Pop Culture

Will Smith Bringing ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ Reunion to HBO Max

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Westbrook Entertainment announced Monday that it would produce a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion special for HBO Max. Cast members Will Smith, Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Alfonso Ribeiro and DJ Jazzy Jeff are scheduled to participate.

They will tape the special Sept. 10 and intend to air it close to Thanksgiving.

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran on NBC from 1990-1996. Smith was already a popular rap artists with DJ Jazzy Jeff. The hit sitcom led him to movie roles, including breakout hits Bad Boys and Independence Day at the end of the show’s run.

Smith played Will, a boy from Philadelphia whose mother sends him to live with his rich aunt and uncle in Bel-Air, Calif. Smith’s streetwise shenanigans make him a fish out of water and cause a culture clash with stuffy Bel-Air society.

Ribeiro played Will’s preppy cousin Carlton. Ali and Parsons also played cousins. Marcell played the family butler Geoffrey. The late James Avery played Uncle Phil with Parsons with Reid as his wife Vivian.

Reid replaced Janet Hubert in the role of Vivian after the first three seasons. Hubert wrote a tell all book about her negative experiences with Smith on the show.

The show also displayed Smith’s dramatic range in episodes such as one in which Will’s father (Ben Vereen) abandons him yet again. Smith breaks down in Avery’s arms.

Westbrook is Smith’s company with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, Miguel Melendez and Ko Yada. HBO Max currently streams the complete Fresh Prince of Bel-Air series. The streamer is also scheduled to film a Friends reunion when COVID-19 guidelines permit.