Bells are ringing at Bayside High again as the reboot of “Saved by the Bell” makes its premiere on Peacock.
For those who don’t speak fluent NBC, “Saved by the Bell” was a teen sitcom that ran on Saturday morning in the early ’90s. Peacock is Comcast’s entry into the world of streaming services.
The original show launched the careers of Mario Lopez, Tiffani Theissen and Elizabeth Berkley. It gained a loyal following of viewers, much like “The Brady Bunch” did for an earlier generation, and it spawned a couple of short-lived primetime sequels as well as two TV movies.
This latest incarnation appears to be both a revival and a reboot. It’s aimed at the audience that watched it back in the day but is also hoping to pull in fresh eyes with some new younger co-stars, clever writing and quick comebacks.
By all accounts, you don’t have to watch the old show to understand the new one. “Saved by the Bell” is still safe for kids to watch. No one is having sex (just yet), and the only drug joke is about caffeine pills (which is a throwback reference to a “Bells” episode gone by).
Critics are already singing the show’s praises.
“At once ironic and sincere, mocking and affectionate (as one might be, looking back on one’s own youth), it starts out well and just gets better,” writes Robert Lloyd of the L.A. Times.
So, while Jessie, Slater and Screech find their way back into the hearts of viewers, Peacock is banking on “Saved by the Bell” giving a boost to its subscription sign-ups. Matt Strauss, the executive in charge at Peacock, says more original programming, like reboots of “Punky Brewster” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” are already in the works.
When those debut in late 2021, industry analysts say Peacock may really be able to strut its stuff against the likes of Hulu and Disney Plus.