Alfonso Ribeiro wants to make it clear to fans, the new version of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is not a reboot.
“I like to call it a reimagining,” the actor, who played Carlton Banks on the 1990s series, recently told E!‘s Justin Sylvester on the Just the Sip podcast. “We sometimes throw a lot of things into one word, one concept. A reboot would be taking the actual show and the characters and bringing it back. This is a totally different show.”
The new series titled Bel-Air is coming to NBC’s Peacock. As previously reported, the new version will offer a dramatic take on the original series, which ended its six-season run ended in 1996.
“It’s not even based on the show. It’s based on the theme song. It’s a completely different thing. It’s drama. It’s not comedy,” Ribeiro explained, before revealing he won’t be part of the show.
The reimagined drama came as a result of a viral trailer uploaded to YouTube in 2019, by cinematographer Morgan Cooper in which the Fresh Prince gets a grittier backstory set in the present day.
The trailer currently has over 3 million views on YouTube. Will Smith watched the viral video, then invited Cooper for a meeting.
Smith posted his own video on YouTube in November 2020, announcing the series had been picked up by Peacock.
The reimagining now has a two-season order from the streaming service, with Cooper set to direct and Smith executive producing via his Westbrook Studios production company, along with Quincy Jones, Benny Medina, and original series creators Andy and Susan Borowitz.
The release date for the series has not yet been announced. Watch Cooper’s trailer below: