Saved by the Bell Will Pay Tribute to Dustin Diamond: Mario Lopez

In what will probably be one of the most heartbreaking episodes, the Saved by the Bell sequel on Peacock will pay tribute to long-time franchise cast member Dustin Diamond, who died on February 1st. The actor played Samuel "Screech" Powers, the lovable nerd and best friend of Zach Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) during the bulk of the original series' run and spinoffs. Mario Lopez, who plays AC Slater since the original NBC Saturday morning series' run spoke to Yahoo about the plans going into the sequel's second season.

Saved by the Bell: Screech Actor Dustin Diamond Passes at 44
Dustin Diamond as Samuel "Screech" Powers in Saved by the Bell (1989). Image courtesy of NBC Universal

"We're planning something special we haven't gotten into yet," Lopez said. The actor bonded with Diamond since the premiere in 1989 for its duration through 1992. Both along with Gosselaar and Tiffani Thiessen, who plays Kelly Kapowski, starred on the short-lived NBC spinoff Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Diamond and co-star Dennis Haskins, who played Principal Richard Belding, would be the holdovers from the original series to star in the following spinoff The New Class. Screech would appear in 130 of the 143 episodes. Despite appearing in most of the episodes of the original student cast, Diamond wasn't involved in the Peacock sequel, and Screech was mentioned off-screen as being in the International Space Station with his robot friend Kevin in the season one reunion episode "The Todd Capsule".

Aside from the presence of stars and producers Lopez, Gosselaar, Thiessen, and Elizabeth Berkley, Lark Voorhies made a special appearance remotely as her character Lisa Turtle, the object of Screech's affections during the original series was too busy with work to show up at their reunion. According to Lopez, production will be underway for season two. "We're going to have our first table read in about a week or so, but we are planning some special," he said. "We're ready to start up again in June and I will be in all those episodes." Despite Diamond's controversial past with his castmates, Lopez remained friends even offering support upon the actor's cancer diagnosis shortly before his passing. Created by Sam Bobrick, the Saved by the Bell sequel comes courtesy of Tracey Wigfield and also stars Haskiri Velazquez, Mitchell Hoog, Belmont Cameli, Josie Totah, Alycia Pascual-Pena, Dexter Darden, and John Michael Higgins is available to stream on Peacock.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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