Saved by the Bell: The College Years

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Saved by the Bell:
The College Years
DVD cover photo of the cast of Saved by the Bell: The College Years.
Genre Sitcom
Created by Sam Bobrick
Developed by Elaine Aronson
Written by Elaine Aronson
Andy Guerdat
Steve Kreinberg
Noah Taft
Bennett Tramer
Mark Fink
Brett Dewey
Ronald Solomon
Directed by Miguel Higuera
Jeffrey Melman
Starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Mario López
Dustin Diamond
Anne Tremko
Kiersten Warren
Bob Golic
Tiffani-Amber Thiessen
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 19
Executive producer(s) Peter Engel
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Peter Engel Productions
NBC Productions
Original channel NBC
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 a sequel to the Saved by the Bell series which ran from May 22, 1993 to February 8, 1994, lasting for only one season. It was 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.[1]


"Saved by the Bell: The College Years" was very similar to Saved by the Bell; the plot line had to do with the six characters getting into trouble each week at the ficticious California University (Cal U), under the watchful eye of Mike Rodgers (Bob Golic), the dorm adviser. The series included 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). The series also had more subplots than any other series in the Saved by the Bell franchise.

During the first and second episodes, the series centered around Zack's schemes to try to get Leslie to like him (Leslie hated Zack at first). Later, when Kelly returned to the show, Zack had to make a decision about who he really loved, as he still had feelings for Kelly. When Kelly and Leslie found out about Zack secretly liking both of them, they decided to both dump him. Starting with the third episode, the plot line changed, and became more centered around the whole gang (instead of just Leslie and Zack) and their various college issues.

In the beginning of the series, dorm advisor Mike Rodgers was portrayed as tough-as-nails, although later in the series, he became softer and took 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 tried to train so he could play football again, but decided it was too much work and stayed with his current job. Beginning with Episode 15 ("The Rave"), Dean Susan McMann (Holland Taylor) became involved with the series as a Mr. Belding-type character. She took the role of the tough-as-nails authority figure that Mike originally was supposed to be at the beginning of the series. Like Belding, she took a disliking to Zack's schemes and often had to punish him in various ways because of his schemes.

Much of the series had to do with Zack's efforts to win back the affection of Kelly, who was at that time in love with their anthropology professor Jeremiah Lasky (Patrick Fabian). Eventually, Zack won Kelly back over and they became engaged.

The series was cancelled after only one season, due to a very low average of 7.8 million people per household. It was also ranked 88th in the yearly ratings. It dealt with huge competition from Full House and Rescue 911, both of which were ranked in the top 30 yearly ratings. 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. Due to shock and outrage of fans, a 20th episode (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 refused to be in the movie. This series was the last to feature main characters Zack Morris, A.C. Slater and Kelly Kapowski, except for occasional appearances 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 Season 2-7 as Mr. Belding's administrative assistant on a work-study program from Cal U.


List of episodes[edit]

No. Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(in millions)
1 "Pilot" May 22, 1993 (1993-05-22) 6.7/14 [2]

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 Marks
Guest stars: Steve Easton as the Coach, Elena Lyons as Sonya, Chad Wood as Wrestler
2 "Guess Who's Coming to College?" September 14, 1993 (1993-09-14) 9.9/16 [3]

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 a tough decision: continue going out with Leslie, or become involved with Kelly again. In a subplot, Slater enrolls in classes that are too easy for him and Alex tries to get into a drama class.

Guest star: George Kee Cheung as Chinese Professor
Note: 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 (1993-09-14) 9.9/16 [4]

Professor Jeremiah Lasky is introduced and he 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. In a subplot, Slater tries to adjust his weight so he can become a heavyweight wrestler.

Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky
Guest stars: Matthea Webb, Hillary Matthews, Kelli Kirkland and Jenny Cooper as Women #1-4, Kevin Marshall Brady as The Student and Damon Preston as Wrestler
4 "Rush Week" September 21, 1993 (1993-09-21) 9.0/15 [5]

Zack and Slater hope to get into a fraternity, but are worried that Screech will ruin their chances. Meanwhile, the girls try to get into different sororities.

Guest stars:Matt Letscher as Rick, Charles Carpenter and David Markus as Frat Guys, Susan Collins as Julie, Tatanya Carmichael as Karen, and Lisa Ann Russell as Sorority Girl
5 "Slater's War" September 28, 1993 (1993-09-28) 7.8/13 [6]

Slater meets (and falls for) a Hispanic rights activist and begins to embrace his Chicano culture.

Guest stars: Ara Celi as Theresa Alvarez, Olivia White as Professor Hopkins, and James Gleason as Mr. Novak
6 "The Homecoming" October 5, 1993 (1993-10-05) 8.0/13 [7]

Zack is excited when he is invited to the Cal U Homecoming by football star Johnny Walters, but changes his mind after some of the football players sexually harass Kelly. In subplots, Alex lands the role of Cal U mascot "Freddy the Falcon," while Leslie, yearning for freedom and independence from her overprotective parents, tries to shock her parents by having Screech pose as her boyfriend at the Homecoming Dance.

