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‘Fresh Prince’ Star Tatyana Ali to Guest Star on ‘Bel-Air’ Season 2 — but Not as Ashley

Peacock also shared the official trailer for the upcoming season.

Tatyana Ali,

Tatyana Ali in 2020 and in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/NBC / Courtesy Everett Collection

The princess of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is coming back. Tatyana Ali, who played Ashley Banks in the original NBC sitcom, will guest star in Season 2 of the show’s dramatic re-interpretation “Bel-Air,” Peacock announced January 19.

Ali — whose other credits include the TV One original series “Love That Girl!” and a stint on CBS soap “The Young and the Restless” — will play Mrs. Hughes, an English literature teacher at a Bel-Air middle school. In a wink to the original series, her character will develop a mentorship role across the season with the new version of Ashley (played by Akira Akbar), a precocious 12-year-old.

In addition to announcing the casting, Peacock also released the official trailer for Season 2 of “Bel-Air,” which premieres February 23. The series was inspired by a 2019 viral parody film by Morgan Cooper, which took the basic premise of the original sitcom — a young man runs into trouble in West Philadelphia and is forced to flee the city to live with his wealthy Los Angeles family — 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 ultimately developed the show for Peacock with Malcolm Spellman, TJ Brady, and Rasheed Newson.

Season 1 of “Bel-Air” retold the first few episodes of the original “Fresh Prince,” reimagined in the modern day, as a young Will (Jabari Banks) struggles to adjust to the wealthy world of his family members. In addition to Akbar, the Banks family is played by Cassandra Freeman and Adrian Holmes (as Aunt Vivian and Uncle Geoffrey), Coco Jones (as oldest daughter Hilary), and Olly Sholotan (as Will’s cousin and main foil Carlton). Jimmy Akingbola, Jordan L. Jones, and Simone Joy Jones also star in the series.

Carla Banks Waddles, previously known for her work on shows like “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. She executive produces with 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.

Since its premiere, “Bel-Air” has become Peacock’s No. 1 scripted original, with the streamer reporting last May that over 8 million accounts have watched the first season in the three months since its premiere.

“Bel-Air” Season 2 premieres on Peacock February 23, with new episodes streaming Thursdays. Watch the official trailer for the second season below.

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