Tiffani Amber Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski
Before she helped fill up the cast on “Beverly Hills 90210,” this famous beauty added her skills to the main cast of Saved. She played Kelly Kapowski, the pretty, kind, and somewhat ditzy head cheerleader, a childhood friend of Zack, Lisa, Screech, and Jessie. Thiessen has also appeared in “White Collar,” and is married to actor Brady Smith.
Even when she was young, however, Tiffani was breaking hearts – when she was fourteen she was dating a nineteen-year-old, and she left home when she was only seventeen. She also auditioned for the role of Rachel Green on “Friends” but lost to Jennifer Aniston.
Tiffani Amber Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski
Before she helped fill up the cast on "Beverly Hills 90210," this famous beauty added her skills to the main cast of Saved. She played Kelly Kapowski, the pretty, kind, and somewhat ditzy head cheerleader, a childhood friend of Zack, Lisa, Screech, and Jessie. Thiessen has also appeared in "White Collar," and is married to actor Brady Smith.
Even when she was young, however, Tiffani was breaking hearts – when she was fourteen she was dating a nineteen-year-old, and she left home when she was only seventeen. She also auditioned for the role of Rachel Green on "Friends" but lost to Jennifer Aniston.
Mario Lopez as Albert Clifford “A.C.” Slater Sanchez
Mario Lopez was a ladies' man on and off the show. He portrayed muscle-bound hunk A.C. Slater Sanchez, who is the new addition to the small friend's group thanks to his military dad. Slater was known as somewhat of a misogynist on the show, though this was mostly played for laughs, and was usually during his interactions with Jessie, a proto-feminist who often got on her soapbox – and Slater was the one to bring her back down to the ground.
However, Lopez didn't act well off-screen, either: he was accused of inappropriate behavior behind the scenes, and the case was settled out of court.
Lark Voorhies and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Together in Real Life
Zack Morris, the cute normal guy who ends up with Kelly Kapowski, and Lisa Marie Turtle, the alpha fashion designer with the best put-downs in the show, didn't exactly have a romantic relationship, but they were perfectly friendly, and in fact, they were pretty close. This was probably helped because the actors dated in real life for about three years.
It's exactly the kind of gossip that Lisa herself would love to repeat, and they dated for the majority of the show, including while filming the movie "Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style."
Dustin Diamond as Samuel “Screech” Powers
Screech – the goofy nerd of the group – was often shoved into lockers during the show's run. He had a powerful crush on Lisa, was often off in his own head, and had absolutely zero social skills. Yet, he was a genius, the class valedictorian, and a pretty sensitive guy.
However, the rest of the cast didn't have many nice things to say about Dustin, in part thanks to his tell-all book from 2010 Behind the Bell, which his castmates say is filled to the brim with both exaggerations as well as outright lies. Sadly, Diamond passed away in early 2021 following a cancer diagnosis.
The Ghost Behind the Book
Dustin’s name may have been written on the cover of his so-called memoir, but according to the late actor himself, “it wasn’t me, I didn’t write this. I was just as shocked.” In 2016, Mario Lopez welcomed his former co-star to discuss the book in an attempt to clear the air and deal with the commotion the book created.
It turns out that Diamond was barely a part of the writing process and that his ghostwriter exaggerated and distorted many of his recollections and stories. However, we have to point out that Diamond still let it go to print.
Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zachary “Zack” Morris
Here's Zack, the guy everyone can relate to, at least a little bit. Mark-Paul Gosselaar portrayed him for the entire run of the show, including the multiple movies and the sequel series "Saved by the Bell The College Years," and has become the governor of California by the time of the 2020 reboot series. This character hustled for his popularity and his zany schemes formed the basis of many episode plots.
He even had his own cell phone, all the way back in the early nineties. Mark-Paul's original character was a little scrawny, but he bulked up for college – so much, in fact, that many suspected the actor of taking steroids.
Dyeing for his Art
Zack Morris was a classic blond American boy. The showrunners really wanted to make sure he was the kind of person almost any viewer could relate to, so they made sure he had the middle-of-the-road looks that lots of people in America saw in the mirror.
The only problem was, Mark-Paul Gosselaar has brown hair. Because of these stringent rules, Mark-Paul had to dye his hair every two weeks while filming. It simply wouldn't do for those roots to show – at least not for about a decade, when multi-colored 'dos started to become more in vogue.
