In a new interview with Variety, executive producers Tracey Wigfield and Franco Bario confirm that the Peacock revival will pay tribute to both Diamond and his beloved character in the Season 2 premiere (releasing Nov. 24; watch trailer), in a scene that reunites his former costars Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Zack Morris), Tiffani Thiessen (Kelly Kapowski-Morris), Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater), Elizabeth Berkley Lauren (Jessie Spano) and Lark Voorhies (Lisa Turtle).
“It would have been wrong to not acknowledge [Diamond’s death] in a real way and to not have our OG characters mourning this character that we’ll never get to see again,” Wigfield says.
The Season 2 opener culminates in a montage of vintage Screech clips, which Bario — who has been involved with every iteration of SBTB dating back to Good Morning, Miss Bliss — made sure reflected both “how important he was to the show, but also to the other characters in the show.”
The Saved by the Bell revival premiered last November, without an appearance by Diamond. The present-day continuation explained Screech’s absence by telling viewers that he was living on the International Space Station with his robot Kevin.
Diamond died on Feb. 1 after a short battle with Stage 4 lung cancer; he was 44 years old. All told, he appeared in 248 episodes of the SBTB franchise, having originated the Screech character in the short-lived Disney Channel series Good Morning, Miss Bliss. As one of only four cast members to make the leap to NBC’s Saved by the Bell, he continued to portray Screech in the spinoffs The College Years and The New Class. He also appeared in both made-for-TV movies, Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style and Saved by the Bell: Wedding in Las Vegas.