh Start"Dale SternCarla Banks WaddlesFebruary 23, 2023 (2023-02-23)
122"Speaking Truth"Anton CropperAnthony SparksMarch 2, 2023 (2023-03-02)
133"Compromised"Michael WeaverTJ Brady & Rasheed NewsonMarch 9, 2023 (2023-03-09)
144"Don't Kill My Vibe"Dawn WilkinsonEphraim Salaam & Justin Calen-ChennMarch 16, 2023 (2023-03-16)
155"Excellence Is Everywhere"Keesha SharpTawnya Bhattacharya & Ali LaventholMarch 23, 2023 (2023-03-23)
166"Let the Best Man Win"Stacey MuhammadNambi E. Kelley & Julian JohnsonMarch 30, 2023 (2023-03-30)
177"Under Pressure"John S. ScottAnthony SparksApril 6, 2023 (2023-04-06)
188"Pursuit of Happiness"Nick CopusAli Laventhol & Tawnya BhattacharyaApril 13, 2023 (2023-04-13)
199"Just Like Old Times"Tasha SmithJaNeika James & JaSheika JamesApril 20, 2023 (2023-04-20)
2010"Don't Look Back"Dale SternCarla Banks Waddles & Daniela GajApril 27, 2023 (2023-04-27)



On March 10, 2019, Morgan Cooper uploaded Bel-Air to YouTube. The submission was a fan film, written and directed by him, in the form of a mock trailer for an updated and dramatic reimagining of the television sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.[9][10] Will Smith, who starred on the original sitcom as a fictionalized version of himself, heavily praised the fan film and expressed his interest in expanding the concept into a reboot, personally meeting with Cooper.[11][12] On August 11, 2020, the series was officially announced after being in the works for over a year. At the time, Netflix, HBO Max, and Peacock were bidding for the rights to the series.[13] On September 8, 2020, Peacock gave the series a two-season order under the title Bel-Air, with Westbrook Inc. and Universal Television producing. Smith and Cooper executive produce alongside Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Malcolm Spellman, Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, Andy Borowitz, and Susan Borowitz.[14] Upon the streaming records announcement, it was reported that Anthony Sparks joined the series as an executive producer for the second season.[15] On October 13, 2022, it was announced that Carla Banks Waddles has been promoted to executive producer and showrunner for the second season, replacing TJ Brady & Rasheed Newson, who were the showrunners for the first season. Banks Waddles was a co-executive producer for the first season.[16] On March 17, 2023, Peacock renewed the series for a third season.[3]


In August 2021, Smith surprised Jabari Banks with the news that Banks would star as the lead.[17][18] In September 2021, Adrian Holmes, Cassandra Freeman, Olly Sholotan, Coco Jones, Akira Akbar, Jimmy Akingbola, Jordan L. Jones, and Simone Joy Jones joined the cast as series regulars.[19] In January 2022, Karrueche Tran, Duane Martin, Joe Holt, April Parker Jones, SteVonté Hart, Scottie Thompson, and Charlie Hall in recurring roles.[20] In March 2022, it was reported that Daphne Maxwell Reid and Vernee Watson-Johnson guest starred in episode 9 on March 24.[8] On January 12, 2023, it was announced that Saweetie is set to make a cameo appearance as herself while Brooklyn McLinn, Jazlyn Martin, and Riele Downs were cast in recurring capacities for the second season.[7] A week later, it was reported that Tatyana Ali who played Ashley Banks in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was cast in a recurring role for the second season.[5] On February 21, 2023, Al-Shabazz Jabateh, Nicholas Duvernay, Diandra Lyle, Justin Cornwell, and Reno Wilson joined the cast in recurring capacities for the second season.[6]


Principal photography was scheduled to take place in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.[19] On January 7, 2022, it was reported that the series had some positive COVID-19 tests on set, but production was not impacted.[21]


An online premiere for the series was held on February 9, 2022, by Crown & Conquer.[22] The series premiered on Peacock on February 13, 2022, with its first three episodes.[1][23] The second season premiered on February 23, 2023.[2]


Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 66% based 47 critic reviews, with an average rating on 6.2/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Bel-Air replaces its predecessor's high spirits with a dour tone and an uneasy mix of realism, although there are signs that this reimagining can grow into a fresh new spin."[24] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 59 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[25]

The second season has a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 10 critic reviews, with an average rating of 6.7/10.[26] On Metacritic, the second season received a score of 71 based on reviews from 4 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews.[27]

On May 2, 2022, Peacock announced that Bel-Air is the most-streamed original series on the streaming service, reaching 8 million accounts to date.[15]


Association Year Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
BET Awards 2022 Best Actor Adrian Holmes Nominated [28]
Jabari Banks Nominated
Best Actress Coco Jones Nominated
Black Reel Awards 2022 Outstanding Drama Series Bel-Air Won [29]
Outstanding Directing, Drama Series Morgan Cooper for "Dreams and Nightmares" Nominated
Outstanding Writing, Drama Series Malcolm Spellman, Morgan Cooper, T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson for "Dreams and Nightmares" Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama Series Adrian Holmes Nominated
Olly Sholotan Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama Series Coco Jones Nominated
NAACP Image Awards 2023 Outstanding Drama Series Bel-Air Pending [30]
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Jabari Banks Pending
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Adrian Holmes Pending