Most of the actors and actresses playing these high school kids were the same age as their characters (the exception is the late Dustin Diamond), meaning they were still fairly young and were playing kids. There's also the fact that the showrunners were trying to create a comfortable, relaxing environment for everyone who was a part of the show – from the cast members to the crew to the viewers.
Thus a rule was made: no swearing on set. It wasn't part of the show, and the cast members weren't even supposed to let one fly out of frustration or between shots.
A Role Just for Her
Lark Voorhies had such a successful audition that it broke the mold the producers were going for. Her character, Lisa Marie Turtle, was originally going to be a spoiled, rich Jewish girl, but Voorhies impressed so much they threw out the script – so to speak – and rewrote the character. This changed the character a good deal, though some elements remain, such as Lisa Marie being a daddy's girl, spoiled, and a fashionista.
It also introduced the show's only Black character. It was somewhat of a step forward for sitcoms at the time, and even the biggest of them all, "Friends," wouldn't feature any major African-American cast members.
Plenty of now-famous actors and actresses tried their best to get on the show. This list includes Jaleel White – well-known for his star-turning role of Steve Urkel on "Family Matters," which went from a one-time guest appearance to the focus of the show. Jennie Garth, Kelly Taylor from "Beverly Hills, 90210," and Val Tyler from "What I Like About You also tried out."
Jonathon Brandis, from "One Life to Live," the TV miniseries of Stephen King's "IT," and Bastian Bux in "The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter."
Leanna Creel as Tori Scott
When this biker babe showed up at Bayside High, the viewers knew things have just changed. This character was created to help fill out the cast roster after the producers decided to drop both Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Amber Thiessen) and Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley) from the show at the end of their contracts. She's a dude magnet who wears a sick leather jacket and was one of the boys in the group, contrasting Lisa Marie's girlishness with a tough attitude that didn't last long.
After only nine episodes she disappeared, coinciding with the reappearance of Jessie and Kelly. The producers must have realized things weren't working out.
Saved by the Bell: The Junior High Years
The show got its start with the title "Good Morning, Miss Bliss." Only the pilot was aired, on NBC, and the show wasn't picked up. The series made its way to the Disney Channel, which aired it for a single season. The show was retooled, went back to NBC, and the rest is history. The focus was on the teacher Miss Bliss, but Zack, Lisa Marie, and Screech were all part of the show.
The show was later released on syndication as "Saved by the Bell: The Junior High Years," adding Zack's narration, changing the music, and replacing the opening and closing credits.
Love on the Set
As you can imagine with attractive actors and actresses on the set all the time, sparks flew. Yet Mark-Paul's first wife wasn't any of the famous actresses who were on the show each and every week – it was an extra. In fact, it was an extra from "Saved by the Bell: The College Years."
Lisa Ann Russell played an unnamed female student during a single episode, but that was enough to catch Mark-Paul's eye. The two remained married from 1996 to 2011. Russell went on to appear in a number of other shows and is a recurring crew member on "The Jeff Probst Show." She is, in fact, married to Jeff Probst.
A Brand New Character
Originally, there was only going to be two female main characters: Lisa Marie and Kelly. We've already heard about how Lark Voorhies got the producers to retool Lisa Marie's character, but Elizabeth Berkley one-upped her pretty quickly. Berkley originally auditioned for the Kelly Kapowski role, but Tiffani Thiessen proved the better actress for that role.
However, Berkley did so well, the producers decided they needed her on the show so badly they went to the drawing board and created the character of Jessie Spano, the grade-obsessed burgeoning feminist who gets on plenty of soapboxes as the series goes on.
One Hundred Percent
Only two characters appeared in every episode of the storyline, from "Good Morning, Miss Bliss" all the way to "Saved by the Bell: The College Years." It was only Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris and Dustin Diamond as Screech who never missed a week.
They, along with Lark Voorhies' character Lisa Marie were on "Good Morning, Miss Bliss," and Lisa Marie ended up being the least-developed of the main six during the high school years, with some episodes not having her at all. Zack and Screech also appeared in every episode of the relatively short-lived College Years series.
Popular and Short
While "Saved by the Bell: The College Years" ran for a mere nineteen episodes – not even a full season by today's standards – it was still one of the most popular comedies on television when it ran. It brought in an average of 7.2 million viewers every week. However, ratings began to crash near the end of the series, and the show was canceled.
