Debbie Gibson says a Saved by the Bell Broadway musical was once in the works
Think a Saved by the Bell Broadway musical is only in your dreams? Think again. The project was once in the early stages of development, and pop star Debbie Gibson says producers approached her about composing it.
Gibson, currently on tour in Asia with fellow ’80s/’90s pop star Tiffany, made the revelation to EW while talking about her new Hallmark movie Wedding of Dreams, the sequel to 2016’s Summer of Dreams. In it, she portrays Debbie Taylor, a former pop star whose singing career is getting a second wind of sorts. After some renewed interest thanks to a performance on an American Idol-like show, she appears on a talk show where the host asks her what she would love to bring back from the ’90s.
So, EW posed the same question to Gibson.
“Oh, my God, that is so fun! Wait, was Saved by the Bell in the ‘90s? The first thing that popped into my head would be Saved by the Bell,” Gibson proclaims. “I was actually at one point turning it into a musical. So I would say bring it back and turn it into a really kitschy, catchy musical [Laughs].”
Series executive producer Peter Engel and Linda Mancuso, an NBC executive who helped launch the series, approached Gibson about the potential musical centered on a group of Southern California high school friends, but the project got shelved after Mancuso died in 2003 following a six-year battle with breast cancer.
“They had talked about composing and writing lyrics, and I found a draft of that script in my garage recently when I moved and went, Oh my god, this is still a great idea,” Gibson says. “People love nostalgia. It’s not happening, but we’re re-opening it [with this conversation].”
Saved by the Bell aired on NBC from 1989-1992, and it spawned two spin-offs: Saved by the Bell: The College Years, and Saved by the Bell: The New Class. While several movies have been adapted for the stage recently — Pretty Woman, Mean Girls, The Color Purple, and Waitress among them — fewer TV shows have made the leap to the Great White Way. The Addams Family hit Broadway in 2009 (closing the following year) and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical opened in Spring 2017 and is set to close Sept. 16.
Saved by the Bell