Saved by the Bell: The College Years

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Saved by the Bell: The College Years
Saved By The Bell The College Years.png
GenreTeen sitcom
Created bySam Bobrick
Developed byElaine Aronson
Directed by
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes19
Production
Executive producerPeter Engel
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
DistributorRysher Entertainment
Release
Original networkNBC
Picture formatNTSC
Original releaseMay 22, 1993 (1993-05-22) –
February 8, 1994 (1994-02-08)
Chronology
Preceded bySaved by the Bell

Saved by the Bell: The College Years is an American television sitcom, and sequel to Saved by the Bell. It is the third incarnation of the franchise, and ran for one season, premiering on May 22, 1993, and airing its final episode on February 8, 1994. It is the only series of the franchise to air on primetime television instead of Saturday mornings – it aired on NBC on Tuesday evenings.[1] The series follows Zach, Screech and A.C. Slater, and their three female suitemates, including Kelly Kapowski, in the dorms at college. It was followed by a television film, Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas, which aired in October 1994.

Premise[edit]

In the series pilot, six characters live in the dorms at the fictitious California University, or Cal U, under the watchful eye of Mike Rogers, their resident adviser. The first-year dorm residents include Zack Morris, Screech Powers, and A.C. Slater from the original Saved by the Bell, along with newcomers Leslie Burke, Alex Tabor, and Danielle Marks. After The College Years pilot, Danielle Marks, played by Essence Atkins was written out, and was replaced on the show with Zack's former Saved by the Bell girlfriend, Kelly Kapowski. The series revolves around the troubles each of the six characters gets into every week, as well as Zack's various schemes to try to get his suitemates, first Leslie, and then Kelly, to fall for him. Later in the series, Dean McMann, played by Holland Taylor, becomes involved with trying to rein in the first-years' antics.

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
1"Pilot"Jeff MelmanElaine AronsonMay 22, 1993 (1993-05-22)60500
Zack, Slater, and Screech start school at Cal U, where they find the adjustment to college life is harder than they expected.
2"Guess Who's Coming to College?"Jeff MelmanAndrew Guerdat & Steven KreinbergSeptember 14, 1993 (1993-09-14)60501
Zack's pursuit of his suitemate Leslie is complicated by the arrival of a new transfer student – his old high school girlfriend, Kelly.
3"Zack, Lies & Videotape"Jeff MelmanMark FinkSeptember 14, 1993 (1993-09-14)60502
Zack receives an interesting anthropology assignment from the class' new professor, Lasky. He has to conduct a field study of what women want. Meanwhile, Slater tries to gain weight to be a heavyweight wrestler, and Rogers offers to help Screech as his personal weightlifting trainer.
4"Rush Week"Jeff MelmanJeffrey DuteilSeptember 21, 1993 (1993-09-21)60503
Zack and Slater worry that Screech might ruin their efforts to join a fraternity.
5"Slater's War"Jeff MelmanRenee PalyoSeptember 28, 1993 (1993-09-28)60504
Slater's involvement with a student activist leads him to embrace his Hispanic heritage.
6"The Homecoming"Jeff MelmanDebra FascianoOctober 5, 1993 (1993-10-05)60505
Zack is invited to a homecoming banquet by the guest of honor, a football hero who could help him score in some business, while Kelly is threatened with come-ons by the alum. Meanwhile, Slater feels embarrassed being with Alex who shows off her mascot uniform at the banquet and Leslie asks Screech to go with her to shock her visiting snobbish parents.
7"The Poker Game"Jeff MelmanMark FinkOctober 12, 1993 (1993-10-12)60506
Zack, Slater, and Screech try to set Rogers up on a date with a lit female professor to get him out of the dorm so they can have a poker game. Meanwhile, Kelly, Leslie, and Alex develop a crush on their new karate instructor, John Hammer, and vie with each other to try to win his affections.
8"Prof. Zack"Jeff MelmanAndrew Guerdat & Steve KreinbergOctober 19, 1993 (1993-10-19)60507
While the girls put together a male pinup calendar in order to buy a big screen TV, Zack poses as Lasky in order to date an admirer of the professor's.
9"Screech Love"Jeff MelmanJeffrey DuteilOctober 26, 1993 (1993-10-26)60508
Zack gets Screech to tutor a tennis star that he is dating, but the woman likes Screech and this causes conflict between Zack and Screech.
10"Dr. Kelly"Jeff MelmanNoah TaftNovember 2, 1993 (1993-11-02)60509
Kelly's well-paying job as a waitress has her reconsidering her thoughts of becoming a doctor. Mike trains to try out for the 49ers with Zack, Slater, and Screech.
11"A Thanksgiving Story"Jeff MelmanBrett Dewey & Ronald B. SolomonNovember 23, 1993 (1993-11-23)60510
After car trouble strands them at the college, the gang helps Mike, Leslie, and Screech prepare Thanksgiving dinner for a group of inner-city kids.
12"Teacher's Pet"Jeff MelmanDebra FascianoDecember 7, 1993 (1993-12-07)60512
While Screech hides a lab monkey destined for the zoo, Zack discovers Kelly's crush on Professor Lasky.
13"Kelly and the Professor"Jeff MelmanMark FinkDecember 14, 1993 (1993-12-14)60513
A jealous Zack strikes back at Kelly and Professor Lasky with a vengeance by spreading the word about their May–December affair, which climaxes at a costume ball. Meanwhile, Rogers gives the rest of the gang papers to fill out on a perfect mate profile for a psychology project, and Screech ends up getting the same mark as Alex.
14"A Question of Ethics"Jeff MelmanRenee PalyoDecember 21, 1993 (1993-12-21)60511
After a very tough new professor takes over their ethics class, the gang faces a dilemma when Zack gets his hands on a copy of the midterm.
15"The Rave"Jeff MelmanJeffrey DuteilJanuary 4, 1994 (1994-01-04)60514
With Mike gone and in need of money for a trip to Cancun, Zack and the gang stage a rave in the dorm.
16"Bedside Manner"Jeff MelmanRenee PalyoJanuary 11, 1994 (1994-01-11)60515
Kelly is still pining over Professor Lasky, and Zack is trying to find ways of getting her attention back on him.
17"Love and Death"Jeff MelmanAndrew Guerdat & Steve KreinbergJanuary 22, 1994 (1994-01-22)60516
After a popular professor dies, Zack adopts a new attitude to life - one filled with risks.
18"Marry Me"Jeff MelmanNoah TaftFebruary 8, 1994 (1994-02-08)60517
Kelly is planning to go on a three-month cruise abroad for the summer. When Zack finds out, he desperately tries to cling onto her. He tries to make Screech drop out of travelling on the trip so he can take his place. Eventually, Zack make a big choice to hold on to Kelly: he asks her to marry him. Meanwhile, Slater feels guilty when he sees another girl behind Alex's back since she shares the same interest as he, while Leslie finds out and tries to make him come clean with Alex about his dissatisfaction with their romance.
19"Wedding Plans"Jeff MelmanBennett TramerFebruary 8, 1994 (1994-02-08)60518
Zack and Kelly talk about their futures, as they confront the possibilities of marriage. Slater is against the plans, while Screech wants to be Zack's best man, and decides to throw a bachelor party that goes incredibly wrong. Lisa Turtle arrives and wants to be Maid of Honor at Kelly and Zack's wedding. But she's got a battle on her hands, with Leslie and Alex also wanting to assume the position of Maid of Honor.