It left everyone with a big cliffhanger, as Zack and Kelly were preparing to get married, and plenty of chaos and conflict about who will be the maid of honor, a bachelor party that goes wrong, and more. However, the second film (Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas) wrapped everything up.
The Steps That Have Been in More Episodes than Anyone
If you go back and watch the show nowadays, you may feel a sense of familiarity as the kids are walking the halls. At first, you may think that it's just nostalgia, but there's more – the hallway and locker set was originally built for "Good Morning, Miss Bliss," which was used all the way through "Saved by the Bell," and was never torn down.
It's been used and reused in all kinds of high school shows that followed after 'Saved by the Bell,' starting with 'That's So Raven,' but the list also includes recent Disney shows such as "iCarly" and "Victorious."
A Friendship too Strong for Writing
One of the original ways the producers got conflict from the show was the love triangle of Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski, and A.C. Slater. Zack Morris eventually wins out and even gets married to Kelly down the line after College Years, but it was touch-and-go for a while who Kelly would choose.
This conflict was originally going to tear Zack and Slater – good friends on the show – apart for further conflict, but the friendship between the two actors was so strong it bled too much into the show, and the writers decided to drop the idea.
Broadway has had plenty of screen-to-stage adaptations, and one that got pretty close to appearing is Saved by the Bell. During the early two-thousands, pop star Debbie Gibson was approached to make a musical based on a 90's property, and she immediately thought about the show. However, the project was shelved when the original series' executive producer Linda Mancusa passed away in 2003.
From an interview in 2018, Gibson reminisced about the idea: “I found a first draft of that script in my garage when I moved and went, Oh my god, this is still a great idea.”
The Zack Attack
The show never got made into a musical, but it had plenty of music in it from the beginning. The “Zack Attack” was a band the cast formed. Nearly the entire episode was a dream, with the fictional band – even in-show – going through formation, success, breakups, and reuniting. Their “hit” song was “Friends Forever.” The entire episode was filmed in the style of a documentary while Zack sleeps.
The entire cast is present, minus Elizabeth Berkely, who had to sit out due to a knee injury, which also forced her to miss the “All in the Mall” episode.
Another Reused Set
The show didn't have the biggest budget ever, which is why they reused sets a lot. In fact, every time viewers see a classroom, it's the same set – whether it's an English classroom, geography class, or science projects, it's always the same room. Thanks to different camera angles, different teachers present, and different set decorations, it can be hard to tell, but since most high school classrooms look pretty similar anyway, there was no reason not to just re-use the same room over and over.
Plenty of work went into the packed sitcom sets, and since they had to switch things out as the scripts demanded, it probably gave the set dressers plenty of work.
Dennis Haskins as Principal Richard Belding
Dennis Haskins's first acting role was on the pilot of Dukes of Hazzard, where he plays a handsy bar patron. He auditioned for the role of Richard Belding, which first appeared on Good Morning, Miss Bliss, seven times. When the show was retooled into "Saved by the Bell," he was the show's only regular adult cast member.
Haskins continued in the role on the spinoff "Saved by the Bell: The New Class" until 2000 – he even followed the cast to college! During the scenes taking place inside Principal Belding's office, he has a number of diplomas on his wall, including one for “Kung Fu.”
The Baby of the Cast
As previously mentioned, the late Dustin Diamond was only eleven years old when he was cast, making him the youngest member by three whole years. Producer Peter Engel had no idea he was so young when he cast Diamond. Thankfully, Diamond grew up pretty quickly, becoming one of the taller members of the cast to distract from his age.
It also aided his character – he was able to easily play a less-mature or socially-able character thanks to his youthful appearance. On the other side of the spectrum was Elizabeth Berkely, who was seventeen when her character was introduced and was able to legally drink when the high school show ended.
Spending Too Much Time at Fake High School
All of the main actors were dedicated to the show, but none more than Lark Voorhies. While Lisa Marie Turtle was the fashionista daddy's-girl on-screen, her actress worked hard on the set, going so far as to miss her own – real – high school prom, and even her actual graduation. The character probably wouldn't have wanted to miss her graduation – and definitely wouldn't have wanted to miss prom.
This is often seen as an “opportunity cost” for a lot of young actors, who trade possible fame and fortune for what a lot of people would call a more normal life.
With fame came the chance to have fun. The cast of Saved by the Bell took the opportunity to party, but they – or their parents, or the producers – made sure they never took things too far. These teens still snuck their way into adult clubs long before they were legal. Yet, even in those heady environments, they kept themselves pretty clean.
