6:45am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Peacock's 'Saved by the Bell' Sequel Finds Its Lead in Josie Totah (Exclusive)
The Saved by the Bell TV sequel has cast its lead.
Champions breakout Josie Totah will star in the half-hour comedy from Great News creator Tracey Wigfield. The series is expected to launch this year on NBCUniversal's forthcoming streamer Peacock. Totah will also be credited as a producer on the show.
Original stars Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley will reprise their roles as A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano, respectively, in the single-camera comedy that explores what happens when California Gov. Zack Morris (Mark Gosselaar's role) gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools and proposes the affected students be sent to the highest-performing schools in the state — including Bayside High.
Totah will star as Lexi, a beautiful, sharp-tongued cheerleader and the most popular girl at Bayside High who is both admired and feared by her fellow students.
The role brings Totah back into the NBCUniversal fold after she starred in NBC and Universal TV's short-lived Mindy Kaling-produced comedy Champions. Totah, who came out as transgender in a moving Time essay in August 2018, is fresh off a recurring role on Netflix's No Good Nick. Her credits includeSpider-Man: Homecoming and Amazon's Lee Daniels-produced pilot Good People. She is repped by WME and Rise Management.
The new Saved by the Bell was picked up straight to series in September. The comedy hails from writer Wigfield and is produced by Universal Television, where the 30 Rock grad and Great News creator recently renewed her overall deal. Wigfield will serve as showrunner and executive produce alongside original series creator Peter Engel and Franco Bario (Great News). Lopez and Berkley will also produce.
NBC's streaming service, Peacock, is set to launch in April with originals joining the lineup in summer 2020. Saved by the Bell is part of an ambitious slate that includes a Battlestar Galactica reboot from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, among several other projects. Details about Peacock will be unveiled Jan. 16 during an NBCUniversal investor presentation.