Pretty soon, television is going to closely resemble its 1990s countepart, as more and more past hits seem to be announcing their return to the airwaves.
Thus far, Coach and Fuller House are joining Girl Meets World on the growing list of sequel series aimed at reviving sitcoms that debuted more than 20 years ago. Now another beloved hit show is doing the same, with its original star leading the project.
According to TVLine, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is the latest TV comedy to receive the reboot treatment. At this early stage, a pitch for the show has yet to be finalized, making it unclear whether the project will be a complete reboot of the original show’s fish-out-of-water premise.Will Smith will produce the new series, though he isn’t expected to appear in front of the camera.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – which ran on NBC from 1990 to 1996 – starred Smith as a fun-loving teenager (“from West Philadelphia, born and raised…”) who is sent to live with his well-to-do aunt and uncle in California. Over the course of the show, Smith’s character grew from a mischievous teen to a more responsible adult, forming a lasting bond with his relatives. In particular, Will’s brotherly relationship with his cousin Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) was a central focus of the show, and Carlton has remained a fan-favorite character, ever since
If the new show does go the Fuller House route and embrace a continuation of the original series, Carlton would be the most logical foundation on which it could build. Ribeiro clearly looks back warmly on the character, having performed his popular “Carlton Dance” last year on Dancing with the Stars. Perhaps the storyline could focus on a child of one of his sisters, or even Will’s child, moving in with Carlton and his family. Imagine the comedic possibilities if Carlton were put in the position to raise a child with a devil-may-care attitude similar to his frustrating cousin.
Moreover, the passing of actor James Avery – who memorably played Carlton’s father, Philip Banks – could be written into the show as a tribute for both the actor and his character, lending a bit of heart to the series. This would allow the door to stay open for other characters like Hilary (Karyn Parsons), Ashley (Tatyana Ali) or Geoffrey (Joseph Marcell) to make guest appearances along the way.
While a reboot could conceivably attract an audience (the premise is simple enough), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air remains fondly remembered by a generation of fans. With so many members of the principal cast potentially game to come back, there’s no reason that a new version couldn’t take a more reverent approach, since an update is probably going to happen, regardless.
Do you want to see a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reboot, or should the new show continue the story? Comment in the section below.