At least, that's what Mark-Paul relates: “At 16, going to adult clubs. But I didn't abuse it, and neither did my co-workers. I can't stress how good we tried to be.” It's good to hear some kids escaped Hollywood burn-out.
Her First Drink
The cast members had plenty of parties, but nothing too scandalous – leave that to Beverly Hills. In fact, Tiffani Thiessen didn't have her first drink until she was doing a press tour with Mark-Paul, across the pond in Paris. This was while the show was filming, so Thiessen would have been a teenager at the time, but the drinking age in France was lower.
“We ate crepes, and my first sip,” Thiessen related in an interview. Thiessen and Gosselaar dated for a little while, and Thiessen relates: “It felt at times like we were Barbie and Ken.”
Mark-Paul seems to have gotten around a little. But almost everyone on the cast dated around with each other while the show was filming (with the exception of Dustin Diamond, who, again, was a bit young). Inevitably, these relationships fell apart. And while the on-screen couples made up pretty quickly to keep things from being too dramatic, things weren't so easy behind the scenes.
Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar in particular never stuck with their beaus, with several stories mentioning their infidelity. Acting isn't the hardest job in the world, but when you have to pretend the guy who just cheated on you is your best friend, it can still be rough.
Sharing with 90210
Thiessen would later go on to be the bad-girl character Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills, 90210, but the drama series did more than nab actresses from Bell. A lot of the characters got part-time jobs at the beach club “Malibu Sands,” which was the same beach club used in Beverly Hills, 90210. A lot of people see 90210 as a spiritual successor to "Saved by the Bell," though the storylines are much heavier and more dramatic, and there is less humor.
It would have been much more difficult for 90210 to get off the ground if not for the success of the non-cartoon "Saved by the Bell."
Even More Successful
After the success of the original show, and the short-lived College Years, producers brought in a fresh cast for "Saved by the Bell: The New Class"...with the exception of Screech, who worked as Principal Belding's assistant. It was more successful than the original from a number-of-seasons standpoint, though the show never had the pop-culture impact that the original did.
It ran for seven seasons, all the way to the year two thousand, and kept things fresh by letting more senior characters graduate while constantly bringing in new faces as younger students. Now, with a reboot of the original series in the works, this pop-culture icon has plenty of history to draw upon.
The First of its Kind
The show got so popular, so fast, that it marked an immense shift in Saturday-morning programming. Originally it was the only non-animated show on NBC's Saturday-morning lineup, but before long it became known that fully half of the teenaged girls watched it every week. In addition to the failure of a number of animated shows such as ProStars and Yo Yogi! , NBC shifted to a lineup dominated by "Saved by the Bell," a bunch of clones of the now-famous high school show, and a Saturday morning version of Today.
This was all the way back in 1992, and the network has stuck with this format ever since.
Minimum Wage Actors
Despite the fact that the show was one of the most popular kid's shows of all time – even kids these days will know the name, though if they're interested they usually have to seek the episodes out other ways – the actors never brought in big paychecks. The producers had no idea how much of a hit it would be, which led to the actors not requesting better deals.
In fact, they barely got paid even during the show's syndication. Mark-Paul once said: “[The cast] made really bad deals. It is what it is. You move on, you learn. Great experience.”
The names of the characters didn't just come out of thin air. The show had plenty of unique names that helped them stick in the viewer's minds, but they were often inspired by people that producer Peter Engel knew in real life. For instance, Engel once met a producer by the name of Screech Washington.
Zack was the name one of Engel's friends called his son, Lisa Turtle was one of his classmates while he was in high school, and Slater was the name of someone Engel's son went to school with. Finally, Mr. Belding came from the name of an editor that Engel worked with.
One of the most legendary producers in television history was Aaron Spelling – we've already mentioned one of his most famous productions, "Beverly Hills, 90210." Spelling's daughter, Tori – who also appeared on "Beverly Hills, 90210" as one of the lead characters, Donna Martin – had small parts in a few episodes of Bell, and it's even been thought that, out of respect to Aaron, the new Bell character Tori Scott was named after his daughter.
It's never been confirmed, but Spelling had so much TV clout, it seems like a good idea for any burgeoning producer to get on his good side.
The late Dustin Diamond, playing the nerdy and mostly-innocent Screech Powers, was a bright spot for many viewers, but Diamond himself has remained anything but innocent. In fact, the actor did time in 2015, spending four months in jail for a number of misdemeanors, including second-degree recklessly endangering safety, carrying a concealed weapon, and disorderly conduct.
According to Diamond's statement, he was defending his girlfriend after she was insulted and assaulted in a bar brawl. The wounds from the brawl weren't serious, which probably helped Diamond avoid a longer jail stay. Diamond has been ostracized from the cast, and his jail time isn't the only reason.
In 2006, Diamond directed and released a homemade lewd film, and even appeared to “star” in it. However, Diamond claimed that the video was a stunt and a way to make money. Despite these protestations, the film generated a lot of controversies.
During an interview on the Oprah Winfrey Network, Diamond claimed that he wasn't in the tape himself. “I'm not an idiot. I'm not going to really put myself out there. I got a stunt person to come in. I thought, what if this thing makes $3 million?” The public still wasn't a fan, and Diamond's star fell as a result.
Out on a Lark
Growing up in the spotlight can definitely have its effects. While Lisa Turtle ruled Bayside High with sass and style, Lark Voorhies’s life didn’t pan out as smoothly after the show ended. In fact, Voorhies publicly battled with her mother after she revealed Lark suffered from bipolar disorder. In 2015, Voorhies married Jimmy Green, a music producer. The actress’s mother filed a restraining order against him for threatening Voorhies’s safety.
While the actress defended her then-husband in an interview, she eventually filed for divorce shortly after. Voorhies has stayed out of the spotlight, for the most part, working on her mental health and writing books.
Hunky A.C. Slater, played by Mario Lopez, was a ladies' man who could barely even stay with his designated girlfriend Jessie Spano. Lopez himself was also quite the cheat. While he and Thiessen dated as the show was filming, she caught him making out with an extra, and she tore off his letter jacket – a definitive end to any high school relationship.
Lopez has also had a few marriages end quickly thanks to his antics, including to Ali Landry, which lasted only a few weeks, and Karina Smirnoff. His current wife, Courtney Lopez, put a cheating clause in their prenup, which has so far kept Mario on the straight and narrow.
He Loves to Show Off
Mario Lopez isn't just a pretty face and a handsome bod. Before he even joined the cast of Bell, he was a dancer and a “drummer” on Kids Incorporated, a long-running children's musical show which launched not only Lopez, but Jennifer Love Hewitt, Scott Wolf, Eric Balfour, and Stacy Ferguson – whom you probably know better as “Fergie.”
Lopez, like Slater, put his skills to good use during the run of Bell and even brought some of those skills back for an appearance on "Dancing with the Stars," which "Saved by the Bell" superfan Jimmy Kimmel had fun with.
Old Shame Episode
In what is certainly a very memorable episode, Zack discovers that he has Native American heritage in the episode “Running Zack.” It's made a focal point of the episode but is never brought up again. While Mark-Paul once said it was his favorite episode, his opinion has changed as of 2016, at which point he apologized for the episode, stating it was insensitive.
The episode, which features Zack in quite cringe-worthy, stereotypical Native American costuming, certainly could never be made today. (Interestingly, Mark-Paul is mixed race, though not Native American – he's part-Indonesian on his mother's side.)
A Show by Any Other Name
At a pre-production meeting, NBC President Brandon Tartikoff suggested the show have a name incorporating the word “bell” as befitting a show set entirely in a school. Tartikoff's original suggestion was “When the Bell Rings,” and when one of producer Peter Engel's colleagues suggested “Saved by the Bell,” Tartikoff liked it.
Engel disliked the title, but went along with it, under the assumption that someone else owned the rights to the phrase. To his great surprise, NBC's legal department found no one owned the rights, and the very next day Engel's office was covered in banners that said: “Saved by the Bell.”
It's impossible to think about athlete and goofball A.C. Slater and not picture a young Mario Lopez. However, it wasn't always to be – originally, Slater was going to have a very different look. The character was originally going to have a John Travolta style, such as the dancing king himself from Saturday Night Fever, though obviously not with the same fate – but with the same panache, charm, and charisma.
Yet when producers started the actor search, they failed to find the guy, at least among Caucasian actors. Producer Engel expanded the search to Latino, Asian, and Black actors, and came up with a winner with Lopez.
Named After an Executive
In a well-known episode, geeky Screech builds a functioning robot. While the robot only appeared in three episodes, it was a famous detail of the character, and one of the ways he set himself apart from the other members of the cast – none of the other principal cast members could have done such a thing, that's for sure (except for maybe Jessie if it was for extra credit).
The robot's name was Kevin, which was the name of the NBC executive who was in charge of the show. While we have on the confirmation, we like to imagine the executive loved getting his name in the show in such a way.
Worked with Miss Bliss
Leanna Creel, who played Tori in the fourth season, might not have appeared in "Good Morning, Miss Bliss," but she did act with Miss Bliss's actress, Hayley Mills. Leanna, as well as her triplet sisters Joy and Monica, appeared with Mills in two of the three television sequels to the original "Parent Trap," almost thirty years after the original was released.
The Creel sisters appeared in "Parent Trap III" and "Parent Trap: Hawaiian Honeymoon." Both movies premiered in 1989, the same year Saved by the Bell made its debut. Hayley Mills was the actress who played both twins in the original "Parent Trap" and sings a duet with herself.
Never Seen or Heard From Again
Saved by the Bell has become notorious for introducing characters that disappear forever. Let's list some of the most famous examples: Jessie's step-brother, Eric Tramer, agrees to live with Jessie permanently but never reappears. Screech's girlfriend, Violet Bickerstaff, disappears halfway through season three. Laura, a homeless girl and Zack's love interest in "Saved by the Bell: Home for Christmas: Part 1 and Part 2," lives with the Morris family until her father finds a job, but is never mentioned or seen again.
Even “main” cast member Tori Scott joins at the beginning of season four, appears sporadically, and then disappears before the graduation episode – though that was partially due to the order in which episodes were filmed.
Magic to The Max
One of the most famous sets in the show – and indeed in pop-culture – is “The Max,” the diner where the gang would hang out after school. Several of the characters got part-time jobs there, the vivid decorating style became a classic symbol of the late eighties and early nineties, and the owner Max loved his magic.
In fact, Ed Alonzo, who played Max, is a real stage magician and illusionist – he even helped create special illusions for Britney Spears and her 2009 “Circus” tour. While he never does anything too crazy for the show, he's always ready to show off. However, Max never appeared after the second season for what is being called “Proto #MeToo allegations.”
The Almighty Time-Out
Somehow, for some reason, Zack Morris has a superpower. Just by yelling “Time Out!” he can freeze time for everyone but himself. He would use this opportunity to speak directly to the audience, move people around, get out of sticky situations, and get into more mischief. It was an especially weird part of a show with plenty of it, though it was much more common in the earlier seasons.
Zack's ability to do this is never really explained in-universe, though some commentators have noted it makes Zack into an almost deific character, especially that of a trickster God such as Loki, due to his manipulation, but is unable to handle even a taste of power. Only once is a character not frozen when Zack yells Time Out: Screech, in the glee club episode of season two.
Brothers On-screen and Off
Principal Belding is an uncool, desperate character who can barely keep up with the kids when it comes to schemes, which is why it's such a shock for Belding's brother, Rod, to be a laid-back, cool substitute teacher. He only appeared in “The Fabulous Belding Boys,” which has the brothers butting heads about teaching style and life choices – Rod ends up missing an important field trip to spend the weekend with a stewardess.
The actor who played Rod, Edward Blatchford, is Dennis Haskins's brother in real life, though hopefully, their relationship is better in real life than the one they portrayed in the episode.
Never Seen On Screen
A large number of relations in the show were never cast, and thus never appeared on-screen. For instance, Kelly has mentioned that she has six siblings, but we only ever meet one sister and one brother. Viewers never see Slater's mom, Screech's dad, Jesse's mom, or Kelly's mom. Zack's parents are both seen but are never in the same scene.
The only exception to this is when they, along with Kelly's parents, show up to watch the characters get married in Wedding in Las Vegas. We also never see any part of Zack's house except his bedroom or living room, and we never even see the outside of the school.
"Saved by the Bell" had astounding popularity. It became one of the biggest shows ever after only four years. It broke the Saturday-morning mold, ousted cartoons from the NBC lineup, had better ratings than The Cosby Show, the biggest sitcom of the time, and even the reruns were grabbing millions of people on the regular. It made millions, launched several of the young actors to fame, and is still cited as one of the biggest pop-culture icons of the early nineties.
Yet, for all that, it was nominated for only one Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction. They were nominated for, and won, a number of smaller awards, but didn't even win the Emmy.