Peacock’s Bel-Air is nearly matching the number of seasons with its showrunners.
The NBCUniversal-backed streamer has handed out a third-season renewal for its reimagining of Will Smith’s beloved The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The dramatic take on the former comedy series that is inspired by Morgan Cooper’s viral short was originally picked up at Peacock with a two-season order following a competitive bidding process with other streamers vying for the series.
The season three renewal marks its first vote of confidence beyond that initial order and follows a wave of showrunner changes as the drama struggled to find its creative voice. Carla Banks Waddles was recruited as showrunner at the start of season two. The Good Girls and The Soul Man alum was promoted from co-exec producer to showrunner and replaced T.J. Brady and Rasheed Newson (Army Wives, Lie to Me) at the helm of Bel-Air. Brady and Newson left following creative differences with Peacock and producers Universal Television. The series was picked up with Chris Collins (The Wire, Sons of Anarchy) set to serve as showrunner. Brady and Newson took over season one after Collins — and his replacement, Diane Houston (Empire) — mutually parted ways with Bel-Air producers including Smith, Quincy Jones and Benny Medina.
Sources at the time told THR that Peacock was looking for a broad-skewing network-style show, while Collins wanted to deliver an edgy, premium series. Collins exited in December 2020 and was replaced by Houston who both joined and departed in 2021 following some rewrites of season one. Brady and Newson were brought in last year under Houston and Malcolm Spellman (Falcon and Winter Soldier) and steered season one as their first showrunning job. Peacock, which does not release traditional viewership data, says Bel-Air launched as its most-watched original premiere and ranks as its most-watched sophomore series since the service debuted.
The series starring Jabari Banks in Smith’s iconic role hails from Universal Television. In addition to Waddles, exec producers also include Cooper, Anthony Sparks, Spellman, Smith, Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Benny Medina, Quincy Jones, Andy & Susan Borowitz, Brady and Newson. Original star Tatyana Ali recurs.
Bel-Air is part of a Peacock roster of originals that also includes Poker Face, Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin, Wolf Like Me, Killing It, Dr. Death and We Are Lady Parts, among others.