TV Flashback: Does This Show Ring A “Bell”?

If you are a child of the 90’s, you remember this classic Saturday morning staple. Saved By The Bell ran for 5 Seasons as a part of TNBC and followed with multiple spin-offs like The College Years and the The New Class. It was also the lead in for two TV movies with the original cast titled Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style and Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas. But where did it all begin and more importantly, where are they now?

Saved by the Bell followed the exploits of teens in high school and their relationship with their principal, Mr. Belding. This teen comedy was meant to be funny and dramatic and showcase teenage life, but with a message. The cast included some then “unknowns”. Zack Morris was played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. He is the charming schemer who always has “a plan” for everything. He was also a self proclaimed ladies man which got him into trouble with the ladies more than helping him out. AC Slater was played by Mario Lopez and was the token jock of the group of friends. He’s the school’s star athlete and Zack’s best friend. Kelly Kapowski was played by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. She was the cheerleader and “All-American Girl” and dated both Zack and Slater. Screech Powers was played by Dustin Diamond. Screech is the school nerd and has an undying love for Lisa Turtle. Lisa Turtle was played by Lark Voorhies. She was the trendy, talkative fashion expert and the gossip queen of Bayside. Jessie Spano was played by Elizabeth Berkley and was the know-it-all crusader. She is Zack’s childhood friend and next door neighbor. She also dated Zack and Slater.

The show began to form in 1989. The original pilot was titled “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” and starred a few names you may recognize including Brian Austin Greene (90210) and Jaeleel White (Family Matters). After reviewing the pilot, NBC dropped the project all together. The Disney Channel grabbed on to the show and began filming and airing but cancelled after 13 episodes. NBC took notice and decided to revamp their old project. After many re-castings and re-writes, Saved the Bell took form as we know it best. The original title for the show was “When the Bell Rings” by executive producer Peter Engel but original creator Brandon Tartikoff convinced him to name it as we know it.

So where are they now? I took some time to find out.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar was seen in a few primetime shows like NYPD Blue and TNT’s Raising the Bar. Mark’s next appearance is set to be on an episode of Weeds in the 2010/2011 season and as a guest star in TNT’s Rizolli & Isles.

Mario Lopez received 2nd place on Dancing With the Stars in 2006. He also appeared on Broadway in A Chorus Line and is currently the host of America’s Best Dance Crew on MTV.? Mario is definitely the stand out star from the series in my opinion.

Tiffani-Amber Thiessen has made a few guest star appearances on a few shows but was on ABC’s What About Brian before it was cancelled in 2007. Tiffani now appears on White Collar on the USA Network.

Dustin Diamond has had a little bit of a rougher road. A few years ago, he was reported to be selling his personal items online to help make his mortgage payments on his home. He was also a member of Celebrity Fit Club in its 5th season.

Lark Voorhies was seen in the movie How High playing a Harvard student and also appeared in a number of music videos with Boyz II Men and Dru Hill. She has also been rumored to play Whitney Houston in an upcoming biopic.

Elizabeth Berkly made a big splash starring in the movie Showgirls in 1995. She has made various appearances on CSI, Without a Trace and Law and Order (just to name a few). She is also the host of Bravo’s Step It Up and Dance.

In August of 2009, the cast reunited for a photo shoot with People magazine. Dustin Diamond was not invited to the reunion due to bad relationships with the cast. Dustin was edited out of the 1989 cast photo that was the cover’s inset contrast to how the cast look 20 years later. Dustin released a book that fall titled Behind the Bell dishing dirt on his time on the show and his cast members. To this day, Dustin is only on speaking terms with Dennis Haskins aka Mr. Belding.

What was your favorite Saved by the Bell episode? I personally enjoyed the Friendship Bracelet episode.

  • Anthony

    I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I’m so SsScCarrreed!