Comic Legends: Were Saved by the Bell's Origins Within a Comic Book?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and twenty-eighth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week's legends.


The TV series, Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which inspired Saved by the Bell, was named after a Marvel Comics book series.



In 1988, The Disney Channel debuted one of their very first (if not their VERY first) original sitcom, a rejected NBC prime time series called Good Morning, Miss Bliss, starring former Disney child star (The Parent Trap!), Hayley Mills, as a middle school teacher. The show would follow her adventures, plus her fellow teachers and, of course, some of her students. The show only lasted one year.

NBC, though, agreed to a revamp of the series and turned it into a high school sitcom for young people that would air on Saturday mornings beginning in 1989. Dubbed Saved by the Bell, only the principal (played by Dennis Haskins) and three of the students (Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Dustin Diamond and Lark Voorhies)) returned (the state the stories happened in also changed).

The resulting series became a legendary sitcom both for kids who grew up in early 1990s and to many generations since then (since the show aired constantly in syndication).

Anyhow, my pal Jeff R. wrote in to me on Twitter to ask if the show had any connection to a short-lived Marvel comic book series from the 1950s called Meet Miss Bliss.

By Stan Lee and the great Al Hartley (before he became super religious), the series was a standard romance-style series set at a school...

I got into contact with Peter Engel, who just came out with a book about his time on Saved by the Bell called, I Was Saved by the Bell...

and Engel let me in on the fact that the show was named after the 6th grade teacher of NBC's Head of their Entertainment Division, Brandon Tartikoff. Tartikoff also famously named the TV character, Punky Brewster, after a girl that he had a crush on when he was a little kid (I've done a few legends on him, like how Michael J. Fox got "revenge" on him for not believing that Fox would be a star, what role Tartikoff played in the creation of Miami Vice and the odd tale of how he was inspired to create The Golden Girls).

So just a coincidence, Jeff! Thanks for the suggestion!

And thanks to Peter Engel and Marissa Eigenbrood for the information!

Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed at CBR: Was Michael Biehn paid more to NOT be in Alien3 than he was to star in Aliens?

Check back later on Sunday for Part 3 of this week's legends! And remember, e-mail me at cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com if you have any suggestions for future comic book legends!

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