Here’s ‘Saved By the Bell: The College Years’ EP Peter Engel’s One Regret

“It was my decision and I made a mistake,” TNBC legend laments to TheWrap

'Saved By the Bell: The College Years'
'Saved By the Bell: The College Years'

We all have regrets from our college years — Peter Engel’s just happen to be from Zack Morris’ time on campus.

During a recent conversation about Engel’s impressive and nostalgia-inducing resume, the author of “I Was Saved By the Bell” told TheWrap the one thing he would take back from the franchise’s less-successful “College Years,” which only lasted 19 episodes as a freshman series.

“I should’ve taken all the six kids to college,” the executive producer admitted. “I should’ve insisted we take them all and I didn’t. It was my decision and I made a mistake.”

But why, Peter? Why did you kick the high school-graduated gang’s girls to the curb?

“I was trying to make it different than ‘Bell’ and I think we made it too different,” he concluded. “I think we lost some of our — what’s the word? — innocence.”

Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Thiessen) eventually enrolled in “Saved By the Bell: The College Years” after the pilot episode. Lisa Turtle (Lark Voorhies) and Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley) never did.

Instead, Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), A.C. Slater (Mario Lopez) and Samuel “Screech” Powers (Dustin Diamond) attended California University in a shared suite with a new pair of girls, Leslie Burke (Anne Tremko) and Alex Tabor (Kiersten Warren).

Let’s just say it didn’t work out — a rare whiff for Engel.

Get more of the executive producer’s stories in his book “I Was Saved by the Bell: Stories of Life, Love, and Dreams That Do Come True,” out now.