A streetwise, poor young man from Philadelphia is sent by his mother to live with his aunt, uncle and cousins in their Bel-Air mansion.
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515 ( 11)

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6   5   4   3   2   1  
1996   1995   1994   1993   1992   1991   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 14 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Will Smith ...  Will Smith / ... 148 episodes, 1990-1996
James Avery ...  Philip Banks / ... 148 episodes, 1990-1996
Alfonso Ribeiro ...  Carlton Banks / ... 148 episodes, 1990-1996
Tatyana Ali ...  Ashley Banks / ... 148 episodes, 1990-1996
Karyn Parsons ...  Hilary Banks / ... 148 episodes, 1990-1996
Joseph Marcell ...  Geoffrey Butler / ... 148 episodes, 1990-1996
Daphne Reid ...  Vivian Banks / ... 75 episodes, 1993-1996
Janet Hubert ...  Vivian Banks 74 episodes, 1990-1996
Ross Bagley ...  Nicky Banks / ... 49 episodes, 1994-1996
DJ Jazzy Jeff ...  Jazz 46 episodes, 1990-1996
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Storyline

In this popular African-American sitcom, Will Smith (played by Will Smith in his first acting gig) is a street-smart teenager from West Philadelphia, who is sent to live with his wealthy relatives at their Bel-Air mansion in Los Angeles, California by his mother after getting into a fight with some thugs whilst playing basketball. His relatives include Philip Banks (played by James Avery), Will's strict and gruff uncle, who is a successful lawyer (later Judge) and Vivian Banks (played by Janet Hubert and later by Daphne Reid), Will's no-nonsense, forthright, and career-minded aunt who is a University Professor. Other members of the Banks family include Carlton Banks (played by Alfonso Ribeiro), Will's preppy and arrogant cousin, Hilary Banks (played by Karyn Parsons), Will's attractive but dull-witted, eldest cousin, Ashley Banks (played by Tatyana Ali), Will's youngest cousin who often looks u to Will, and Geoffrey, the family's cynical Butler. Will's working class background ends up... Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

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Taglines:

Influence goes both ways.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The address of the Banks' house is 805 St. Cloud Road, Bel Air, California. See more »

Goofs

The living room changes, and a set of stairs appears. See more »

Quotes

Will: Aunt Viv, I got the cake you wanted for the family reunion.
Vivian Banks: Good!
Will: And guess what's in here?
[holds up a small case wallet]
Carlton: It's round, it's rubber and you'll never use it!
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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

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: James Franco/Nicki Minaj (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Written by Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff
Performed by Will Smith
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User Reviews

My all-time favourite TV series
10 September 2003 | by quixoboySee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 September 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(148 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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