Lifetime Television has confirmed that they are making an Unauthorized Saved by the Bell television movie based on Dustin Diamond’s scandalous book Behind the Bell released in 2009. In the book Diamond, who played Screech, revealed a whole host of secrets about NBC’s cherished series that ran from 1989-1993. The biopic will be focused on a number of off-camera incidents that the six young cast members of the show were involved in during the creation of the original show. The new TV movie is scheduled to premier at 9PM Eastern Stand Time on Monday September 1, which happens to be Labor Day, a perennial mark of the end of summer and time to go back to school for youngsters.
Saved by the Bell was a teen sitcom that turned its cast members from young actors into world-renowned celebrities. The show’s success spawned its own follow-up series called Saved by the Bell: The College Years as well as Saved by the Bell: The New Class and two separate television movies entitled Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style and Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas.
The Lifetime Television movie, Unauthorized Saved by the Bell, is being filmed in Vancouver and tries to observe the life of fledgling actors, new to the scene of Hollywood, who are trying to preserve the clean image of their characters while simultaneously developing among the enticements of drugs, sex and money that comes with success in show business. Diamond has apparently done a batch of new interviews for the film that tells the real story of what went on behind the scenes in the show. The film may change the way many people who grew up with the show on Saturday mornings think about their beloved characters who roamed the halls of Bayside High.
Robin Lippin who also did the casting for the original Saved by the Bell, has done the casting for the new Lifetime Television movie. Zack Morris who was played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar will have the young Degrassi: Next Generation star, Dylan Everett, play him. Apparently Everett is truly embracing his role and even has went so far as to call himself Zach Morris 2.0 on Twitter. Kelly Kapowski, Zach Morris’ main love connection in the show, was played by Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. She will be played by a new comer to the acting world, Alyssa Lynch.
Julian Works who has acted in Modern Family, Southland and most recently Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones will play as Mario Lopez. Lopez was everyone’s favorite jock, A.C. Slater, in the original show. Tiera Skovbye was cast as Elizabeth Berkley, who played the lovely Jessie Spano in Saved by the Bell. Skovbye has been an actress since age seven and has appeared in Forever 16 and Supernatural. Sam Kindseth will be Dustin Diamond in the Lifetime Television biopic based on many interviews from the man who played Screech Powers. Kindseth is best known as Fiore in the Showtime series Shameless. Last but not least in the shy Lisa Turtle who was played by Lark Voorhies. Taylor Russel, who has little experience besides being in a TV movie back in 2013 called Blink, will play as Voorhies.
The TV movie may feature a number of scandals that Diamond’s book alleges to have happened including many sexual encounters between the cast members, the smoking of marijuana during the No Hope With Dope episode and the taking of steroids by cast members to get bigger. All of these stories and more will possibly be uncovered when the Lifetime Television movie, Unauthorized Saved by the Bell, is aired on Labor Day.
By B. Taylor Rash