Lifetime’s ‘Unauthorized Saved the Bell’ Movie Attracts Underwhelming 1.6 Million Viewers

The behind-the-scenes take on the high school sitcom does not look to be the next “Sharknado”

Last Updated: September 2, 2014 @ 1:30 PM

Lifetime’s “Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story” debuted to just 1.6 million viewers on Labor Day Sunday.

That’s a pretty low number for the cable channel, especially considering the social media buzz surrounding the movie. For comparison, Lifetime’s “Gabby Douglas Story” premiered to 3.8 million viewers in February and its Anna Nicole movie captured 3.3 million viewers in July of last year.

Some believed the “Saved by the Bell” movie could be TV’s next iteration of Syfy’s “Sharknado,” which became a surprise social media hit in July of last year and spurred a sequel. Lifetime’s movie actually beat “Sharknado,” which was watched by 1.3 million viewers in its initial airing, by about 300,000 viewers. Subsequent airings of “Sharknado,” however, hit 1.9 million and 2.1 million viewers on its second and third airings, respectively. It remains to be seen if “Saved by the Bell” can match those kinds of numbers on future airings.

Also read: Critics and Viewers Trash Lifetime’s ‘Saved by the Bell’ Movie: ‘Atrocious,’ ‘Boring,’ ‘Yawn-Inducing Mess’

Based on interviews and behind the scenes footage, Lifetime’s “Saved by the Bell” movie was written by Ron McGee (“The Nine Lives of Chole King”).

It starred as Dylan Everett (“Degrassi: The Next Generation”) as play Mark-Paul Gosselaar/ “Zack Morris,” Sam Kindseth (“Shameless”) as Dustin Diamond/ “Screech,” Julian Works (“Paranormal Activity”) as Mario Lopez/ “A.C. Slater,” Alyssa Lynch (“The High Jumping Witch”) as Tiffani-Amber Thiessen/ “Kelly Kapowski,” Tiera Skovbye (“Supernatural”) as Elizabeth Berkley/ “Jessie Sapano,” and Taylor Russell McKenzie (“Blink”) as Lark Voorhies/ “Lisa Turtle.”

Also read: ‘Saved by the Bell’ Casting Director on Returning for the Movie, Why Finding a New ‘Dustin Diamond’ Was Tough

Lifetime is currently producing biopics about R&B/pop stars Whitney Houston and Aaliyah. A movie about actress Brittany Murphy premieres on Saturday.

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