Saved by the Bell: The College Years
Saved by the Bell: The College Years is an American sitcom sequel to the Saved by the Bell series that ran from May 22, 1993 to February 8, 1994, lasting for only one season. It is the third incarnation of the franchise. It is also the only series of the franchise to air on primetime television instead of Saturday mornings. It aired on NBC on Tuesday evenings.
|Saved by the Bell:|
The College Years
|Created by||Sam Bobrick|
|Developed by||Elaine Aronson|
|Written by||Elaine Aronson|
|Directed by||Miguel Higuera|
|Starring||Mark-Paul Gosselaar |
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||19|
|Executive producer(s)||Peter Engel|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Peter Engel Productions|
|Distributor||NBCUniversal Television Distribution|
|Picture format||NTSC (480i)|
|Original release||May 22, 1993 – February 8, 1994|
|Preceded by||Saved by the Bell|
|Followed by||Saved by the Bell: The New Class|
Saved by the Bell: The College Years is very similar to the original Saved by the Bell series; the plotline has to do with the six characters getting into trouble each week at the fictitious California University (Cal U), under the watchful eye of Mike Rogers (Bob Golic), their dorm adviser. The series includes Zack Morris, Samuel "Screech" Powers, and A.C. Slater (from the original Saved by the Bell series) as the main characters, along with newcomers Leslie Burke (Anne Tremko), Alex Tabor (Kiersten Warren) and Danielle Marks (Essence Atkins). After the pilot, however, Atkins's role was eliminated, and Tiffani-Amber Thiessen returned to the show in her role of Kelly Kapowski. Danielle was written out of the series as having transferred to another college.
During the first and second episodes, the series centers around Zack's schemes to try to get Leslie, who despises Zack due to his sneaky schemes, to fall for him. Later, when Kelly decides to transfer to Cal U, Zack has to make a decision about who he really loves, as he still has feelings for Kelly. When Kelly and Leslie find out about Zack secretly liking both of them, they decide to both dump him. Starting with the third episode, the plotline becomes more centered around the whole gang, instead of just Leslie and Zack, and their various college issues.
In the beginning of the series, dorm adviser Mike Rogers is portrayed as tough-as-nails, although later in the series, he becomes softer and takes a liking to the kids. Mike played for the San Francisco 49ers at one point, but later decided to quit to become the Cal U dorm adviser. In one episode, he tries to train so he could play football again, but decides it was too much work and stays with his current job. Beginning with episode 15 ("The Rave"), Holland Taylor became involved with the series, portraying a Mr. Belding-type character named Dean McMann. She takes the role of the tough-as-nails authority figure that Mike originally was to be at the beginning of the series. Like Mr. Belding, she takes a disliking to Zack's schemes and often punishes him in various ways because of his antics.
An overarching theme of the series is Zack's efforts to win back the affection of Kelly, who is in love with their anthropology professor Jeremiah Lasky (Patrick Fabian). Eventually, Zack wins Kelly over again, and they become engaged.
The series was cancelled after only one season, due to low ratings, averaging only a 7.8/12 rating/share, and ranking 88th out of 118 shows in the yearly ratings. It had to deal with huge competition from both Full House and the first half of Rescue 911, both of which ranked in the Nielsen Top 30 that season. Only 19 episodes were produced. Episode 19 ("Wedding Plans") left the series with a cliffhanger ending, where Zack and Kelly had not yet gotten married. To give closure to the series, a 90-minute TV movie, Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas, was produced to wrap up the series. All the main actors agreed to come back for the movie, except Anne Tremko, who declined a role in the movie. This series was the last to feature main characters Zack Morris, A.C. Slater and Kelly Kapowski, except for occasional appearances from Zack and Slater in Saved by the Bell: The New Class. Zack, Slater and Lisa (who only appeared in episodes 19 and 20) all appeared again in "Goodbye Bayside: Part 2," which marked the last appearance to date of Zack and Lisa. Slater appeared one more time in "Fire at the Max: Part 2" of The New Class. Kelly never again appeared after "Wedding in Las Vegas." Screech, however, would return in The New Class seasons 2–7 as Mr. Belding's administrative assistant on a work-study program from Cal U.
- Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris
- Mario López as A.C. Slater
- Dustin Diamond as Samuel "Screech" Powers
- Tiffani-Amber Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski
- Anne Tremko as Leslie Burke
- Kiersten Warren as Alex Tabor
- Bob Golic as Mike Rogers
- Essence Atkins as Danielle Marks (pilot only)
- Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky
- Holland Taylor as Dean Susan McMann
|No.||Title||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||"Pilot"||May 22, 1993||TBA||6.7/14|
9.4 million (#67)
Zack, Slater and Screech enroll at Cal U and are surprised to discover that they have three beautiful girls as roommates.
