When people think of teen sitcoms from the 1990s, Saved by the Bell is probably one of the first shows that come to mind. Even though the show only lasted for four seasons, it left a lasting impression on many people that still resonates today. What many people don’t realize, however, is that Saved by the Bell Wouldn’t exist had it not been for another show, Good Morning, Miss Bliss which lasted for just one season. In fact, if you’ve seen the early episodes of Saved by the Bell, then chances are that you were probably watching Good Morning, Miss Bliss. Continue reading to learn more about how Good Morning, Miss Bliss became Saved by the Bell.
What Was Good Morning, Miss Bliss About?
Good Morning, Miss Bliss originally debuted on NBC in the summer of 1987 and centered around an Indiana-based sixth-grade teacher named Carrie Bliss (Hayley Mills). Other cast members included Brian Austin Green, Jonathan Brandis, and Jaleel White. However, Haley Mills would be the only cast member to appear in the series beyond the pilot. Not only did the rest of the cast members not continue on with the show, but many of their characters were completely removed and re-written. The first official episode of the show premiered on the Disney Channel in 1988. Miss Bliss was depicted as a teacher who loved her job, but it often put her in situations where she was forced to be the voice of reason among her colleagues. However, she always seemed to know exactly what to say and do. As a result, she had a good rapport with her students and they often looked at her as a trustworthy adult that they could talk to about their problems. Although Miss Bliss and some of her co-workers had prominent roles in the show, the series was really focused on a handful of Miss Bliss’ favorite students, Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), Screech Powers (Dustin Diamond), Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies), Mikey Gonzalez (Max Battimo), and Nikki Coleman (Heather Hopper). This was somewhat of a change from the original pilot in which Miss Bliss and her life were more central to the plot. Additionally, the students who appeared in the show after the pilot were slightly older. Despite having lots of potential, the series was canceled after just one season. However, many of the cast members didn’t know that they would eventually get the chance to reprise their roles in a new series.
How Did Good Morning, Miss Bliss Become Saved by the Bell?
Just because something doesn’t work out the first time doesn’t mean that it needs to be canned completely. This is something that NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff understood and he applied this mindset to figure out how he could make Good Morning, Miss Bliss work. Tartikoff was instrumental in bringing the series back to NBC and also played a role in reframing the series to be more appealing. Peter Engell, who created Good Morning, Miss Bliss, was initially hesitant about making changes to appeal to younger viewers, but he decided to give it a try. Several changes were made to Good Morning, Miss Bliss in order to create Saved by the Bell. For starters, the location of the series was moved from Indiana to California which helped give the series a ‘cooler’ vibe. On top of that, more characters were added to help round out the cast. Another very notable change was the fact that Miss Bliss was completely removed from the show and no mention of her was ever made again. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find any information on why Mills was removed from the show. However, the obvious reason is that her character was no longer needed. Teachers played virtually no role in Saved by the Bell. The first episode of the new and improved series debuted in the summer of 1989. Good Morning, Miss Bliss is now considered to be the first season of Saved by the Bell with many viewers having no idea that it was initially a completely different show.
Saved by the Bell’s Legacy
When Saved by the Bell premiered, it became the first live-action show to be part of the Saturday morning line-up. At the time, this was a huge achievement. Not only did the series give us some of the most memorable TV characters of the 90s, but it also resulted in two spin-offs and two TV movies as well as countless merchandise items. In the fall of 2020, Saved by the Bell was rebooted on Peacock with almost all of the original cast members reprising their roles. A lot of things have changed since the show’s journey began more than 30 years ago, but Saved by the Bell is a show that has proven that it can withstand the test of time.
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