Saved by the Bell will welcome a new principal to Bayside. The revival of the classic TV comedy will feature veteran character actor John Michael Higgins in the role as Principal Toddman, Bayside High’s newest school administrator, TV Line reports. The new character is the successor to Principal Belding, played by Dennis Haskins, in the original sitcom.
According to TV Line, Higgins’ character will be the victim of pranks by his school’s entitled students and constantly screamed at by their wealthy parents. Yet, when Bayside gets an influx of low-income new students, it paves the way for change at Principal Toddman’s school.
On Twitter, fans of the original series were not happy that Haskin’s Mr. Belding has been “retired” from Saved by the Bell.
“If they insist on doing this sh*tty idea at least let Mr. Belding earn a paycheck,” one fan tweeted of the revival series.
Other fans said Mr. Belding was the funniest character by far on the original series and suggested that the only way the replacement news would be acceptable is if Mr. Belding has been promoted to superintendent of the school district.
In 2013, Haskins told Parade he had “the best job of all” on the show.
“The principal stayed while the kids came and went,” he said. “So I had a steady job for eleven years. For me, that’s long-term.”
He also added that no matter what, “that show was six students and the principal.”
“They were the heart of the show,” he said.
Haskins still very much plays into his Mr. Belding character. He made a cameo at last year’s Saved by the Max pop-up, and his Instagram handle is “RealMrBelding,” where he frequently posts about his days on the show. In the comments section to Haskins’ most recent post, fans wrote that they hope he’s part of the new SBTB show.
While Haskins appears to be out, the upcoming revival from NBC’s forthcoming streaming service Peacock will include Saved by the Bell veterans Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez. So far, Mark Paul-Gosselaar, has not been signed, despite the fact that the spinoff series will center on his character Zack Morris’ new role as the governor of California.
Saved by the Bell originally aired from 1989 to 1993 on NBC and starred Gosselaar, Haskins, Berkley, Lopez, Tiffani Thiessen, Lark Voorhies, and Dustin Diamond. In addition to the original series, Haskins appeared as Mr. Belding in the spinoff series Saved by the Bell: The College Years and Saved by the Bell: The New Class.