Back in Class4 Jun, 2007 By: John Latchem
Saved by the Bell Hawaiian Style
Fans of the original class of “Saved by the Bell” will have a chance to complete their DVD collections Aug. 7 (prebook July 11) with Lionsgate's double-feature release of two TV movies based on the series.
Saved by the Bell Hawaiian Style and Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas will be included on a $19.98 single-disc set.
“‘Saved by the Bell' has done really well. These are strong TV titles for us,” said Jenna Sonenshein, brand manager for Lionsgate. “We've had people contacting us about these TV movies.”
Lionsgate already released the first five seasons of the 1989-93 series, a Saturday morning live-action sitcom about the madcap adventures of a group of students at fictional Bayside High School.
The show starred Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack, Mario Lopez as A.C. Slater, Dustin Diamond as Screech, Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly, Elizabeth Berkley (of Showgirls fame) as Jessie, Lark Voorhies as Lisa, and Dennis Haskins as Mr. Belding.
Seasons one and two were packaged together, as were three and four, and both sets were top 10 TV DVD sellers the week of their release, according to Nielsen Videoscan.
NBC's failed 1993-94 prime-time follow-up, “Saved by the Bell: The College Years,” featuring some of the original cast members, is available on DVD from Image Entertainment.
Wedding in Las Vegas takes place after this series, and aired Oct. 7, 1994, to wrap up the story line of the original characters.
The movie features the zany adventures of the gang in the lead-up to Zack and Kelly's nuptials.
In Hawaiian Style, which aired Nov. 27, 1992, the gang heads to Hawaii at the invitation of Kelly's grandfather, played by Dean Jones. His property is under siege by a greedy developer, leading the group of friends to rally to his cause and save the hotel.
Both of the TV movies include the entire original cast.
“The two ‘Saved by the Bell' movies are really fun. By offering them as a double feature, we are making it easy for fans to complete their collection,” Sonenshein said. “These were on VHS before, so the prospect of having them on DVD is getting fans excited.”
While the show primarily appeals to younger viewers, Lionsgate's marketing efforts are mostly aimed at the original fans.
“We think they're primarily being purchased for nostalgia,” Sonenshein said. “‘Saved by the Bell' had a really strong fan base. We're hoping the fan sites get excited about this.”
Will Ferrell (as James Lipton, host of “Inside the Actors Studio”): “In 1992, a made-for-television film came out that changed the face of American cinema. That film, of course, is Saved by the Bell Hawaiian Style. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and see the greatest film EVER in the history … of the world.”