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Television

NBC’s Peacock is reviving ‘Saved by the Bell,’ and we have questions

Mario Lopez
“Saved by the Bell” star Mario Lopez.
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Beloved ‘90s sitcom “Saved by the Bell” is getting yet another sequel. This time the high school comedy will return to the fictional halls of Bayside High to contend with the latest misadventures of one Zack Morris.

The original series’ protagonist, played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar is at the heart of the logline for the Peacock series, which stars original cast members Mario Lopez (“Extra,” “Access Hollywood”) as sensitive jock A.C. Slater and Elizabeth Berkley as overachieving class president Jessie Spano.

Here’s the new comedy’s synopsis: “When California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the highest performing schools in the state — including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the over privileged Bayside kids a much needed and hilarious dose of reality.”

Time out.

NBCUniversal plans to heavily promote its streaming service Peacock alongside NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
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First of all, the preppy, fourth-wall-breaking Zack somehow became governor, and that is a feat in and of itself that should be explored in a companion series immediately. We’d be more interested in knowing what kind of campaign slogans and platforms — other than “Zack Attack” and “Friends Forever” — he used to get elected.

‘Saved by the Bell’ cast
The original cast members of NBC’s “Saved by the Bell” featured on a DVD box set.
(Lions Gate)

Also, is Kelly Kapowski actually California’s First Lady? Are the high school sweethearts even still married? Or is she (and by she, we mean star Tiffani Thiessen) too busy with her Cooking Channel series? Is she at all being consulted at the Max?

OK, time in. And back to the show.

Emmy winner Tracey Wigfield (“30 Rock,” “Good News”) will be writing and executive producing the Universal Television series, which also sees the return of original producers Peter Engel and Franco Bario.

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The show is expected to run for 10 episodes, according to an Instagram post from Berkley, who said she and Lopez will play grown-up versions of their original characters. It’s unclear at this point if and how Gosselaar will be reprising his role. NBC would not immediately comment on ongoing deals.

Viewers will return to the affluent halls of Bayside High, which we notably saw in a 2015 reunion sketch on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” It also appears that the show is ready to reckon with political and social justice issues that were largely absent from the NBC original when it aired from 1989 to 1992 and were still glossed over in the succeeding “The College Years” spin-off and “The New Class” reboots.

We’ll spare you the disjointed narratives of “Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style” and the Malibu Sands and Tori episodes. We’ll also momentarily ignore Lifetime’s tragic “Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story.”

Meanwhile, Peacock, NBCUniversal’s streaming service, also has pilot plans for a “Punky Brewster” sequel, a multicamera/hybrid continuation of the iconic ‘80s sitcom about a bright young girl raised by a foster dad. In the new version, Punky, again played by Soleil Moon Frye, is a single mother of three “trying to get her life back on track when she meets a young girl who reminds her a lot of her younger self, " Peacock said in a statement.

Other shows that will be available on the new streaming service, which launches in April, include “The Office,” a reteaming of its star Ed Helms and writer Michael Schur on “Rutherford Falls,” as well as a re-imagining of “Battlestar Galactica” from “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail.

From the return of a high school favorite to fancy gelato, here’s what’s happening in the L.A. food and drink world: School’s out: If you grew up in the ‘90s, you may have spent your afternoons watching Zack Morris swoon over Kelly Kapowski at a booth at the Max diner on the show “Saved by the Bell.”


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