Remembering an old friend.
The second season of the “Saved by the Bell” reboot — dropping on Peacock Nov. 24 — will pay a heartwarming tribute to original series star, Dustin Diamond.
Diamond, who starred in the 1989 parent series as Samuel “Screech” Powers, died at 44 in February after a brief battle with cancer.
Screech was mentioned in the first season of the streaming service’s revival, however, the actor wasn’t invited on as a guest star.
Executive producer Franco Bario explained to Variety that he conversed with Diamond before the Season 1 premiere to “fill him in on the Screech mentions in the first season and how those may lead us to possible stories that would include him in Season 2.”
But Bario and showrunner Tracey Wigfield were set on paying tribute to Diamond after his passing and wanted to celebrate his life and work.
“I didn’t know him and I hadn’t met him,” Wigfield said. “Just thinking about it as a fan, I knew we wanted to do more than just putting a picture of him up at the end.”
Original cast members Elizabeth Berkley Lauren, Mario Lopez, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen and Lark Voorhies all made guest appearances on the revival. Wigfield revealed that they will join together in the upcoming season to commemorate Diamond.
“At the beginning of this season, we already were coming into writing Season 2 [where] obviously Dustin was one thing, but we also were like in a pandemic and in general in the first episode, everyone was feeling the same sense of everyone understands how heavy this last year has been,” she said.
The filmmaker added, “It would have been wrong to not acknowledge that in a real way and to not have our OG characters mourning this character that we’ll never get to see again. That, I wanted to put on the screen, but I just wanted to make sure we were being as sensitive as possible. There was a real guy who had people who loved him. You don’t want to make any jokes or talk about it in any way that might hurt anyone’s feelings.”
Scenes from Diamond’s time on the original series will also appear in the premiere episode. Bario stated that the clips chosen would be very specific because “a lot of what Screech was is known for was being the butt of a joke or being an outrageous character, and what we were hoping for was using the clips to show how important he was to the show, but also to the other characters in the show.”
While the reboot premiered last year, sans an appearance by Diamond, the show revealed Screech’s absence and noted that the character was living on the International Space Station with his robot named Kevin.