“Bel-Air,” Peacock’s dramatic reimagining of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” began production on its upcoming Season 2 last month. But the show is already being forced to take a hiatus, as showrunners TJ Brady and Rasheed Newson have exited the series due to creative differences, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Carla Banks Waddles, who previously served as a co-executive producer on the show and an executive producer of “Good Girls” on NBC, has been promoted to showrunner and will also serve as an executive producer for Season 2. Banks Waddles has an overall deal with Universal Television, which produces “Bel-Air.”
“Bel-Air” is the brainchild of Morgan Cooper, whose viral fan film imagined the multi-camera comedy as a contemporary drama that digs into the racial and class-based issues that would inevitably arise from a character moving from West Philadelphia to the ultra-wealthy Los Angeles suburb. The three-minute film prompted Universal Television to move forward with a full series, with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith serving as executive producers on the project.
The project has been plagued by turnover at the showrunner position almost since its inception. Chris Collins was named the first showrunner of “Bel-Air,” though he departed very early in the development process. He was replaced by Diane Houston, who also departed and was replaced by Brady and Newson for Season 1.
While “Bel-Air” has received mixed reviews, it brought some much-needed attention to the struggling streaming service. It is the most-viewed show in Peacock history, with over eight million people reportedly streaming the first three episodes after it premiered on Super Bowl Sunday in 2022. No premiere date has been announced for Season 2, but the show was given a two-season order when Peacock initially picked it up. It is unclear if and how the latest showrunner change will delay Peacock’s plans to release Season 2 of the series.
In addition to Banks Waddles, Morgan Cooper, Malcolm Spellman, Will Smith, Terence Carter, James Lassiter, Miguel Melendez, Benny Medina, Quincy Jones, Andy Borowitz, Susan Borowitz, and Anthony Sparks will continue to serve as executive producers. Brady and Newson will also be credited as executive producers moving forward despite no longer serving as showrunners.