The one and only Lisa Turtle will be back when the newly-rebooted “Saved By The Bell” debuts on Thursday, Nov. 26 on W Network.
For actress Lark Voorhies, who played the iconic ’90s fashion-loving Lisa, the reunion almost didn’t happen. Initially, Voorhies was vocal about being left out of the reunion which she surmised had to do with her Schizoaffective Thought Disorder. But, she too was later invited to join “Saved By The Bell” along with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen, Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley Lauren.
Voorhies was “highly supportive of the show no matter what,” but now that she’s returning to the role of Lisa, the actress tells KISS 92.5 FM’s “Tells The Roz & Mocha Show”: “I look forward to seeing the finished product. We worked hard to make it real, make it funny, and something memorable for the audience.”
When Voorhies first read the script, she says “it tickled me a great deal” to learn that Zack Morris was now the Governor of California in the revival. “It’s hilarious and for the audience, it’s absolutely hysterical,” she adds. The actress reveals “it was really great” to revisit Lisa now, but she says that because of the pandemic, she filmed separately from her old castmates and only got to see the production team.
One familiar face that won’t be returning is Dustin Diamond who famously played Screech the nerd with a huge crush on Lisa. Voorhies says Diamond’s exclusion had a lot to do with contract negotiations and “adult issues” he’s dealing with in his personal life.
“Dustin Diamond, I think the almighty dollar rules on that. He wants to be paid and respected, we’d love to have him back on set,” she says. “He’s going through his adult issues and all of this but I am sure he’ll be back. I’m sure the perfect contract for him and he’d be back.”
Diamond may not be a part of the revival, but Screeh’s absence is mentioned. In a scene in the series’ eighth episode, reports Entertainment Weekly, Slater makes comment to Jessie that explains where the character is, while also offering a deep-dive Easter egg for fans of the show by referencing Kevin, the AI robot that Screech built from scratch.
“Screech is so lucky he and Kevin get to live on the International Space Station so he doesn’t have to deal with all this,” Slater quips.
“Saved By The Bell” airs Thursdays on W Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The entire season will be available to stream exclusively on StackTV on Nov. 26, beginning at 8 p.m. ET.