Synopsis by Hal Erickson
A sequel to the popular NBC weekend seriocomic series Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell: The New Class, which first aired September 11, 1993, was set not long after the familiar regulars from the original series had graduated from Bayside High School. During the sequel's first season, only the character of Principal Richard Belding (Dennis Haskins) was carried over from the first Saved by the Bell. The sequel's initial episodes introduced Bayside's incoming sophomore class: Scott Erickson (Robert Sutherland Telfer), Barton "Weasel" Wyzell (Isaac Lidsky), "Tommy D." DeLuca (Jonathan Angel), Megan Jones (Bianca Lawson), Lindsay Warner (Natalia Cigiluti), and Vicki Needleman (Bonnie Russavage). Fans of the earlier series could not help but notice that the new cast bore many of the character traits associated with the Saved by the Bell regulars -- notably Scott, who came off as the new incarnation of the earlier show's inimitable Samuel "Screech" Powers (Dustin Diamond). This may be why Scott was among the characters eliminated during The New Class' second season, when, in a ratings-boosting move, "Screech" returned, this time as a college student working on a trial basis as Mr. Belding's administrative assistant. (Other Saved by the Bell favorites would pop up as guest stars in later New Class episodes.) Each successive season of Saved by the Bell: The New Class found a handful of new students either joining the existing cast members or replacing departing regulars. Newcomers in season two included Rachel Myers (Sarah Lancaster, who'd played the role on a sporadic basis in the previous season), Brian Keller (Christian Oliver), and Bobby Wilson (Spankee Rogers). Season three brought forth R.J. Collins (Salim Grant), Maria Lopez (Samantha Becker), and Ryan Parker (Richard Lee Jackson). In season four we met Nicky Farina (Ben Gould), Katie Peterson (Lindsey McKeon), and Eric Little (Anthony Harrell). New to the cast in season five was Liz Miller (Ashley Lyn Cafagna). And in season six, Tony Dillon (Tom Wade Huntington) joined the student body. Plot-wise, Saved by the Bell: The New Class followed the formula established by its predecessor: zany comedy set pieces, intramural romances, seemingly insurmountable crises, brushes with such social problems as drunk driving, smoking, drug use, and premarital sex, impromptu musical numbers, and exotic "field trips" to faraway locales. Although only six seasons of The New Class episodes were produced, the series lasted seven first-run years on NBC, its final season split into two 13-episode segments and spread out over a two-year period.