Will Smith will reunite with the cast of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for an HBO Max special.
The unscripted special will tape on September 10, which marks exactly 30 years to the date the sitcom premiered on NBC in 1990, Deadline reported.
Smith will reunite with longtime co-stars Tatyana Ali, Karyn Parsons, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, and Alfonso Ribeiro and real-life rap partner-turned-recurring Fresh Prince star, DJ Jazzy Jeff. There will also be some “surprise guests” as well as music and dancing. There is no word on how the taping will work or if some or all of the cast will reunite virtually. Other specials, such as Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York reunion, have found ways to make in-person updates work by using social distancing measures and other precautions.
Over the years, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air featured many recurring guests including Vernee Watson-Johson, who played Smith’s character’s mother, as well as recurring guest stars Tyra Banks and Nia Long. Banks may be too busy to make a cameo with her former co-stars, as she will be starting work as the new host of Dancing With the Stars the same week that the HBO Max update will tape.
The reunion will air in late November and will offer a nostalgic look back at the comedy series that starred Smith as a troubled teen who moved from West Philadelphia to Bel Air to live with his wealthy relatives. The show aired for six seasons on NBC and featured a theme song based on Smith and Jazzy Jeff’s 1988 hit single, “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”
The special sounds similar to the upcoming Friends reunion that has been repeatedly postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Producers want to wait until they can have a live audience for the taping with Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc.
This isn’t the first Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion this year. In April, Smith hosted a virtual meetup with Ribeiro, Ali, Parsons, Reid, Marcell, and DJ Jazzy Jeff on a Zoom call for his Snapchat Discovers show, WFH: Will from Home. During the call, the cast paid tribute to their late co-star James Avery, who played Will’s uncle, Phil Banks, on the show. Avery died in 2013 at age 68.
HBO Max, which launched in May, currently has the streaming rights to the full 148 episodes of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air series.