Guest stars: Charles Grant as Johnny Walters, Edward Winter and Gloria Loring as Leslie's Parents
7 "The Poker Game" October 12, 1993 (1993-10-12) 9.1/15 [8]

The girls fall in love with 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 stars: 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 (1993-10-19) 8.5/14 [9]

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 reprocussions that nearly gets Professor Lasky fired. In a subplot, 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 Lasky
Guest stars: John Fink as Chancellor Williams and Brittney Powell as Jennifer
9 "Screech Love" October 26, 1993 (1993-10-26) 7.9/13 [10]

Screech begins tutoring school tennis star Linda Addington and begins to fall 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.

Guest stars: Hillary Danner as Linda Addington and Deborah Hershey as Judy
10 "Dr. Kelly" November 2, 1993 (1993-11-02) 7.4/12 [11]

Kelly leaves her dream of becoming a doctor behind to work at a Hooters-type sports bar and grill, while Leslie fills in for Kelly at the medical center.

Guest stars: Tony Rizzoli as Mr. Savio, Donna Barnes as Debi, Diana Tanaka as Dr. Wong, Ric Coy as the Frat Member, Brian Hopkins as Guy, and Martin Davis as Customer.
11 "A Thanksgiving Story" November 23, 1993 (1993-11-23) 7.4/12[12]

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--which turns into a disaster, as Screech buys frozen turkeys instead of cooked ones. But 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 stars: Eric Champnella as Associate Youth Director, Randy McLeod as Youth Counselor, Curtis Swanson as Delivery Man, Marty York as Boy
Special guest stars: Dennis Haskins as Mr. Belding, Marv Albert, Jonathan Brandis, Marsha Warfield, Jenna Von Oy/ Six (from Blossom) and Brian Austin Green
12 "Teacher's Pet" December 7, 1993 (1993-12-07) 5.8/10 [13]

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. Part one of two.

Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky
Guest stars: Jamie Smith as Abby, Jonathan Anderson as the Husky Guy, and Rod Bierman as Keith
13 "Kelly & the Professor" December 14, 1993 (1993-12-14) 7.7/13 [14]

Out of jealousy, Zack tells everyone that Kelly and Professor Lasky are having a relationship. In a subplot, the rest of the gang takes a relationship test to see who is compatable, with the results being Screech & Alex and Leslie & Slater. Part two of two.

Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky
14 "A Question of Ethics" December 21, 1993 (1993-12-21) 6.7/11 [15]

Zack must decide what the right thing to do is after he finds a copy of the Ethics midterm.

Guest stars: Mindy Sterling as Clara Meade, Mary-Pat Green as Marlene and Lasondra Zarif as Customer
15 "The Rave" January 4, 1994 (1994-01-04) 7.1/12 [16]

Zack throws a rave in his dorm when Mike is gone, so he can afford to take Kelly to Cancun.

Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky
Guest stars: Holland Taylor as Dean McMann, Tim Griffin as Jason, Jake Grace as Stingray and Alle Ghadban as Guy
16 "Bedside Manner" January 11, 1994 (1994-01-11) 6.3/10 [17]

Kelly rekindles her relationship with Professor Lasky, and Zack goes to great extremes to break up the relationship--including posing as an orderly, then as a patient, at the medical center where Kelly works.

Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky
Guest stars: Holland Taylor as Dean McMann, Diana Tanaka as Dr. Wong, Adam Philipson as Will, Timothy Elwell as Nurse Gruen and Stephen Garvin as Male Orderly
17 "Love & Death" January 25, 1994 (1994-01-25) 4.8/8 [18]

After one of his favorite professors suddenly passes away, Zack begins taking unnecessary risks while in mourning.

Guest stars: Holland Taylor as Dean McMann, Frank Farmer as Minister, Don Mirault as Sky Diving Instructor and Victor Raider-Wexler as Professor Rich
18 "Marry Me" February 8, 1994 (1994-02-08) 8.7/13 [19]

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.

Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky
Guest stars: Paul Kersey as Curtis, Jake Grace as Stingray, Ami Dolenz as Christy and Holland Taylor as Dean McMann
19 "Wedding Plans" February 8, 1994 (1994-02-08) 8.7/13 [20]

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.

Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky
Guest stars: Holland Taylor as Dean McMann, Jake Grace as Stingray, Marty Rackam as Stan, Dean Scofield as Reverend Dunlap, Kathy Hartsell as the Cop, Brittany Levenbrown as Zackerina and Nathaniel Meyst as Zack Jr.
Special guest star: Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle
Note: This episode is the final appearance of Anne Tremko as Leslie Burke.
20 "Wedding in Las Vegas" October 7, 1994 (1994-10-07) 8.1/15

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 are against it.

Guest stars: Liz Vassey as Carla and Gilbert Gottfried as Bert Banner
Special guest stars: Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle, Dennis Haskins as Mr. Belding, and Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano
Absent: Anne Tremko as Leslie Burke
Note: Officially "Wedding Plans" was the last episode of the series, and this episode is considered a "separate TV movie," although most fans consider this as episode 20 of the series (because it gives closure).

Media releases[edit]

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. Currently, no plans have been made to re-release the series on DVD, although the series is now available on Amazon Instant Video.


  1. ^ "Can 'Saved By The Bell' And 'beverly Hills, 90210' Pass The Test As They Head Off To College?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
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