Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s recent appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show, when he dressed up as the beloved Zack Morris from ‘Saved By the Bell,‘ has been all over the Internet. It’s got people talking TV reunion.
‘Jimmy Fallon has been petitioning for a reunion for a while,’ notes Gosselaar, who told the ‘SBTB’-obsessed host he would reunite with the cast on his show. However, the actor admits he’s not so sure if he’d be up for an actual scripted TV reunion. ‘I don’t know how that would work having a reunion with all of us. I think a lot of us have moved on. My fear is if you do a reunion, you just don’t want it to be campy and that was the charm of our show 20 years ago. It was very tongue-in-cheek and I don’t know if we can recreate that now without it being sort of a farce. I’m testing the waters with Jimmy’s show to see how it works out and maybe it will change my opinion.’
Gosselaar’s actual purpose of being on the talk show was to promote his current show, ‘Raising the Bar,’ which just began its second season.
Says the actor, who also served a stint on ‘NYPD Blue’ in the interim, ‘A lot of my ‘Saved By the Bell’ fans aren’t aware that I’m still on TV, so I’m hoping I can grab some percentage of those people and bring them over to watch ‘Raising the Bar.” He tells us there’s a lot in store this season on the TNT drama. ‘We’re certainly feeling the pressure of getting that second season under our belt. The audience has invested time in us and we want to give them what they want. I think we’re on the right track,’ he says. ‘Last year a lot of the show was focused on the public defender side, but this year we’re showing the prosecutors’ side as well. With 15 episodes, it certainly allows us to broaden the strokes quite a bit and see the characters in more depth.’
ANOTHER GENERATION HEARD FROM: When your grandfather was a movie icon — ‘a 6-foot-5, 260-pound man who had the presence of a downtown city block’ — taking part in a remake of one of his classics gives you pause. At least, it certainly did for Brendan Wayne, whose grandfather was none other than John Wayne. Brendan costars with Lou Diamond Phillips and Luke Perry in the Hallmark Channel’s ‘Angel and the Badman,’ debuting July 5. He admits he asked for a day to think it over when the project came his way. ‘I don’t mind the idea you can market films on my grandfather’s name and the whole deal. He worked hard enough that his family legacy is something to be used,’ he says. ‘Without a doubt I couldn’t be more proud to be his grandson, but doing one of his films — there’s a fine line of losing your identity.’Not only that, but The Duke ‘meant so much to so many people. I thought, ‘Holy moly! I’ve got to do this some justice!’ more than you’d feel with a regular role,’ says Brendan, whose acting resume thus far lists episodics like ‘The Closer’ and ‘CSI,’ and films including Samuel L. Jackson’s ‘Home of the Brave.’
What got him over his hesitation was, ‘I have five brothers and two sisters, and they all said, ‘You’ve got to be an idiot not to go for this.’ And my Uncle Patrick said, ‘Get on it. Go have some fun.”Brendan says he was particularly interested in seeing who the producers wanted to play Quirt, ‘my Granddaddy’s role’ — the outlaw who’s transformed when a kind Quaker family (with a beautiful daughter, natch) nurses him back to health after he nearly dies. ‘You’d need someone who was confident in himself and had great character traits of his own — you can’t reproduce JW,’ Brendan notes. ‘When they told me Lou Diamond Phillips, I thought ‘That’s perfect. They thought outside the box.’ You can’t compare him and my grandfather.’
THE INDUSTRY EYE: Having killed off Emmanuelle Vaugier in its latest season finale, ‘CSI: NY’ is casting a new lead character. She’s named Kaye Sullivan, and is described as ‘attractive, funny, extremely sexy…’ (That’s attractive and extremely sexy, got that?) ‘…late twenties or early thirties. Takes risks.’ She’s also quite book smart. Brililant, in fact, so while she hasn’t got much experience, she’s not just your average rookie. She asks lots of questions.
Are you ready for a musical of ‘Bonnie & Clyde’? It’s legit. They’re holding auditions next week for a Frank Wildhorn’s new musical at the showcase La Jolla Playhouse, with plans for an October opening. You know the story: Boy gets girl, boy and girl terrorize Depression era America and become mythic figures robbing banks, boy loses girl and self in rain of machine gun fire. Sing it! Seriously, if ‘Sweeney Todd’ can be ‘Sweeney Todd’ then anything can be a musical. Wildhorn did the music, Don Black the lyrics, Jeff Calhoun is the director.
With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster