Air Dates: Sept. 10, 1990–May 20, 1996
Stars: Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribiero, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali, Janet Hubert-Whitten, Joseph Marcell, Daphne Maxwell Reid, DJ Jazzy Jeff
During its six-season run on NBC, The French Prince of Bel-Air was a juggernaut. Viewers learned the theme song without trying. Smith even allowed "Summertime," his classic track recorded with DJ Jazzy Jeff, to fuel the show's popularity and vice versa. Hell, the legendary DJ landed a role on the show as Will's friend, the one whose undying love for Hilary got him regularly ejected from the Banks' residence.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was the perfect complement and eventual successor to The Cosby Show, as it depicted an upper-class African-American family that wasn't out of touch with the realities of black America. It wasn't quite as funny as Martin, but it dealt with a broader range of subjects. That makes it one of the better television shows of all-time-period. -—JK