Good Morning, Miss Bliss, Saved By The Bell, Saved By The Bell: The College Years and Saved By The Bell: The New Class

Good Morning, Miss Bliss (1987-1988)
Saved By The Bell (1989-1993)
Saved By The Bell: The College Years (1993-1994)
Saved By The Bell: The New Class (1993-2000)
Type: Spin Offs

   Okay, four shows is a lot for one page. I feel like I'm cheating when I deal with more than one crossover or spin off per page but in this case I just think it's easier for me and for you. If I divvied this up, I'd be repeating the same info over and over with each page. And you the reader would have to go clicking on link after link to read a lot of the same stuff over and over just to get to, like, one paragraph's worth of new info. So lets just jump in.

   The entire Saved By The Bell saga started out as a sitcom named Good Morning, Miss Bliss made for the cable Disney Channel network. It starred Hayley Mills who was a huge star for Disney as a child. She was the kid playing both twin girls in the original Parent Trap. In this show she played Miss Carrie Bliss, a sweet heart grade school teacher in Indianapolis. The show was about her and her relationships with her students, in particular troublemaker Zack Morris played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar. Gossealaar did such a good job playing Zack in almost all the projects tied to this show that once it was all over, he actually had a hard time breaking away from the character. He went so far as to die his blonde hair black to change his look. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

   After one season on The Disney Channel, Good Morning, Miss Bliss got the axe. The show was made by NBC for Disney though and so NBC picked up the show as a sitcom to air on Saturday mornings. With the move came changes. Hayley Mills was gone. Just as well really. Any show about teachers and students always starts out with someone famous as the teacher and nobodies playing the kids. Then the kids get popular and start becoming more and more the focus of the show. The "big star" teacher then gets less and less screen time and eventually gets pissed and then leaves. Welcome Back Kotter, Head Of The Class... Hayley Mills was just smart enough to get out early.

   The show also changed name and, most bizarrely, location. The show was now called Saved By The Bell. The location was now a high school named Bayside High in California. I had a friend who watched the show in syndication and was thrown when first he saw a first season show where they said they were in Indianapolis and then saw a second season show where the kids went,"Hey, we're going to the beach!" He was like, "How is there a #@%$ beach in Indianapolis???" Also, even though the kids were now in High School, they were still in the same school building! Ooookay.

   The show became big as Saved By The Bell, especially when it went into daily syndication. You couldn't help but catch an episode here and there. It always seemed to be on somewhere. The new show kept three of the kids from Good Morning Miss Bliss: Zack, his geek friend named Screech and Lisa the pretty rich black girl Screech was in love with. Unfortunately, Lisa could barely stomach Screech. Truth be told, the same could be said about the audience I think. When Dustin Diamond who played Screech was little, he was cutely geeky and harmless. As he grew up though, he started mugging to the camera with goofy faces more and more and he came up with a way of delivering his lines where his voice would go from deep to high pitched that...sigh... look, when you see someone who makes you think you would MUCH rather watch some Jim Varney "Hey Vern" commercials, you know something annoying is happening.

   Three new students were added. Kelly was a pretty brunette who Zack pursued. Jessie was the pretty but more athletic and intelligent girl who, uh, Zack also pursued. It was sort of that Betty and Veronica thing. In the end Zack chose to pursue Kelly only. A.C. Slater was the new jock in town. His dad was in the military so he had up till that point frequently moved from town to town.

   The show was popular enough that it ran for four more years in addition to the Miss Bliss year. The problem with High School shows though is that the kids have to graduate. So at the end of the 1992-1993 season, the kids did just that. Since the show had done so well though, NBC was loathe to give it up altogether. So the start of the 1993-1994 season found the gang promoted to prime time status in a new show Saved By The Bell: The College Years.

   The new show had four of the gang all attending fictional California University. Zack, Screech, A.C. and Kelly were joined by some new students as well as former football star Bob Golic who played the guys' dorm advisor. I guess either college or prime time - or maybe both - just weren't right for the show because after one season nobody was saved from cancellation.

   The show wasn't totally dead though. The original cast reunited for a couple TV movies including one which finally saw Zack and Kelly getting married. And there was still another spin off airing in Saved By The Bell's original Saturday Morning spot...

   When the original gang of kids graduated Bayside High and moved on to prime time, Saved By The Bell: The New Class took over on Saturday mornings. It was basically Saved By The Bell with new kids. Unlike the original show, when it was time for the kids on The New Class to leave, they weren't followed into college or anything. They were just replaced by more new kids. Keeping some connection between the shows was Mr. Belding who was the school's Principal on both shows. In addition, once The College Years was canceled, Screech also came aboard. He was serving as Mr. Belding's assistant. While the new show ran for longer than the original Saved By The Bell, it hasn't had nearly the same exposure. It hasn't become the rerun staple the original did. I am not positive on this point (I'm not a huge viewer of The New Class) but I believe by the end of the series Principal Belding left and Screech took over as principal. I'm not positive on that though. All I know is, whatever the incarnation of Saved By The Bell, Screech bugs me.

Other Good Morning, Miss Bliss Links
Good Morning, Miss Bliss and That's So Raven

Other Saved By The Bell Links
Saved By The Bell and That's So Raven

Other Saved By The Bell: The College Years Links
Saved By The Bell: The College Years and That's So Raven

Other Saved By The Bell: The New Class
Saved By The Bell: The New Class and That's So Raven

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