It's been more than 20 years since the hit sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air went off the air, with the series finale airing in May 1996 after a successful six-season run. There has been talk of a Fresh Prince reboot in the past, but Will Smith revealed that isn't happening, while promoting Suicide Squad last summer. While a reboot may never happen, there was recently an original cast reunion, and we have the photo to prove it, thanks to Alfonso Ribeiro.
On Monday, Alfoson Ribeiro took to Instagram to reveal a new photo with the entire Fresh Prince cast, with the sole exception of the late James Avery, who sadly passed away in 2013 at the age of 68, due to complications from open heart surgery. The photo featured Alfonso Ribeiro alongside Will Smith (Will), Tatyana Ali (Ashley Banks), Karyn Parsons (Hilary Banks), Daphne Reid (Vivian Banks) and Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey Butler). Here's what Alfonso Ribeiro had to say in a brief statement, paying tribute to the late James Avery, who played Phillip Banks, a.k.a. Uncle Phil, on the hit series..
"Always amazing to spend an afternoon with my Fresh Prince family. Wishing that James Avery was still with us to make this complete."
Alfonso Ribeiro wouldn't say any more about the reunion, but the fact that the entire cast still gets together from time to time may have fans holding out for a proper small screen reunion. Reunions and revivals have become quite popular these days, with NBC bringing back Will & Grace next season, and Fox finding success with their X-Files limited series, just to name a few. Given that this Instagram photo has more than 38,000 likes, it's clear there is still an audience who wants to see the Banks family get back together, but it remains unclear if that will happen or not, but Will Smith made it quite clear that a reboot won't be happening.
The initial report about this reboot surfaced in August 2015, revealing that Will Smith and his Overbrook Entertainment partner James Lassiter will produce this new version of the sitcom, with the production company taking their pitch out to different networks. While NBC president Bob Greenblatt revealed during the 2015 TCA summer tour that the network is not involved, he did say that he would be interested in talking to Will Smith about this TV reboot. Nearly a year later, when doing press for Suicide Squad, Will Smith made it clear that it will never happen, comparing the odds of the reboot happening to the odds of "hell freezing over." It's possible that none of the networks sparked to their pitch, or that they abandoned the project before the pitch phase, but at any rate, don't expect to see a Fresh Prince TV reboot anytime soon.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran for six season between 1990 and 1996, with the series finale airing just weeks before his summer blockbuster Independence Day would make him a bona fide movie star. The final episodes of the show saw the Banks family all moving in separate directions, with Geoffrey moving back to London, Hilary and Ashley both moving to New York, Carlton attending Princeton University, while Phil and Vivian decide to sell their Bel-Air house and move to the East Coast to be closer to their children. Will decides to remain in California to finish his schooling in the final episode, as Phillip helps him find an apartment. Take a look at Alfonso Ribeiro's photo below showcasing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air cast reunion.