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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from September 10, 1990 to May 20, 1996.

PlotEdit

The theme song and opening sequence is set to the premise of the show. Will Smith is a street-smart teenager, born and raised in West Philadelphia. While he is playing basketball, Smith loses a shot, and the basketball is tossed at a group of people, which causes a confrontation, frightening Will's mother, causing her to send her son to live with his aunt and uncle in the town of Bel-Air, Los Angeles. He flies from Philadelphia to Los Angeles on a one-way ticket in first class. He then whistles for a taxi that is described in the opening sequence as having a vanity plate with the word "FRESH" on it. He pulls up into the house about 7 or 8, and he yells to the cabby "Yo homes smell you later." He looked at his kingdom; he was finally there to sit on his throne as the prince of Bel-Air.

CastEdit

Will Smith as Will Smith
James Avery as Philip Banks
Janet Hubert as Vivian Banks (Seasons 1–3)
Daphne Maxwell Reid as Vivian Banks (Seasons 4–6)
Alfonso Ribeiro as Carlton Banks
Karyn Parsons as Hilary Banks
Tatyana M. Ali as Ashley Banks
Joseph Marcell as Geoffrey Butler
Ross Bagley as Nicholas "Nicky" Banks (Seasons 5–6)

Recurring cast

DJ Jazzy Jeff as Jazz (Seasons 1–6)
Vernee Watson as Viola Smith (Seasons 1–6)
Will's mother
Nia Long as Lisa Wilkes (Seasons 5)
Will's girlfriend and later fiancée, then new step-sister
John Amos as Fred Wilkes (Seasons 5)
Lisa's father
Tyra Banks as Jackie Ames (Seasons 4)
Will's ex-girlfriend from Philly

Guest starring

Perry Moore as Tyriq Johnson (Season 2)
Dave Florek as Coach Smiley (Seasons 1–2)

DevelopmentEdit

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Title card logo

Will Smith, a popular rapper during the late 1980s, was approached by NBC in December of 1989.

The pilot episode began taping on May 1, 1990. Season 1 production began in July 1990 with #446802, and ended in March 1991 with #446824. The series finale was filmed on Thursday, March 21, 1996, specifically with production codes #60122 and #60123.

The theme song "Yo Home to Bel-Air" was written and performed by Smith as "The Fresh Prince." The music was composed by QDIII (Quincy Jones III), who was credited with Smith at the end of each episode. The music often used to bridge scenes together during the show is based on a similar chord structure. The full version of the theme song was used unedited in the first three episodes. The full-length version, which is 2:52, was included on Will Smith's Greatest Hits album and attributed to him only. A 3:23 version was released in the Netherlands in 1992, reaching #3 on the charts.

The mansion used for the exterior shots of "the Banks mansion" is a house located at 251 North Bristol Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90049, which was built in 1937.

Interiors were shot on a sound stage on pre-made sets. After Season 1, the mansion sets were completely rebuilt. In Season 2, the kitchen and living room sets were rebuilt much larger with a more contemporary style as opposed to the much more formal style of the first season, and were connected directly by an archway, allowing scenes to be shot continuously between the sets.

ProductionEdit

PRODUCERS

Quincy Jones
Andy Borowitz
Susan Borowitz
Kevin Wendle (Season 1)
Winifred Hervey (Seasons 2–3)
Gary H. Miller (Season 4–5)
Cheryl Gard (Mid-Late Season 5)
Jeff Pollack
Will Smith (Season 6)
Werner Walian
Lisa Rosenthal
Joel Madison
Leilani Downer
Joanne Curley-Kerner
Joel Markowitz
Benny Medina
Jeff Pollack

LOCATION

Hollywood Center Studios (1990–1991)
Sunset Gower Studios (1991–1993)
NBC Studios (1993–1996)

RUNTIME

23 minutes

COMPANY

The Stuffed Dog Company
Quincy Jones Productions (seasons 1–3)
Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment (seasons 4–6)
NBC Productions
Warner Bros. Television

STUDIO

Warner Bros. Television Distribution (1994–present)

FORMAT

4:3 (SDTV)
720 (HDTV)

EpisodesEdit

Main article: Category:Episodes
Season Episodes First air date Last air date Network
Season 1 25 September 10, 1990 May 6, 1991 NBC
Season 2 24 September 9, 1991 May 4, 1992
Season 3 24 September 14, 1992 May 10, 1993
Season 4 26 September 20, 1993 May 23, 1994
Season 5 25 September 19, 1994 May 15, 1995
Season 6 24 September 18, 1995 May 20, 1996

VideoEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit