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Happy 25th anniversary, 'Saved by the Bell'

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Beloved '90s sitcom "Saved by the Bell" is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The show debuted on NBC on August 20, 1989, after it was rebooted from a failed Disney series titled "Good Morning, Miss Bliss." It's the subject of the Lifetime movie "The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story," which aired September 1, 2014. Beloved '90s sitcom "Saved by the Bell" is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The show debuted on NBC on August 20, 1989, after it was rebooted from a failed Disney series titled "Good Morning, Miss Bliss." It's the subject of the Lifetime movie "The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story," which aired September 1, 2014.
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'Saved by the Bell': Where are they now?
Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Tiffani Thiessen
Lark Voorhies
Mario Lopez
Elizabeth Berkley
Dustin Diamond
Dennis Haskins
Leanna Creel
Tori Spelling
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The beloved series premiered in 1989
  • A new TV movie goes behind the scenes
  • Some in the cast are unhappy with the film

(CNN) -- We're so excited -- and so scared: "Saved by the Bell" is a quarter of a century old today.

That's right, the beloved series about Zack Morris and his pals premiered 25 years ago on NBC.

"Saved by the Bell" evolved from another series, "Good Morning, Miss Bliss," which had a short run on the Disney Channel. After that cancellation, "Saved by the Bell" was recrafted to become the cult classic it's remembered as today.

The show is back on fans' radar thanks to Lifetime's new TV movie, "The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story."

Although some viewers are eager for what is billed as a behind-the-scenes look at the fights, jealousy and drama on set, some of the former stars aren't too thrilled. Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played blond hero Zack, has said that he and most of his fellow cast members were not consulted on the movie.

Things were much different when the series hit the airwaves in 1989. Family-oriented sitcoms like "The Cosby Show" and "Roseanne" ruled the airwaves.

The TV movie's website touts how "Saved by the Bell" "changed the landscape of Saturday mornings with America's favorite teens."

" 'The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story' delves into the experiences of six unknown young actors placed into the Hollywood spotlight, exposing the challenges of growing up under public scrutiny while trying to maintain the squeaky clean image of their popular characters both on and off-screen," the site says.

The new film is believed to be based on the book "Behind the Bell" by Dustin Diamond, who played Screech.

"Everything I've heard about his book is, it is negative," Gosselaar recently told HuffPost Live. "I don't remember those things. My experience on the show was very positive."

Diamond has distanced himself from the tell-all, saying the co-author expanded on "throwaway statements" he gave.

"The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story" airs September 1.

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