In the first episode of the second season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, we can see an almost completely redesigned set when compared to the first season.

S01E01 - The Fresh Prince Project (1990) Still from S01E01 - The Fresh Prince Project (1990) Still from episode

S02E01 - Did The Earth Move For You? (1991) Still from S02E01 - Did The Earth Move For You? (1991) Still from episode

Father Phillip Banks (actor James Avery) even mentions the changes during the episode and speaks out to his wife Vivian Banks (actress Janet Hubert-Whitten).

Vivian Banks: [walking downstairs] I'm Ready.
Phillip Banks: Ah, finally. What took you so long?
Vivian Banks: Oh I just spent an hour chasing my outfit on the new rotating dressrack.
Phillip Banks: Why didn't you set the variable speed adjustment?
Vivian Banks: Phillip, these gadgets are making my life miserable.
Phillip Banks: Well honey, you're the one who said we should redecorate.
Vivian Banks: Well yeah! I said we should keep up with the Joneses, honey, not the Jetsons!

IMDb Quotes, Did The Earth Move For You? (1991)

They mention that it was done to keep up with their neighbours, but was there any productional reason (e.g. better camera angles, more light) for this change in set? Did the producers give any reason for these changes?

  • 8
    Probably a bigger budget after the success of season 1 was the reason. I have no source, this is just my guess based on logic.
    – TK-421
    Aug 13, 2019 at 6:51
  • 3
    Do you know that the 2 rooms shown are intended to be the same? Both of those rooms could exist in a house like that; they could have simply started hanging out in the other room more.
    – GendoIkari
    Aug 13, 2019 at 14:53
  • @GendoIkari Of course I do, because that's why I am asking this question. Though it doesn't make sense that both rooms could still be in the same building, since the architectural layout does not match the movement of the characters.
    – Roy
    Aug 13, 2019 at 15:49
  • just in case there is confusion, they aren't keeping up with specific neighbours named Jones, but "keeping up with the Joneses" is a saying meaning comparing yourself with others in your social class etc. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeping_up_with_the_Joneses
    – NiceOrc
    Aug 14, 2019 at 0:15
  • 1
    It could just be that the original set didn't look enough like a fancy house. Certainly to my eye the first image looks like a completely normal room and the second one has features like the curved staircase and archway equipped patio door that scream "fancy house".
    – Eric Nolan
    Dec 3, 2020 at 10:50

1 Answer 1


It is very common for first episodes or seasons to be shot on a smaller budget (pilot) in order to sell the show to executives or networks. Once a show is picked up, the budget is typically increased and the writers/showrunners/etc often also re-tool the show.

For example in the pilot episode of Psych, Lucinda Barry (played by Anne Dudek) is replaced by Juliet (played by Maggie Lawson) due to notes from test audiences (https://screenrant.com/psych-anne-dudek-replaced-juliet-reason-why/).

  • The first few episodes of Seinfeld... that set looked rough.
    – blankip
    Aug 25, 2021 at 18:31
  • You may have a point of why there can be changes of sets, but I don't see actual proof regarding The Fresh Prince in your answer.
    – Roy
    Oct 29, 2021 at 20:28

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