The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990–1996)

TV Series  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
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The Banks family, a respectable Californian family, take in a relative - Will Smith, a street-smart teenager from Philadelphia. The idea is to make him respectable, responsible and mature, but Will has got other plans...

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6   5   4   3   2   1  
1996   1995   1994   1993   1992   1991   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 13 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 William 'Will' Smith / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Philip Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Carlton Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Hilary Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Ashley Banks / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Geoffrey Butler / ... (148 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Vivian Banks / ... (75 episodes, 1993-1996)
...
 Vivian Banks (74 episodes, 1990-1996)
...
 Nicky Banks / ... (50 episodes, 1994-1996)
...
 Jazz / ... (47 episodes, 1990-1996)
Edit

Storyline

When Will, an inner-city teenager from Philly is sent by his mother to live with his relatives (the Banks') in Bel-Air, everybody is in for a surprise. It is funny how influence can go both ways... Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

|

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Release Date:

10 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El príncipe del rap  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(148 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

May have been the first TV series saved from cancellation by pleas from TV-station managers. The show aired its 1990-1994 episodes in syndication after the fourth season while running the fifth season on network. At the end of that season, NBC wanted to pull the plug because the new episodes were getting a mediocre 8.6 rating. But the reruns were drawing a 7.4, extremely good for an ad-hoc collection of shows you've seen three or four times, and the managers of the local stations thought they might have one of those "phenom" series where people religiously watch their favorite episodes and a lot of them. To avoid over-running the shows they already had (about a hundred, already run three times), the station managers agreed to buy the fifth and sixth seasons at a greatly inflated price (adding 50 more shows to their libraries and helping avoid burning out the audiences) - meaning NBC would NOT lose money by picking up the show after all. See more »

Goofs

The living room changed, although they lived in the same house. After they changed it, the stairs were in the living room, they originally weren't there. See more »

Quotes

Carlton Banks: The police were doing their job. We were detained a couple hours, and dad came and got us out. The system worked.
Will: I hope you like that system, because you're gonna be seeing a lot more of it in your life.
Carlton Banks: Not if I bring a map.
Will: Man, you don't get it, do you? A map is not gonna help you. Neither is your Glee Club, or your fancy Bel-Air address, or who your daddy is. They don't care about any of that. They only see one thing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

For a couple of episodes, the show was entitled 'The Fresh Prince of Philadelphia???' for when Will decided to stay in Philly. See more »

Connections

Featured in Greatest Ever Sitcoms (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Written by Will Smith and Jeffrey A. Townes
Performed by Will Smith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

My all-time favourite TV series
10 September 2003 | by (Ottawa, Ontario) – See all my reviews

Of all the shows, I believe that "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is the one with which I can most identify with, since I have surely seen every single episode at least a dozen times - and yet it STILL never gets tired! I cannot get sick of this show, and it's making me a bit disturbed! Just what is it that makes this show so continually appealing, even around seven years since its final episode? I'm not sure...it's certainly not just one element. Every part of this show is magic: the wonderful acting from all involved; the witty (and often painfully hysterical) one-liners and banter between characters; the hip, cool atmosphere; the music...it all perfectly fits into what has to be one of the most remarkable and well-made sitcoms of the '90s.

I find myself shocked sometimes at the number of people who have totally forgotten about this show. Granted, it DID end in 1996, and obviously a lot has happened since then (most notably the skyrocketing music & film career of a certain lead star), but I mean, come on! This show is an undisputed classic! Who can forget the wild, crazy, and just plain amusing adventures we've had with Will Smith and the Banks family?

There were times when I was just addicted to this show, I remember...it was a while back when the episodes were running in syndication every evening on TBS SuperStation...I can't believe how this show can always manage to crack me up. It's incredible. I've grown to love all these characters so much, and even now, I still wouldn't pass up an opportunity to watch yet another priceless rerun.

I agree, though, that yes, a lot of the late, LATE episodes (around the second-last and final season) had their fair share of groans, and showed some glaring signs of tedium, but thankfully, the overwhelming positive qualities of the series tower over such minor flaws - including the mysterious re-casting of Aunt Vivian's role from Janet Hubert-Whitten to Daphne Maxwell Reid; the increasingly old-hat shtick of using the same stock footage whenever Jazz gets thrown out of the Banks residence for the umpteenth time; the cursed addition of a new cast member - little Nicky Banks (Ross Bagley), etc....

It's not an entirely perfect show, certainly (but then - what show is?), and it has had its fair share of ups and downs in its moderately impressive run of six years. However, when all is said and done, in the end, this show can proudly stand on its own as a pop culture treasure. It has evolved from what seemed initially to be an awkward, cheesy, quaint little '80s/'90s Cosby rip-off to a mature, slick, and fabulously written/produced/directed program. Pure gold is what this show is.

A truly underrated, and always entertaining, gem. "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" is one for the ages.


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Will's aunts have the same last name as his father? parasninos
Now... thepauloloughlin
How come the set of the house changes after the first season? parasninos
What episode is it when Carlton runs into the audience? parasninos
Why did it end after only 6 seasons? prokop43
The episode where phil thinks out a punishment 10 years later tlettl83
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