Peacock’s update on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is changing hands. The Hollywood Reporter has reported that due to creative differences, showrunner Chris Collins has left production on the reboot as the show moves in a different direction. Writers T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson will take over the production as its new co-showrunners.
Collins was set to co-write the show alongside Morgan Cooper, whose viral trailer from September was the inspiration for the reboot. Cooper’s video, which treated the series as a drama, exploded on the Internet when it premiered. The update earned a two-season order, which was picked up by Peacock after a fierce bidding war with services like Netflix and HBO Max.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources say that despite the split, the show’s producers — including original Fresh Prince star, Will Smith — remain happy with the material Collins delivered for the series, despite parting ways with the project. When contacted, Peacock and producer Universal Television declined to comment.
Peacock’s Bel-Air has been described as a more serious take on the story that launched Smith to stardom, which spanned six seasons from 1990 to 1996. Alongside nods to the original and hopefully maintaining its swagger and energy, the series will dive deeper into the conflicts and inherent biases of Black life in contemporary America.
Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a co-production between Smith’s Westbrook Studios and original producers Universal Television, with producers Smith, Quincy Jones, and Benny Medina, along with original series creators Andy and Susan Borowitz. A reunion special starring the cast of the original Fresh Prince is now available to stream on HBO Max, featuring Smith, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, and Alfonso Ribeiro.
The new take on the French Prince is expected to premiere sometime in 2022.