Production[edit]

Saved by the Bell: The College Years is a continuation of the most of the original Saved by the Bell characters, following a very similar premise and focus as the original series.

The series was cancelled after only one season due to low ratings.

Home media[edit]

Saved by the Bell: The College Years was released on DVD in Region 1 by Image Entertainment on August 17, 2004.

Title Ep# Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 Distributors
Saved By The Bell: The College Years 19 August 17, 2004 N/A N/A Image Entertainment

Reception[edit]

The series was cancelled 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 viewer 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. The nineteenth episode, "Wedding Plans", left the series with a cliffhanger ending, where Zack and Kelly had not yet married.

Film[edit]

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.[citation needed] The events of the final episode of the series lead directly into the film, which shows the characters on a road trip to Las Vegas for Zack and Kelly's impending wedding and the comic misadventures they have along the way. Tom Jicha of the Sun-Sentinel said, "This movie would have been more appropriate for the time period in which all these stories began - Saturday morning."[2]

Saved By the Bell: The College Years novels[edit]

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

Legacy[edit]

Zack and Slater, and Lisa, who only appears in the followup Wedding in Las Vegas film, all appear again on the Saved by the Bell: The New Class, in its second season finale episode, "Goodbye Bayside: Part 2". Slater appears one additional time on The New Class, in the fourth season finale episode, "Fire at the Max: Part 2". Screech would return in Saved by the Bell: The New Class, coming on as Mr. Belding's administrative assistant on a work-study program from Cal U, starting with the series' second season, and continuing as a main character in The New Class for the rest of its run.

A.C. Slater, and Jessie Spano from the original series, became main characters in the 2020 Saved by the Bell sequel series, while Zack, Kelly, and Lisa all would make guest appearances on the show.[3][4][5][6] The 2020 sequel series also revisited The College Years by creating a flashback scene with Jessie visiting Slater at his dorm.[7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ N.F. Mendoza (September 26, 1993). "On View : Freshmen, Again : Can 'Saved By The Bell' and 'Beverly Hills, 90210' Pass The Test As They Head Off To College?". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  2. ^ Jicha, Tom (October 7, 1994). "Zack and Kelly tie the knot in finale". Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved September 7, 2022.
  3. ^ Jensen, Erin; Levin, Gary (September 17, 2019). "Time out! A 'Saved By the Bell' remake is coming to NBC's streaming service Peacock". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "The Saved By the Bell Revival Finally Has a Premiere Date". E! Online. September 29, 2020. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  5. ^ Swift, Andy (January 9, 2020). "Saved by the Bell Revival: Zack and Kelly Will Appear 'In Some Capacity'". TVLine. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  6. ^ "Lark Voorhies Will Reprise 'Saved by the Bell' Role in Peacock Series". Variety. October 29, 2020. Archived from the original on November 15, 2020. Retrieved October 29, 2020.
  7. ^ Saved by the Bell EPs on Rethinking Kelly's College Years Arc, Revisiting Spinoff for New Slater/Jessie Scene TV Line, November 26, 2021
  8. ^ Saved By The Bell Season 2 Adds New Character to College Years Series Comic Book, November 28, 2021

External links[edit]