  1. ^ Tatyana Ali is credited as "Special Guest Star" but is a recurring cast member.[5]


  1. ^ a b Petski, Denise (December 16, 2021). "'Bel-Air': Peacock's 'Fresh Prince' Drama Reboot Sets Super Bowl Sunday Premiere". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 21, 2022. Retrieved December 16, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Hatchett, Keisha (November 17, 2022). "Bel-Air Sets Season 2 Release Date — See New Photos, Watch Teaser". TVLine. Archived from the original on November 17, 2022. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Campione, Katie (March 17, 2023). "'Bel-Air' Renewed For Season 3 At Peacock". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 17, 2023. Retrieved March 17, 2023.
  4. ^ White, Peter (November 23, 2021). "'Bel-Air': Peacock Rolls Out First Teaser For 'Fresh Prince' Drama Reboot". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 23, 2021. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  5. ^ a b Rice, Lynette (January 19, 2023). "'Bel-Air': Tatyana Ali From 'Fresh Prince Of Bel Air' To Recur On Peacock Reboot This Season; Watch Trailer". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 19, 2023. Retrieved January 19, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Petski, Denise (February 21, 2023). "'Bel-Air' Adds Five To Season 2 Cast Of Peacock Reboot". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 21, 2023. Retrieved February 21, 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d Otterson, Joe (January 12, 2023). "Saweetie to Appear in 'Bel-Air' Season 2 at Peacock, Three New Recurring Cast Members Added (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Archived from the original on January 12, 2023. Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c Choe, Brandon (March 7, 2022). "'Fresh Prince' Alums Daphne Maxwell Reid & Vernee Watson-Johnson To Guest Star On Peacock's 'Bel-Air'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 7, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  9. ^ Greene, Andy (March 13, 2019). "Hilarious 'Bel Air' Trailer Reimagines 'The Fresh Prince' as a Dramatic Movie". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 27, 2019. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  10. ^ Kirkland, Justin (March 14, 2019). "The Fresh Prince Gets a Dramatic Reimagining in the Trailer for Bel-Air". Esquire. Archived from the original on April 27, 2019. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  11. ^ Smith, Will (April 26, 2019). "How I Really Feel About That BEL-AIR Trailer". YouTube. Archived from the original on April 28, 2019. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  12. ^ Parker, Ryan (April 26, 2019). "Will Smith Calls Dramatic Fan-Made 'Bel-Air' Trailer "Brilliant"". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on April 28, 2019. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  13. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (August 11, 2020). "'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' Drama Reboot in the Works". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (September 8, 2020). "'Bel-Air': Peacock Gives 2-Season Order To 'The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air' Drama Reboot From Morgan Cooper & Westbrook Studios". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 8, 2020. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  15. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (May 2, 2022). "'Bel-Air' Sets Peacock Streaming Records, Adds Anthony Sparks As EP For Season 2". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 2, 2022. Retrieved May 2, 2022.
  16. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 13, 2022). "'Bel-Air' Changes Showrunners As Carla Banks Waddles Replaces TJ Brady & Rasheed Newson For Season 2 Of Peacock Reboot". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 13, 2022. Retrieved October 13, 2022.
  17. ^ Vivinetto, Gina (August 31, 2021). "Will Smith surprises star of 'Fresh Prince' reboot with the news he got the role". Today. Archived from the original on September 15, 2021. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  18. ^ Petski, Denise (September 14, 2021). "'Bel-Air': Newcomer Jabari Banks To Star As Will In Peacock's 'Fresh Prince' Drama Reboot". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 10, 2021. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  19. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (September 14, 2021). "'Bel-Air': Adrian Holmes, Cassandra Freeman, Olly Sholotan & Jordan L. Jones Among 8 Cast In Peacock's 'Fresh Prince' Drama Reboot". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 14, 2021. Retrieved September 14, 2021.
  20. ^ Petski, Denise (January 20, 2022). "'Bel-Air': Karrueche Tran, Duane Martin & Joe Holt Among 7 Cast In Peacock's 'Fresh Prince' Drama Reboot". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 20, 2022. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  21. ^ White, Peter (January 7, 2022). "'Bel-Air' Records Dozens Of Positive Covid Tests; Production Not Impacted". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 7, 2022. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
  22. ^ Schneider, Michael (February 1, 2022). "Awards HQ Feb. 1: Bel-Air Exclusive, Succession Dominates DGA Nominations, Cobra Kai and More at the PGAs". Variety. Archived from the original on February 2, 2022. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  23. ^ "Shows A-Z – Bel-Air on Peacock". The Futon Critic. Retrieved April 20, 2023.
  24. ^ "Bel-Air: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  25. ^ "Bel-Air: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  26. ^ "Bel-Air: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 28, 2023.
  27. ^ "Bel-Air: Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  28. ^ Carras, Christi (June 1, 2022). "Lil Nas X calls out 2022 BET Awards snub: 'An outstanding zero nominations again'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 7, 2022. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  29. ^ Complex, Valerie (February 17, 2022). "The Black Reel Awards Announces Partnership With Idobi Network And Unveils New Awards Statuette". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 28, 2022. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  30. ^ Jackson, Angelique (January 12, 2023). "Abbott Elementary, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Woman King Dominate NAACP Image Award Nominations". Variety. Archived from the original on January 13, 2023. Retrieved January 13, 2023.

External links[edit]