Peacock just canceled one of its biggest shows despite stellar reviews

The Peacock app
(Image credit: Future)

The Saved by the Bell reboot has been canceled at Peacock despite a strong critical reception and having recently won an industry award.

The news comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which confirmed that Saved by the Bell had not been saved from the axe that's swinging freely at streaming services right now. 

FYI: Peacock just got one of the best movies of the year — and it's 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The show, which ran for 20 episodes across two seasons, was a revival of the original of the same name which aired for four seasons between 1989 and 1993. The refreshed version follows a group of low-income students who are transferred to the wealthy Bayside High after the governor of California closes down underfunded schools. Hijinks, hilarity and earnest life lessons soon follow. 

The Saved by the Bell reboot saw much of the original main cast return. While Duston Diamond and Dennis Haskins were absent, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen, Lark Voorhies and Ed Alonzo all resumed their roles. They were joined by a cast of fresh faces including Haskiri Velazquez, Mitchell Hoog, Josie Totah, Alycia Pascual-Peña, and John Michael Higgins. 

The show won a GLAAD Media Award for Best Comedy Series just last month, and overall it enjoyed a pretty strong critical reception. The new version of Saved by the Bell scored 88% overall on Rotten Tomatoes, and 100% for season 2, and its audience rating is a similarly strong 73%. Unfortunately, it would appear that while those who did watch the show enjoyed it, not enough Peacock subscribers clicked play to justify a third season. 

Peacock released a statement confirming the show’s cancelation, which reads: “We are so proud to have been the home of the next iteration of Saved by the Bell for both new and OG fans.

“Saved by the Bell has been a cultural mainstay for more than 30 years and the new series, led by Tracey Wigfield’s superfan enthusiasm and signature witty humor, seamlessly continued the show’s legacy, all while allowing more audiences to feel seen. We’re grateful to Tracey, Franco Bario, our partners at UTV, the beloved cast, and the fans who have continued to champion one of the most iconic shows of all time.”

Analysis: Peacock needs stronger original shows 

Saved by the Bell isn’t the first Peacock original series to be canceled this year. The streamer passed on greenlighting a second season of Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol and confirmed the series was finished back in January. However, Peacock still has some way to go before equalling the number of Netflix canceled shows in 2022

With Saved by the Bell now out of the picture, Peacock’s original show problem is even more apparent. While the streaming service can boast every episode of beloved series like The Office and Yellowstone, NBC has struggled to create any Peacock exclusives that have enjoyed significant success. At least the second season of Tina Fey’s comedy series Girls5Eva just dropped and is getting strong reviews out of the gate. 

Even with a lack of noteworthy original shows, we still rank Peacock as one of the best streaming services out there. This is largely due to its excellent library of classic content, and its no-commitment free tier, which we greatly appreciate. 

In other streaming news, we'll help you figure out if you should watch Netflix's #1 movie which also has a 0% Rotten Tomatoes score. Also, we've got the Doctor Strange 2 post-credit scenes details in spoiler-free and spoiler-full versions. And fight fans, we've got you covered with all the UFC 274 live stream details.

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.