Entertainment

NBC Pardons Mario Lopez With ‘Saved By The Bell’ Reboot Soon After His Trans Children Comment Backlash

“Saved By the Bell” is getting a reboot with original castmembers Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley reprising their roles as Slater and Jessie. NBC Universal will air the series on their upcoming streaming service Peacock (yes, every network has got to have one now). The series will be written and executive produced by Tracey Wigfield. OG “Saved By the Bell” alumni, Peter Engel and Franco Bario will return as producers. 

This comes in the wake of NBC Universal announcing several rebooted series for Peacock including “Punky Brewster”which will star Soleil Moon Frye as a grownup version of the namesake, and a “Battlestar Galactica” reboot led by “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail. Peacock will roll out in April 2020 with over 15,000 hours of television. 

“Saved By the Bell”

No, the returning cast members won’t be playing students again, the rebooted plot is actually a bit more of the moment than that. NBC Universal’s logline for the series reads: 

“When California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the highest performing schools in the state — including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the over-privileged Bayside kids a much needed and hilarious dose of reality.”

Yes, Zack Morris is governor. Instead of following a group of rich kids, we’ll be watching a group of outsiders checking the privilege of the elite. I like this premise as an update, although it was extremely subversive in the ’90s to have black, Latinx, and Asian American actors portray the elite in the first place. Have we forgotten that Lisa Turtle was originally supposed to be a white character until Lark Voorhies nailed the audition and snagged the part?

Fans want to know if Zack Morris is governor, does that mean Mark-Paul Gosselaar will be returning too? The Wrap spoke to Gosselaar’s representative, but they and NBC Universal did not want to comment. Interesting.

Mario Lopez says it’s a done deal

Lopez, who is 45 now, confirmed he will be reviving his role as A.C. Slater. He said he may even have a mullet again.

“The deal is being done,” he told Access Hollywood. “It’s gonna happen. We are going to be rebooting “Saved By the Bell” for the new NBC streaming platform. I might be bringing back the mullet.”

The Mexican American actor played Slater from 1989 to 1993 on “Saved By the Bell,” then reprised his role in “Saved By the Bell: The College Years” in 1994 for one season. 

Elizabeth Berkley reacted perfectly

“I’m so excited. You know I just can’t hide it,” Berkley wrote in a retweet. The tweet featured an old meme of Jessie’s character hopped on caffeine pills. The episode “Jessie’s Song” has become something of a phenomenon because of her over the top performance — and of course, people wondered if caffeine pills can cause erratic behavior? No. 

“The show itself just has a goodness and an innocence and I think, especially from the feedback we’re getting, doing a redo of the scene, it really brings people back to their childhood, when it was more simple and more easy,” Berkley told E! in 2013 when she appeared on “Dancing With The Stars.”

“You go through things in life and when you get reminded of that simple time, it brings about a sweetness.”

Did Jessie and Slater wed?

The reprisal of Lopez’s and Berkley’s roles has fans wondering if this means Jessie and Slater are married with children in the reboot. Sources are saying it will focus on them as new parents but no word if they will be parenting together. Although a fan favorite, the two were an odd couple with Slater cast as the brutish jock and Jessie the feminist overachiever. The two dated during the original series and while Zack is governor, NBC Universal hasn’t revealed what the pair will be doing. 

Yes, we’re an era of reboots

It’s hard to believe that “Saved By the Bell” first aired in 1989, the year I was born, but here I am an old millennial internet ghoul. The series comes in an era of what some might call “too many” reboots. However, with the number of scripted television series airing, services find reboots to be an easy solution in an increasingly competitive market. 

“Reboots and updates of beloved series remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming platforms look for proven intellectual property with a built-in audience in a bid to cut through a scripted landscape expected to top 500 originals in 2019,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.  

“The ‘Saved by the Bell’ sequel will make noise and likely help drive interest (and subscriptions) to NBC’s forthcoming service, which joins a wave of similar upcoming offerings from the likes of Disney, WarnerMedia, Apple and Viacom’s BET.”

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Mario Lopez Publicly Supports Former Co-Star Dustin Diamond aka ‘Screech’ After ‘Heartbreaking’ Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis

Entertainment

Mario Lopez Publicly Supports Former Co-Star Dustin Diamond aka ‘Screech’ After ‘Heartbreaking’ Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis

Photo via mariolopezviva/Twitter

Mario Lopez is living proof that true old friends stick by your side–no matter what. The “Access Hollywood” co-host took to Twitter recently to voice his support of his friend and former “Saved By the Bell” co-star, Dustin Diamond after the tragic revelation of Diamond’s stage four cancer diagnosis.