Also starring: Essence Atkins as Danielle MarksGuest starring: Steve Easton as the coach, Elena Lyons as Sonya, and Chad Wood as an unnamed wrestler
|2||"Guess Who's Coming to College?"||September 14, 1993||60501||9.9/16|
14.2 million (#47)
Just when Zack and Leslie begin to have a close relationship, Kelly Kapowski shows up and enrolls at Cal U, and Zack finds himself falling in love with her again. Zack must make the tough decision of whether to continue going out with Leslie, or become involved with Kelly again. Meanwhile, Slater enrolls in classes that are too easy for him and Alex tries to get into a drama class.
Guest starring: George Kee Cheung as the Chinese professorNote: Tiffani Amber-Thiessen joins the cast as Kelly in this episode, and Essence Atkins's role of Danielle Marks is written out after the pilot as having transferred to another college.
|3||"Zack, Lies and Videotape"||September 14, 1993||60502||9.9/16|
14.2 million (#47)
Zack's anthropology professor, Jeremiah Lasky gives Zack an assignment to find out what women really want. Zack at first takes it as a joke, but in the end, Zack realizes the importance of the assignment. Meanwhile, Slater tries to gain weight so he can become a heavyweight wrestler.
Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah LaskyGuest starring: Matthea Webb, Hillary Matthews, Kelli Kirkland and Jenny Cooper as unnamed women #1–4, Kevin Marshall Brady as an unnamed student, and Damon Preston as an unnamed wrestler
|4||"Rush Week"||September 21, 1993||60503||9.0/15|
12.8 million (#61)
|Matt Letscher as Rick, Charles Carpenter and David Markus as unnamed fraternity guys, Susan Collins as Julie, Tatanya Carmichael as Karen, and Lisa Ann Russell as an unnamed sorority girl|
|5||"Slater's War"||September 28, 1993||60504||7.8/1|
11.0 million (#70)
|Ara Celi as Theresa Alvarez, Olivia White as Professor Hopkins, and James Gleason as Mr. Novak|
|6||"The Homecoming"||October 5, 1993||60505||8.0/13|
12.0 million (#70)
Zack is excited when he is invited to the Cal U Homecoming by football star Johnny Walters, but changes his mind after Johnny sexually harasses Kelly. Meanwhile, Alex lands the role of Cal U mascot "Freddy the Falcon," while Leslie, yearning for independence from her overprotective parents, tries to shock her parents by having Screech pose as her boyfriend at the Homecoming Dance.Guest starring: Charles Grant as Johnny Walters, Gloria Loring as Leslie's mother, and Edward Winter as Leslie's father
|7||"The Poker Game"||October 12, 1993||60506||9.1/15|
12.8 million (#64)
The girls fall for their new karate instructor, and attempt to win his affection, which leads to a series of comical mishaps between the girls. Meanwhile, the guys try to set Mike up on a date so they can play poker against dorm rules.Guest starring: Dan Clark as John Hammer, Mindy Sterling as Clara Meade, Heather Parkhurst as Sally, Nancy Stafford as Judith Trudell, and David DeLuise as Tony
|8||"Professor Zack"||October 19, 1993||60507||8.5/14|
11.8 million (#67)
Zack poses as Professor Lasky to impress and become involved with a girl who turns out to be the chancellor's daughter, which leads to serious repercussions that nearly gets Professor Lasky fired. Meanwhile in an effort to raise money for a flat-screen TV for the dorm, Mike sells cookies, while the girls make a pin-up calendar of "The Guys of Cal U" to sell.
Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah LaskyGuest starring: John Fink as Chancellor Williams and Brittney Powell as Jennifer
|9||"Screech Love"||October 26, 1993||60508||7.9/13|
10.9 million (#73)
Screech begins tutoring school tennis star Linda Addington and falls in love with her, but he is devastated when he finds out Zack also likes her. Meanwhile, Slater brings Alex to his wrestling matches as a good luck charm, and Kelly and Leslie try to meet older college guys by throwing a party in their dorm.Guest starring: Hillary Danner as Linda Addington and Deborah Hershey as Judy
|10||"Dr. Kelly"||November 2, 1993||60509||7.4/12|
10.2 million (#78)
Kelly leaves her dream of becoming a doctor behind to work at a sports bar, while Leslie fills in for Kelly at the medical center.Guest starring: Tony Rizzoli as Mr. Savio, Donna Barnes as Debi, Diana Tanaka as Dr. Wong, Ric Coy as an unnamed fraternity guy, Brian Hopkins as an unnamed person, Martin Davis as an unnamed customer
|11||"A Thanksgiving Story"||November 23, 1993||60510||7.4/12|
10.4 million (#70)
Slater, Zack, Kelly and Alex plan to go home for Thanksgiving in Mike's car, but when Mike's car breaks down, they decide to stay and help Mike prepare a Thanksgiving dinner for underprivileged kids. This turns into a disaster, as Screech buys frozen turkeys instead of cooked ones. Later, upon hearing about Mike's predicament during an interview with Marv Albert, Mr. Belding and various TV celebrities bring prepared food to save the day.
