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 fictitious 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).

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 adviser 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 antics.

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

The series was cancelled after only one season, due to low ratings, averaging only a 7.8 household rating and 12 percent audience share, and ranking 88th 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. Due to frustration from 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 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 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 starring: Steve Easton as the coach; Elena Lyons as Sonya; Chad Wood as an unnamed 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 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 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. Meanwhile, Slater tries to gain weight so he can become a heavyweight wrestler.

Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky.
Guest starring: Matthea Webb, Hillary Matthews, Kelli Kirkland and Jenny Cooper as unnamed women #1-4; Kevin Marshall Brady as an unnamed student; Damon Preston as an unnamed 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 starring: Matt Letscher as Rick; Charles Carpenter and David Markus as unnamed fraternity guys; Susan Collins as Julie; Tatanya Carmichael as Karen; Lisa Ann Russell as an unnamed 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 starring: Ara Celi as Theresa Alvarez; Olivia White as Professor Hopkins; 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. 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 and Edward Winter as Leslie's mother and father, respectively.
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 starring: Dan Clark as John Hammer; Mindy Sterling as Clara Meade; Heather Parkhurst as Sally; Nancy Stafford as Judith Trudell; 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 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 Lasky.
Guest starring: John Fink as Chancellor Williams; 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 starring: Hillary Danner as Linda Addington; 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 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 guy; Martin Davis as an unnamed 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. 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; Marty York as an unnamed 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 as themselves.
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.

Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky.
Guest starring: Jamie Smith as Abby; Jonathan Anderson as an unnamed husky guy; Rod Bierman as Keith.

Note: This is part one of a two-part story arc.
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. 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 Lasky.

Note: This is part two of a two-part story arc.
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 starring: Mindy Sterling as Clara Meade; Mary-Pat Green as Marlene; Lasondra Zarif as an unnamed 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; Alle Ghadban as an unnamed 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 at the medical center where Kelly works.

Also starring: Patrick Fabian as Professor Jeremiah Lasky; Holland Taylor as Dean McMann.
Guest starring: Diana Tanaka as Dr. Wong; Adam Philipson as Will; Timothy Elwell as Nurse Gruen; Stephen Garvin as an unnamed 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.

Also starring: Holland Taylor as Dean McMann.
Guest starring: Frank Farmer as an unnamed minister; Don Mirault as an unnamed skydiving instructor; 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; Holland Taylor as Dean McMann.
Guest starring: Paul Kersey as Curtis; Jake Grace as Stingray; Ami Dolenz as Christy.
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; Holland Taylor as Dean McMann.
Guest starring: Jake Grace as Stingray; Marty Rackam as Stan; Dean Scofield as Reverend Dunlap; Kathy Hartsell as an unnamed cop; Brittany Levenbrown as Zackerina; Nathaniel Meyst as Zack, Jr.
Special guest star: Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle.
Note: This episode marks 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 oppose it, thinking Zack is too young for that kind of commitment.
Absent: Anne Tremko as Leslie Burke
Guest stars: Liz Vassey as Carla; Gilbert Gottfried as Bert Banner.
Special guest stars: Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle; Dennis Haskins as Mr. Belding; Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano.

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 (because it gives closure to the series).

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 Video.

DVD name Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 DVD Special Features
Saved By The Bell: The College Years August 17, 2004 N/A N/A None


  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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