Mark-Paul Gosselaar says he ‘was never approached’ for ‘Saved by the Bell’ revival

The Bayside gang is reuniting, but Zack Morris isn’t invited — for the time being, at least.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who played the good-looking yet incorrigible Zack in NBC’s beloved “Saved by the Bell” series, said he was never approached to take part in the show’s forthcoming TV sequel, which will reprise roles from Mario Lopez and and Elizabeth Berkley.

“I read it in the trades just like everybody else this morning,” Gosselaar told Variety on the “Mixed-ish” premiere red carpet Monday night. “Honestly, I was never approached. I woke up to the news this morning with a kind of ‘huh’ response.”

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Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Elizabeth Berkley in Saved by the Bell
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Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Elizabeth Berkley in Saved by the Bell
SAVED BY THE BELL -- 'Screech's Woman' Episode 5 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zachary 'Zack' Morris, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessica 'Jessie' Myrtle Spano -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
SAVED BY THE BELL -- 'Screech's Woman' Episode 5 -- Air Date 09/16/1989 -- Pictured: (l-r) Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zachary 'Zack' Morris, Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
SAVED BY THE BELL -- 'Screech's Woman' Episode 5 -- Air Date 09/16/1989 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zachary 'Zack' Morris, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
SAVED BY THE BELL -- Season 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Mario Lopez as A.C. Slater, Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, Dustin Diamond as Screech Powers, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris, Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle -- Photo by: Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank
SAVED BY THE BELL -- 'From Nurse to Worse' Episode 16 -- Air Date 12/15/1990 -- Pictured: (l-r) Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris -- Photo by: Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank
SAVED BY THE BELL -- 'From Nurse to Worse' Episode 16 -- Air Date 12/15/1990 -- Pictured: (l-r) Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris -- Photo by: Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank
SAVED BY THE BELL -- 'House Party' Episode 5 -- Air Date 10/06/1990 -- Pictured: (l-r) Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank
CENTURY CITY, CA - JULY 19: (L-R) Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Elizabeth Berkley, Mario Lopez, Dennis Haskins, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Lark Voorhies attend NBC TV Summer Press Tour on July 19, 1990 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
SAVED BY THE BELL -- Season 3 --Pictured: (l-r) Top: Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Mario Lopez as A.C. Slater, Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle; Middle: Dustin Diamond as Screech Powers; Bottom: Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris -- Photo by: Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank
SAVED BY THE BELL -- 'My Boyfriend's Back' Episode 8 -- Air Date 10/05/1991 -- Pictured: (l-r) Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris -- Photo by: Joseph Del Valle/NBCU Photo Bank
SAVED BY THE BELL: HAWAIIAN STYLE -- Air Date 11/27/1992 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris, Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski, Dustin Diamond as Screech Powers, Elizabeth Berkley as Jessie Spano, Lark Voorhies as Lisa Turtle, Mario Lopez as A.C. Slater -- Photo by: Joseph Del Valle/NBCU Photo Bank
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Although he said he would definitely consider reprising the lovable character (“I’ve always been interested, of course,” he said), he does understand why NBC never reached out. Gosselaar now stars in “Mixed-ish” on ABC, which poses competition against NBCUniversal’s newly named streaming service Peacock. I’m on ABC, so it doesn’t really fit into that considering Disney Plus, so I understand the business side of things,” he said. “But I had no idea it was that far along.”

Still, when Peacock announced plans for the “Saved by the Bell” revival, it drew on the popularity of Zack through the events that kick off the new series and certainly left the door open for Gosselaar to cameo.

Picking up decades after the original series went off the air, that character is said to now be California governor, who faces backlash for shuttering too many low-income high schools. The affected students then get dispersed to the highest-performing schools in the state — including his alma matter, Bayside High. The revival comes from showrunner Tracey Wigfield, who will executive produce alongside original series creator Peter Engel and original series producer Franco Bario. Original series stars Elizabeth Berkeley and Mario Lopez will reprise their roles as Jessie Spano and AC Slater, respectively, and they will also produce.

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