NBC has made a couple of key changes on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” as the sitcom heads into its fourth season — naming a new exec producer and replacing a cast member who reportedly was unable to agree on a new contract.
Daphne Maxwell-Reid will replace Janet Hubert-Whitten as Vivian Banks, the wealthy Bel-Air aunt of the character played by rapper Will Smith.
In addition, Gary H. Miller takes over from Winifred Hervey as exec producer. Miller was most recently a creative consultant on TriStar TV’s “Good Advice” and before that spent two seasons as supervising producer on NBC’s “A Different World.”
Network sources said Hubert-Whitten was dropped after being unable to reach a new deal with NBC Prods., the network’s in-house unit, which produces the show. The actress’s agent declined comment.
Maxwell-Reid previously starred with her husband, actor-producer Tim Reid, in the CBS series “Frank’s Place,””Snoops” and has appeared in various TV movies and series.
Hervey spent two seasons as exec producer on “Fresh Prince,” beginning in June 1991. She left recently to pursue an overall development and production deal with NBC Prods., which produces the comedy with Quincy Jones Entertainment and the Stuffed Dog Co.
Jones remains an exec producer on the sitcom, NBC’s second-highest-rated series last season and TV’s top-rated show among teenagers. “Fresh Prince” finished the ’92-93 season with an average 14.6 rating and 23 share in households.