It’s been 30 years since we fell in love with the cast of “Saved by the Bell’ – including Mario Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
“Saved by the Bell” fans are so excited. And they just can’t hide it.
Comcast’s streaming service Peacock is reviving the campy Saturday morning high school comedy with a new series featuring some of the original cast members, including Mario Lopez (Slater) and Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (Jessie Spano), who return to Bayside High as adults. But it won’t be quite as silly and simple as the original, stars and producers told the Television Critics Association Monday.
“It’s not even a reboot; it’s a reimagining,” executive producer Tracey Wigfield said. “While the original show was a Saturday morning show for kids, this is a single-camera, kind of edgier comedy … if you never saw the (original), it’s just a funny show about high school in 2020.”
Cast members of NBC’s “Saved by the Bell” will reunite in the upcoming reboot of the show. The new version will feature original cast members Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez. (Photo: Chris Haston, NBC)
“I wrote on ’30 Rock’ for six years and then I wrote on ‘The Mindy Project,’ and I created ‘Great News,”‘ Wigfield said. “I have my tone and I have my kind of comedic voice that I like to write in. You will feel that here.”
But Wigfield and Berkley Lauren were quick to assure fans of the original series that they’ll have plenty of cartoony fun, Easter eggs and in-jokes to satisfy (time will still freeze at the behest of one of the new teen characters, for instance).
“We still maintain that heart with all of the humor,” Berkley Lauren said. “It can bridge both the people who are nostalgic and then the new generation. … People who are nostalgic will get fed all those gems that they are looking for.”
“It was very important to treat ‘Saved by the Bell’ with the reverence – people really love this show,” Wigfield added. “We want to poke fun at it in the way you only can if you deeply love something. … We’re all in on the same joke.”
A trailer released this month showed plenty of nostalgic callbacks to the original, including to Jessie’s infamous caffeine-pills episode, which remains part of the online zeitgeist as a meme.
“There’s a great episode that really pays homage (to caffeine pills), where Jessie still has some interesting feelings about that time,” Berkley Lauren said. “There are a few ways that Tracey brilliantly embedded that into some of the scenes.”
Peacock has not set a premiere date for “Bell”; the final few episodes have not yet been filmed due to the coronavirus-fueled production shutdown.
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