Don Cheadle reflects on the failed The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air spin-off, mentioning that he directed the pilot episode and wrote the show’s opening song. While the spin-off was unsuccessful, Cheadle’s career flourished in other areas, including high-profile films and collaborations with Steven Soderbergh. The spin-off The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was unnecessary to the success of Cheadle, who rose to fame through various other projects, including those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The series has breathed new life into its dramatic remake, and Don Cheadle reflects on his failed The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air spin-off. Cheadle starred in a sitcom starring Will Smith as Ice Tray, Will’s old friend from Philadelphia who is initially criticized by Aunt Vivian and Uncle Phil when he starts dating Hillary, but who earns their respect when they discover the duo’s emotional past. Although he only appeared in one episode of the first season, Cheadle’s character will be the first true expansion of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air franchise.
During a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Don Cheadle spoke about the cancellation of his spin-off The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The actor recalled being surprised when he once found a sitcom pilot online and shared that he co-wrote the show’s theme song with his producing partner and friend Kenny Finch, though he admitted he wasn’t sure the team he “maybe I would.” this. Here’s what Cheadle shared in the quotes and video below:
“Yes, I filmed the pilot episode. I think it can be found online. It suddenly popped up and I thought, “Oh wow, here’s the pilot.” Yes, (I wrote the introduction). At that moment I worked a lot in the studios, I thought – again, I will never completely abandon the idea of \u200b\u200bmaking music, it has always been in the background. I wanted to try the opening song, and they said, “Come on.” So me and my producer friend Kenny Finch wrote the opening song and that’s it – I don’t know if we were going to use it at the end. (Laughs) But I’m the one singing and you can hear it all (at the beginning of the pilot episode).”
The failed The New Prince of Bel-Air spin-off In the House was, unfortunately, only the first of Cheadle’s attempts to star in a successful sitcom spin-off; in fact, after her appearance on The Smith Show, she followed The Golden Palace, a spin-off sequel to The Golden Girls. Despite airing shortly after the original show, the show struggled with ratings during its first season, causing CBS executives to change their mind about a last-minute renewal for a second season. Golden Palace then found success in re-evaluation after its appearance on Hulu.
Although “In the House” failed to pass the pilot stage, it went on to partially support Cheadle’s career. Rather than turn down other opportunities due to a busy sitcom schedule, the star managed to gain mainstream recognition on the big screen with acclaimed films such as the neo-noir thriller The Devil in a Blue Dress, in which critics praised him more than Denzel Washington, the historical drama by John Singleton “Rosewood” and “Out of Sight” by Steven Soderbergh.
The latter project proved fruitful, as he went on to collaborate with Soderbergh on four more films, including the Ocean trilogy and No Sudden Motion. Cheadle has also had success with a wide range of projects on the big and small screens, most notably in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he will finally have a solo Armor Wars title in the near future. While Cheadle’s spin-off The Fresh Prince of Beverly Hills may not have had the same impact as Smith’s sitcom, it’s clear there was no need to make Cheadle a household name.