Guest starring: Eric Champnella as an unnamed associate youth director, Randy McLeod as an unnamed youth counselor, Curtis Swanson as an unnamed delivery man, and Marty York as an unnamed boySpecial guest stars: Dennis Haskins as Mr. Belding, Marv Albert, Jonathan Brandis, Marsha Warfield, Jenna Von Oy / Six (from Blossom), and Brian Austin Green as themselves
|12||"Teacher's Pet"||December 7, 1993||60512||5.8/9|
8.5 million (#82)
Zack falls in love with Kelly again, but he realizes that she now has feelings for Professor Lasky. Meanwhile, Screech takes Professor Lasky's chimp home with him.
Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky Guest starring: Jamie Smith as Abby, Jonathan Anderson as an unnamed husky guy and Rod Bierman as KeithNote: This is part one of a two-part story arc.
|13||"Kelly & the Professor"||December 14, 1993||60513||7.7/13|
10.7 million (#72)
Out of jealousy, Zack tells everyone that Kelly and Professor Lasky are in a relationship. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang takes a relationship test to see who is compatible, with the results being Screech & Alex and Leslie & Slater.
Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah LaskyNote: This is part two of a two-part story arc.
|14||"A Question of Ethics"||December 21, 1993||60511||6.7/11|
9.8 million (#75)
Zack must decide what the right thing to do is after he finds a copy of the Ethics midterm.Guest starring: Mindy Sterling as Clara Meade, Mary-Pat Green as Marlene, Lasondra Zarif as an unnamed customer, and Robert Guillaume as Dr. Arthur Hemmings
|15||"The Rave"||January 4, 1994||60514||7.1/12|
9.4 million (#84)
Zack throws a rave in his dorm when Mike is gone, so he can afford to take Kelly to Cancun.Tim Griffin as Jason, Jake Grace as Stingray, and Alle Ghadban as an unnamed person
|16||"Bedside Manner"||January 11, 1994||60515||6.3/10|
9.0 million (#86)
Kelly rekindles her relationship with Professor Lasky, and Zack goes to great extremes to break up the relationship...including taking a job as an orderly at the medical center where Kelly works, only to get fired for incompetence. However, this does not stop Zack, as he fakes an illness to return to the medical center as a patient. Realizing all the extremes Zack went through, Kelly finally gives in and she and Zack rekindle their relationship.Stephen Garvin as an unnamed orderly
|17||"Love & Death"||January 25, 1994||60516||4.8/8|
6.5 million (#95)
After one of his favorite professors suddenly passes away, Zack begins taking unnecessary risks while in mourning.
Also starring: Holland Taylor as Dean McMannGuest starring: Frank Farmer as an unnamed minister, Don Mirault as an unnamed skydiving instructor, and Victor Raider-Wexler as Professor Rich
|18||"Marry Me"||February 8, 1994||60517||8.7/13|
13.5 million (#64)
After Kelly is invited on a three-month cruise trip, Zack tries to do anything possible to stop her from going. Zack later has a dream about Kelly with another man and realizes he wants to marry Kelly. Meanwhile, Slater and Alex break up.Ami Dolenz as Christy
|19||"Wedding Plans"||February 8, 1994||60518||8.7/13|
13.5 million (#64)
While Zack and Kelly make wedding plans, Screech and Slater fight over who will be the best man. Meanwhile, Lisa Turtle stops in for an unexpected visit, prompting another fight between Leslie, Alex and Lisa about who will be the maid of honor.
Guest starring: Jake Grace as Stingray, Marty Rackam as Stan, Dean Scofield as Reverend Dunlap, Kathy Hartsell as the exotic dancer, Brittany Levenbrown as Zackerina, and Nathaniel Meyst as Zack, Jr.
Special guest star: Lark Voorhies as Lisa TurtleNote: This episode marks the final appearance of Anne Tremko as Leslie Burke.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|20||"Wedding in Las Vegas"||Don Barnhart|
& Jeffrey Melman
& Bennett Tramer
|October 7, 1994||8.1/15|
12.5 million (#72)
Zack and Kelly attempt to get married, but run into trouble when they find out Kelly's parents can't afford the wedding and Zack's parents oppose it, thinking Zack is too young for that kind of commitment.television movie on NBC, it later aired in syndication as either two one-hour episodes, or as four 30-minute episodes.
Home video releasesEdit
Saved by the Bell: The College Years was released on DVD in Region 1 by Image Entertainment on August 17, 2004. As of 2010, this release has been discontinued and is out of print.
|DVD name||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|Saved By The Bell: The College Years||August 17, 2004||N/A||N/A|
Saved By the Bell: The College Years novelsEdit
Four novelizations based on the show were released in late 1994 by the publisher Aladdin Paperbacks, all written by Beth Cruise. The books all feature the main cast and have similar storylines that relate to the main plots in the TV sequel.
|Title||ISBN Number||Release Date(s)|
|Freshman Frenzy||(ISBN 0020411154)||August 1, 1994|
|Zack Zeroes In||(ISBN 0020427891)||September 1, 1994|
|Exit, Stage Right||(ISBN 0020427921)||October 1, 1994|
|Mistletoe Magic||(ISBN 0020427948)||December 1, 1994|
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