When it comes to the recent Saved by the Bell reunion, one person who was mysteriously absent was Lark Voorhies – who played fashionista Lisa Turtle. Her and Dustin Diamond, who played Samuel "Screech" Powers, were left out of the reunion skit for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – and now it appears they're being left out of the sequel series being developed for NBC Universal's streamer, Peacock.
The actor appeared on February 19th edition of The Dr. Oz Show to discuss the snub from the new series.
"I have to admit I did feel a bit slighted and hurt when I was not invited to be part of the Saved by the Bell reunion, as well as other cast members events. Yet, of course, I also realized that having this puzzling disorder may have played a major part in that factual decision. With that in mind, I am truly thankful for having had the chance to work on a show that has been so successful."
Voorhies' visit to the show was to primarily discuss her bipolar diagnosis. The host asked her about her exclusion from the new series and other gatherings posted via social media. Her response? She felt "empowered" and the other cast members "have a right to socialize" – but she would like to be included, too.
Voorhies and Diamond are the only student cast members outside of star Mark-Paul Gosselaar to transition from Good Morning, Miss Bliss! to the retooled Saved by the Bell – staying the entire duration. This includes the awkward season when Leena Creel's Tori Scott replaced Tiffani Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley for 10 episodes. The actor also appeared on multiple spinoff series and projects, including The College Years, The New Class, and the television film that sent off the original crew in Wedding in Las Vegas (1994).
Voorhies regularly acted on television and doing the occasional film until 2012. She even played multiple parts and spoofed her signature role in the stop-motion animated series Robot Chicken. While Diamond's bridge-burning stems from his "tell-all" book of the cast (followed by the subsequent TV movie), Voorhies' absence is a further mystery. While the actor openly admitted to mental health issues, we may never know the full story from both sides.
The Saved by the Bell sequel series features the return of Berkley, Mario Lopez, and Gosselaar. Thiessen is in talks to reprise her role as Kelly Kapowski. There is no comment yet from Dennis Haskins, who played Principal Richard Belding. John Michael Higgins plays the new Bayside High principal, Toddman with Josie Totah and Dexter Darden as the lead new students.
In the revival, California Governor Zack Morris (Gosselaar) gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools and proposes they send the affected students to the highest-performing schools in the state, including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the overprivileged Bayside kids a much-needed dose of reality.
The Saved by the Bell sequel series premieres September on Peacock.