Will Smith and the cast of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” will likely make a lot of people happy this fall, since a non-scripted reunion special of the show will stream on HBO Max around Thanksgiving.
It’s been 30 years since “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” first aired, and taping of the special, scheduled for Sept. 10, will be a celebration. Alfonso Ribeiro is scheduled to be there, as is Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Joseph Marcell, and DJ Jazzy Jeff. The special will include music, dancing, and surprise guests, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Fans have been requesting a reboot or reunion of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” for many years now and lately their requests have been granted in various ways.
In late April, cast members joined each other for a virtual reunion when a lot of people were still sheltering indoors because of the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic.
Then word came last month that Smith would be working with filmmaker Morgan Cooper on “Bel-Air,” a dramatic take on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” set in the present day. Smith’s company Westbrook Media is co-producing “Bel-Air” and producing the reunion special.
“The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” aired from 1990-1996 on NBC. James Avery, who played family patriarch Philip “Uncle Phil” Banks, tragically passed away on Dec. 31, 2013, after complications from open-heart surgery. He was 68 years old.
In a 2017 interview, Ribeiro said that he would never shoot a reunion episode of the ’90s sitcom after Avery’s death.
“The reason why I always say we will never really do any episodes again is simply because the show doesn’t work without James Avery, and with his passing, it just felt like that was the final like, Nah,” he said on “Today.” “He was the bass. It’s like, you have music and it’s just all treble. You gotta have the bass.”