Peacock also shared the official trailer for the upcoming season.
The princess from “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is back. Tatyana Ali, who played Ashley Banks on the original NBC sitcom, will guest star on Season 2 of the series’ dramatic reimagining of “Bel-Air,” Peacock announced Jan. 19.
Ali — whose other credits include TV One’s original series “Love That Girl!” and a CBS soap, “The Young and the Restless,” as Mrs. Hughes, an English literature teacher at a Bel-Air high school. In a nod to the original series, her character will play a mentor role throughout the season to the new version of Ashley (Akira Akbar), a precocious 12-year-old.
Along with the casting announcement, Peacock also released the official trailer for “Bel-Air” Season 2, which premieres on February 23. The series was inspired by Morgan Cooper’s 2019 viral parody film, which took the premise of the original. Sitcom — a young man gets into trouble in West Philadelphia and is forced to flee the city to live with his wealthy family in Los Angeles — and reimagined it as a gritty drama. The short film caught the attention of original series star Will Smith, who expressed interest in expanding the premise into a new series. Cooper eventually developed the series for the Peacock with Malcolm Spellman, TJ Brady and Rasheed Newson.
“Bel-Air” Season 1 rewrites the first few episodes of the original “Fresh Prince,” reimagined in modern times as a young Will (Jabari Banks) struggles to adjust to the rich world of his family members. Alongside Akbar, the Banks family is played by Cassandra Freeman and Adrian Holmes (as Aunt Vivian and Uncle Geoffrey), Coco Jones (as Hilary’s eldest daughter) and Olly Sholotan (Will’s cousin and Carlton’s protagonist). The series also stars Jimmy Akingbola, Jordan L. Jones and Simone Joy Jones.
Carla Banks Waddles, previously known for her work on “Good Girls” and “Half & Half,” has been promoted to showrunner for Season 2 of the Universal Television and Westbrook Studio series. Waddles replaces Brady Newson, who reportedly left the show due to creative differences. Executive produced by Cooper, Smith, Spellman, Anthony Sparks, Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, original “Fresh Prince” creators Andy and Susan Borowitz, and original series executive producers Benny Medina and Quincy Jones.
“Bel-Air” has become Peacock’s No. 1 scripted show since its premiere, with the streamer reporting last May that more than 8 million users had watched the first season in the three months since its premiere.
“Bel-Air” Season 2 premieres on the Peacock on Feb. 23, with new episodes every Thursday. Check out the official trailer for season two below.
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