How Saved By the Bell Is Honoring Late Star Dustin Diamond

By Samantha Bergeson Nov 23, 2021 7:09 PMTags

Gone, but not forgotten. 

Peacock's Saved By the Bell dedicated its season two premiere to late actor Dustin Diamond who portrayed Screech on the original series. Co-stars Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley Lauren exclusively shared their memories of working with Diamond during E! News' Daily Pop on Nov. 23. Diamond died of lung cancer in February. 

"It's bittersweet," Lopez said of the tribute. "Obviously it's an unfortunate and tragic situation. He left us far too soon, he was way too young. I was fortunate enough to speak with him right before he passed, but I thought they handled it in a classy way, with good taste and I'm glad we got to celebrate him and honor him right off the bat." 

Lauren added, "I think they did a beautiful job of balancing and straddling kind of the character and the narrative within the show, but also Justin as an artist and comedic actor."

Saved by the Bell: Where Are They Now?

And, as for Lopez and Lauren's own narratives on-screen, will there be a Slater and Jessie, 2.0? 

Casey Durkin/Peacock

The reboot teased a second chance for fan favorite O.G. couple Slater (Lopez) and Jessie (Lauren) during a season two sneak peek, and now Lopez and Lauren are setting the record straight ahead of tomorrow's premiere on Wednesday, Nov. 24. 

"It is never boring on Saved By the Bell," Lauren exclusively hinted. "We see Jessie at the beginning of the season officially getting a divorce from René (Cheyenne Jackson) and I think fans will be rooting for that. There had been years when Slater and Jessie hadn't really seen each other and now they are in the same workplace, the same place they fell for each other the first time. And this is the first moment they are both available." 

Lopez joked, "I'm not trying to be a home-wrecker but at the same time I'm not trying to be a bounce-back relationship guy, so we'll wait and see."  

As Lauren noted, "All of the characters have something they're navigating this season."  

However, this time around for a possible Slater and Jessie romance, Lopez noted that Saved By the Bell is taking a more adult approach than the 1990s series. 

"Obviously the original was a lot younger in a sense that we were on Saturday morning," Lopez said. "We weren't tackling relevant or relatable topics. We are now, and it's just sort of edgy all around." 

Watch the full interview above!

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