Mario Lopez Says Fans Should Prepare for an Edgier Version of ‘Saved by the Bell’

Actor Mario Lopez shared that the updated series of Saved By the Bell is going to have a little more bite than the original.

Like Beverly Hills 90210, the iconic ’90s teen series is getting a reboot. Lopez says fans can expect it to be spicer than the Saturday morning version. The trailer even flicks at how the new series has more of a “primetime” flavor.

The original Saved by the Bell cast in a convertible
Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle, Dustin Diamond as Screech Powers, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano; Bottom: Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris, Mario Lopez as A.C. Slater |Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank

Lopez reprises his character A.C. Slater, who is now a gym teacher at Bayside High. A preview shows Slater giving advice to students, one of whom happens to be the son of Zach Morris (now Governor of California) and Kelly Kapowski. But also thrown into the mix is ex-girlfriend Jesse Spano’s son.

The boys are called into Slater’s office after an altercation. Slater’s advice? “When I was in high school, I constantly used to fight with my best friend over a hot girl. Oh, it was actually your dad, over your mom!” he says to Morris and Kapowski’s son.

Slater back peddles to only dig himself in deeper. “Then I just found another girl I really liked and started hooking up with her instead,” he says gesturing to Spano’s son. “Oh wait, that was your mom!”

The new series will stay true to the original series but with an edge

Lopez told Showbiz Cheat Sheet the reboot struck a nice balance between the old and new series. “But it’s definitely edgier,” he says. “We have a great young cast, and it’s led by our wonderful showrunner Tracey Wigfield, who won a bunch of Emmys for 30 Rock.”

“We’re only two episodes away from being done with the first season,” he adds. “And then the pandemic hit. So we want to get back there and get it on the air.” The series will be available on Peacock, NBCUniversal’s new streaming service.

Lopez describes how the series struck the right balance. “It’s edgier but at the same time not being too naughty. It’s just much more hip so we’re trying to [connect] with the young audience. But trying to keep the old fans of the show happy. I think they’re doing a great job so far.”

Fans can celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Mario and Courtney Lopez

Fans can have fun with the Saved by the Bell star and his wife Courtney Lopez while they wait for the reboot to air. The couple is hosting “Salsa for Cinco,” a free online salsa dancing class to raise awareness and funds for the underserved Hispanic communities disproportionally impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Tostitos will make a $100,000 donation to launch the program, and for every person who joins the live stream, the brand will donate an additional $5, up to $100,000.

Tune into Mario Lopez’s Instagram Live at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5 for dance lessons with the couple. Courtney Lopez is also making her favorite Kickoff dip recipe to get the party started. “It’s super delicious,” she says. “It’s salsa, it’s beans, it’s jalapeños, sour cream, cheese. I usually make that when we have people over here so I’ll definitely make that.”

The couple looks forward to getting fans off the couch. “It’s going to be a fun ride,” she laughs. “Here’s the thing about dancing,” her husband says. “Anyone can do it. You just gotta have fun with it and sort of let loose. Salsa is one of those things. And it’s a little bit of a workout too!”