Peacock Exec Reveals Why Saved By The Bell And Punky Brewster Revivals Were Cancelled

Two of the early original series for NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, reboots of Saved by the bell And Punky Brewster, were also among those canceled early. The Punky Brewster revival only lasted one ten-episode season before being canceled in 2021 while Saved by the bell did just a little better, eventually getting a total of 20 episodes over two seasons before being officially canceled in May 2022. Now Susan Rovner, the president of entertainment content at NBCUniversal TV and streaming, is revealing why both shows were canceled with Rovner saying the two series just weren’t “the right thing to lean on initially” for the platform.

“I didn’t green-light any of the shows,” Rovner said The Hollywood Reporter. “I think that also falls under it’s hard to get scale on a comedy streaming service. They didn’t bring in the scale that the people who green lit were hoping for. I think it was just too early. The people before me were more leaning towards comedy, and I can’t really say why. In the end, it wasn’t the right thing to lean towards at first.”

The Punky Brewster reboot saw Soleil Moon Frye reprise her role from the 1980s sitcom, this time as a single mom with three kids trying to get her life back on track. Saved By the Bell began with California Governor Zack Morris getting into trouble for closing too many underfunded schools, then proposing that affected students be sent to the highest-funded schools in the state, including Bayside High.

Rovner also commented on other recent cancellations by Peacock, including two projects from The diary of vampires alum Julie Plec, Vampire Academyand an in-progress adaptation of Aftershock Comics’ Dead day.

“I have a history with Julie and Kevin from my Warner days,” Rovner explained. “Both One of us is lying And Vampire Academy, the takeaway was that it was too early to put those shows on the platform. What we realized is we have to get the parents before we get the teens. And I hope that once we get the parents with shows like Poker face and shows as Traitorsthat we like a show Vampire Academy in a few years. The timing was not right. We didn’t have the skills yet to bring in a young adult audience.”

“It was more of a creative decision,” Rovner said of the Dead day decision. “In the end, we thought this didn’t quite fit the platform. I hope we can come up with another project that will work for the platform; I want to work with them forever.”

What do you think about Peacock’s Saved by the bell And Punky Brewster restart? Do you think they were just introduced at the wrong time? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!

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