It looks like it was Senior Skip Day yesterday for TV audiences when it came to Lifetime’s cheesy-breezy original movie The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, as the ratings were less impressive than last week’s Buddy Bands sales. I tried getting you guys into the mood here, and maybe it worked for you. Unfortunately, the rest of America was apparently busy washing their hair.
According to THR, the 9 p.m. ET telecast only brought in 1.6 million total viewers, which is roughly 100,000 less than the number of girls’ numbers that Mario Lopez and Mark-Paul Gosselaar got while starring in the original series. These numbers are pretty dismal, though it’s possible they’ll be a little larger once DVR totals come in.
Honestly, though, it was Labor Day, and many spent the day barbecuing, drinking and taking it easy; it’s no wonder people didn’t want to spend their pre-sleep evening dealing with a fake Dustin Diamond griping about how his more attractive co-stars got all the breaks. Hell, even Hollywood treated this Labor Day weekend as if it were taking place in a blizzard-filled January. So we’ll go ahead and blame this one on America’s blasé attitude towards non-sports holiday fare.
Still, though, the numbers suck even for Lifetime Original Movies in recent months. Back in May, the V.C. Andrews adaptation of Petals in the Wind brought in 3.4 million viewers, while the Lindsay Lohan-starring Liz & Dick did even better with 3.5. million. (For shame!) Though in comparison, the network’s original sci-fi series The Lottery debuted in July to just over 1 million viewers. So Saved by the Bell did better than something, at least.
For those who are completely unaware, The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story was loosely based on Dustin Diamond’s tell-all memoir Behind the Bell, a book that Diamond himself has admitted was only loosely based on real life. The movie took viewers behind-the-scenes of the hit Saturday morning series, and briefly touched upon scandals and relationships between all the cast members, including Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Dylan Everett), Dustin Diamond (Sam Kindseth), Tiffani-Amber Thiessen (Alyssa Lynch), Elizabeth Berkley (Tiera Skovbye), Lark Voorhies (Taylor Russell McKenzie) and Mario Lopez (Julian Works). It was just as silly and irrelevant as one would expect, and its strong presence in social media made it seem like audiences would show up in droves. But Everett’s brown roots were clearly more present.
If you want to know what you missed, check out all the movie’s best WTF moments here and try to find a repeat of it. Let Lifetime know that their efforts were not in vain, and that a California Dreams tell-all flick is more than welcome for Summer 2015.