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The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Fresh Prince Bel Aire logo.svg
Created by Andy Borowitz
Susan Borowitz
Based on A format by Benny Medina and Jeff Pollack
Starring Will Smith
James Avery
Janet Hubert-Whitten
Alfonso Ribeiro
Karyn Parsons
Tatyana M. Ali
Joseph Marcell
Daphne Maxwell Reid
Ross Bagley
Theme music composer The Fresh Prince in association with A Touch of Jazz, Inc.
Opening theme "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", performed by The Fresh Prince
Composer(s) Quincy Jones III
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 148 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) 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)
Producer(s) Werner Walian
Lisa Rosenthal
Joel Madison
Leilani Downer
Joanne Curley-Kerner
Joel Markowitz
Location(s) Hollywood Center Studios
Hollywood, California (1990–1991)
Sunset Gower Studios
Hollywood, California (1991–1993)
NBC Studios
Burbank, California (1993–1996)
Camera setup Videotape; Multi-camera
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s) The Stuffed Dog Company
Quincy Jones Productions (seasons 1–3)
Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment (seasons 4–6)
NBC Productions
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution (1994–present)
Original network NBC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original release September 10, 1990 (1990-09-10) – May 20, 1996 (1996-05-20)

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an American sitcom that originally aired on NBC from September 10, 1990, to May 20, 1996. The show stars Will Smith as a fictionalized version of himself, a street-smart teenager from West Philadelphia who is sent to move in with his wealthy aunt and uncle in their Bel Air mansion after getting into a fight on a local basketball court. In the series, his lifestyle often clashes with the lifestyle of his relatives in Bel Air. The series ran for six seasons and aired 148 episodes.

In December 1989, NBC approached Will Smith, a popular rapper during the late 1980s. The pilot episode began taping on May 1, 1990. Season 1 aired in July 1990 and ended in March 1991. The series finale was taped on Thursday, March 21, 1996.

The theme song was written and performed by Smith under his rap stage name, The Fresh Prince. The music was composed by QDIII (Quincy Jones III), who is 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, as well as DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince in 1998. A 3:23 version was released in the Netherlands in 1992, reaching #3 on the charts.

In the second season, 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.

The theme song and opening sequence set the premise of the show. Will Smith is a street-smart teenager, born and raised in West Philadelphia. While playing basketball, Will misses a shot and the ball hits a group of people, causing a confrontation that frightens his mother, who sends him to live with his aunt and uncle in the "town" of Bel Air, Los Angeles.