The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is an American television sitcom that originally aired on NBC from September 10, 1990 to May 20, 1996. The show starred Will Smith as a street-smart teenager from West Philadelphia who is sent to live with his wealthy relatives in a Bel Air mansion. His lifestyle often clashes with that of his relatives there. 148 episodes were produced over six seasons.
Will Smith was a popular and successful rapper during the late 1980s, but, because he had spent money too freely and grossly underpaid his income taxes, he was assessed a penalty of $2.8 million by the IRS. The agency subsequently seized many of his possessions and garnished his income. This left Smith nearly bankrupt when, in 1990, he was approached by the television network NBC who signed him on to a contract and built a sitcom around him.