Mark-Paul Gosselaar admitted at ’90s Con Tampa (via Entertainment Weekly) that he brought his work home with him in a negative way while filming the short-lived Fox drama series “Pitch.” The “Saved by the Bell” alum starred in the show as a veteran baseball player who butts heads with and befriends a young teammate who happens to be the first woman to play in the MLB. Gosselaar said after filming episodes he’d go home and his “really aggressive baseball player” would stay with him.
“That’s a role though, that I don’t make light of it, but I had to go therapy with my wife,” he revealed. “I’d come in through that front door and like my wife said in therapy sessions, ‘That’s not the guy I married.’ And you’re playing this guy and then the next day, you have to jump right into that. It is actually really difficult to go back and forth, especially when you have kids.”
“Pitch” was one of the most acclaimed new broadcast dramas of the 2016 fall television season, but it failed to deliver ratings for Fox and was thus canceled after only one season and 10 episodes.
“I wanted to quit the industry after that ended,” Gosselaar said during the panel. “That’s one of those, you feel like in your lifetime you’re not going to be handed opportunities like that, so for that to pass in the fashion that it did it was sort of a gut punch.”
Ahead of his ’90s Con Tampa appearance, Gosselaar was in the news for talking about what it’s like watching “Saved by the Bell” episodes that have not aged well. In the show’s second episode, “The Lisa Card,” his character, Zack Morris, charges boys in school to kiss Lisa (Lark Voorhies) for $1 so she can get money to pay her dad back after she exceeds his credit card limit.
“There was one where I was basically whoring out Lisa Turtle,” Gosselaar said on the “Pod Meets World” podcast. “I charged people to kiss her without her consent. That was a tough one.”
In another episode, Zack pretends to be Native American and wears a “a full headdress.”
“There’s things that you just would not film nowadays,” Gosselaar said. “There are things every single episode that we could pick out. At that point, you try not to be negative. It’s a watch party… It’s a tightrope walk. Overall, you try to be positive about the work and say ‘that was a different time.’”
Several years after “Pitch” got canceled, Gosselaar reprised Zack Morris on Peacock’s “Saved By the Bell” revival series. He was also a producer on the reboot, which ran for two seasons.