For those of us who grew up in the early ’90s, Bayside High was practically the only place to be on a Saturday morning. Yes, NBC’s Saved by the Bell was something of a phenomenon, with the adventures of Zack, Kelly and the gang entertaining us across four seasons, two movies and a college spin-off. And, happily, it turns out that most of the original cast have forged friendships off screen, too.
It seems, too, that many of the Saved by the Bell kids remain buddies even decades on, as in 2019 the likes of Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Amber Thiessen and Mario Lopez all joined forces for a 30th anniversary reunion meal – and sent the internet into meltdown as a result. But, sadly, not every major cast member was in attendance. Here’s a look at the story behind the teen series and its stars’ continuing closeness.
The origins of Saved by the Bell began back in 1986, when producer Peter Engel was asked to create a new sitcom inspired by NBC president Brandon Tartikoff’s sixth-grade teacher. And despite an unsuccessful pilot, Good Morning, Miss Bliss – starring Hayley Mills as the titular lead character – ultimately aired a 13-episode run on the Disney Channel. Unfortunately, though, the comedy was swiftly canceled after failing to pick up enough of an audience.