“I connected with Dustin earlier this evening and although the news of his diagnosis is heartbreaking, we remain positive that he’ll overcome this,” wrote Lopez. “Praying for him & his family and for a speedy recovery.
God Bless”.

On Thursday, Dustin Diamond aka “Screech” was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer after he was admitted to the hospital for intense pain.

In addition to feeling pain all over his body, Diamond also allegedly discovered a “huge lump” on his throat. Although his representatives describe his condition as serious, he is reportedly undergoing chemotherapy and his friends and loved ones are hopeful for his recovery.

“We can confirm that Dustin does have cancer,” a representative for Diamond revealed to People. “It’s very serious, though we are still waiting for more details, which we will have shortly. He’s in a lot of pain.”

To Entertainment Weekly, his reps said: “By next week, we’ll have a much better understanding of the severity of his condition and what treatments he will need so that he’s comfortable.” They also added that Diamond was “fading in and out” when he was first admitted to the hospital.

Dustin Diamond and Mario Lopez have long had a complicated relationship.

In Mario Lopez’s 2014 book “Just Between Us,” he revealed that Diamond wasn’t exactly beloved by the rest of the cast. “Not everyone got along with Screech AKA Dustin Diamond. I did, but maybe I was the exception,” he wrote. “He was one of those dorky kids who thought it was hilarious to take Polaroids of his genitals and leave the photos all over the set.”

In Dustin Diamond’s 2009 tell-all book “Behind the Bell”, he painted a picture of negative experience on set. The youngest of the cast, Diamond often felt ostracized by the “in crowd” Bay City High’s hotter, older cast members.

After “Saved By the Bell” stopped filming, Dustin Diamond had a hard time getting back on his feet.

Diamond seemed to be embroiled in endless controversy, from reality show fights, to sex tapes, to bar-room brawls. In 2015, he was sentenced to four months in jail after stabbing a man during a bar fight.

He sat down for an interview with Mario Lopez for Extra in 2016 to set the record straight about his alleged bad body behavior. At that point, Diamond told Lopez that he had started a new chapter in his life.

“I want to put the tom foolery and malarkey behind me, you know? It’s time for that clean slate. Time for the change.”

Well, we hope Diamond gets better so he can fulfill his dreams of having a new lease on life. We’re glad his old friends are standing by him.

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Sofia Vergara Will Be Starring In a Gender-Swapped ‘Zorro’ TV Series Reboot Produced By Robert Rodriguez

Entertainment

Sofia Vergara Will Be Starring In a Gender-Swapped ‘Zorro’ TV Series Reboot Produced By Robert Rodriguez

Photos: Jason Merritt; Gary Miller/Getty Images

Just when you thought you’d heard it all, news of Sofia Vergara playing Zorro’ TV Series comes out, and you have to start questioning everything.

That’s right–recently the news broke that Vergara will be starring in a “Zorro” TV series where she’ll be playing a female version of the legendary masked vigilante.

According to the press release, the Colombian beauty will be playing the character of Sola Dominguez, an “underground artist who fights for social justice as a contemporary version of the mythical Zorro’ TV Series.” The plot will thicken as Dominguez’s “life is threatened by several criminal organizations after she exposes them.” So…it sounds like the series will also be set in modern times? Interesting.

The character of “Zoro” was created by Johnston McCulley in 1919. The legend follows a masked, caped crusader (alias: Don Diego de la Vega) in Alta California who defends Indigenous and poor Californians from the heartless and exploitative ruling class.

The wildly popular character started off appearing in the pages of pulp fiction books before making his big-screen debut in 1920. Since then, the character has been played by everyone from Douglas Fairbanks to Antonio Banderas to Christian Meier.

This time around, the reboot is being produced by Mexican-American Robert Rodriguez of “Machete” and “Spy Kids” fame.

According to reports, the pilot will be directed by Robert Rodriguez’s sister, writer-director Rebecca Rodriguez. So that means the main creative team is made up of Latinos and will be spearheaded by a woman. This sounds like a super exciting project!

This isn’t the first time that Rodriguez and Vergara have partnered up professionally. The duo previously teamed up for 2013’s Machete Kills in which Vergara played a deadly and seductive brothel owner.

This isn’t the first time that Robert Rodriguez has been attached to a Zorro movie. He was initially set to direct 1999’s version, The Mask of Zorro, starring Antonio Banderas, but ended up shelving that project due to creative differences.

We hope that Rodriguez can truly execute his vision this time around! We love to see Latinos as a creative force in front of and behind the camera.

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