TIME Television

Saved by the Bell’s Dustin Diamond Seeking Redemption in Bell Biopic

"Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid" New York Premiere
Dustin Diamond attends the "Mega Python vs. Gatoroid" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre on January 24, 2011 in New York City. Jim Spellman—WireImage

The actor who played Screech is looking for a redemption story — but will Behind the Bell be it?

Dustin Diamond, best known for role as Saved by the Bell’s “Screech,” doesn’t understand why he has such a bad reputation.

Like why fans believe he’s actually the aggressive guy they saw on reality show Celebrity Fit Club. (“It was scripted on my end,” the 37-year-old tells TIME. “I had to outdo Gary Busey! I didn’t think the fans would think of everything being real.”)

Or why they were turned off by his self-released and allegedly staged adult film, pleasantly titled Screeched — Saved by the Smell. (“Paris Hilton made $14 million for her sex tape . . . As an opportunist, I thought I could easily fake it and get a stunt double,” he said. “But people just ran with it. Everyone has a sex tape, but I was making porn. And I wasn’t, it wasn’t me. My conscience is clear.”)

And then there was his book, Behind the Bell, that claimed to provide salacious details about cast hookups and drug abuse that even Diamond now admits were embellished. (“They gave me a ghostwriter who just talked to me for a few hours here and there on the phone” and then came up with a false, final manuscript he was “powerless” to change, although he did pose for the cover, Diamond says. While he didn’t say what the book got wrong about other cast members’ stories, he said that he never called anyone a douche-nozzle or had a sexual relationship with NBC Vice President of Children’s Programming, Lisa Mancuso, who died of cancer years before the book’s publication.)

But now, Diamond is ready for redemption, which he hopes will come in the form of the upcoming and unauthorized Lifetime biopic based on Behind the Bell, premiering Monday. Diamond says the film isn’t based on the “nasty and negative” lies told by his ghostwriter, but on Diamond’s own clarifications. Viewers will be “surprised” by the film, Diamond says. And apparently Diamond will be, too — because in spite of his Executive Producer title, Diamond admits that he hasn’t “actually read the script or seen the final product.” Or been on set, for that matter.

When informed that the teaser shows Diamond’s character punching someone in the face while shouting “I’m not Screech!,” he was surprised, because that incident, he says, never happened.

“No one who is writing this was there,” says Diamond, revealing his first signs of concerns over the film, to which he signed on in a hands-off capacity. “I didn’t talk to [the writers] really, so how did they research? I’m going to watch with very nervous hopes . . . if they butcher it and get it completely wrong, I’m just going to film a documentary of just me talking about the errors.”

All this uncertainty might be why Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Bell’s Zack), Dennis Haskins (Mr. Belding), and Elizabeth Berkley (Jessie) have all exhibited disappointment in Diamond and complete disinterest in watching a dramatized version of what they remember as a positive experience. A spokesperson for Mario Lopez (A.C. Slater) responded to an email request for comment with a brusque single-word punctuated response of, “Nope.” Lark Voohries (Lisa), meanwhile, tells TIME that she will be watching because the movie’s release “was flattering all around, you know, that the excitement lives on.”

While Diamond and Voohries have kept in touch and worked together on independent film projects, Diamond says he hasn’t heard from the rest of the cast since he was 16, which was more than 20 years ago. Diamond was only 11 when filming of Saved by the Bell began, which socially isolated him from his mostly 14-year-old cast-mates.

“Some of [the cast] would go out to a bar or a restaurant, and I wasn’t invited,” Diamond says. “And at that age it hurts. And it was like, what am I? I haven’t earned my place?”

Diamond, however, says there are no hard feelings. “No one holds on to a grudge over two decades.” But, depending on the backlash from the Lifetime film, Diamond said that “maybe reaching out to the cast members after all this time would be a good thing.”

TIME Basketball

How Shelly Sterling Got Steve Ballmer to Overpay for the Clippers

Celebrities At The Los Angeles Clippers Game
Rochelle Sterling attends an NBA playoff game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Clippers Noel Vasquez—GC Images/Getty Images

Shelly Sterling lived in her estranged husband and real estate mogul Donald’s shadow for decades. But shortly before her 80th birthday, Shelly proved to the world that she, too, has a strong business acumen, by getting former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to overpay for the Clippers, she said in a Thursday interview.

Sterling might have had no idea who Ballmer was when he approached her to buy the basketball team, but she told the Associated Press that she knew she had an eager customer.

“He was a like a little child,” she said. “He was so excited, so happy.”

Although Sterling said that they “sort of connected” and she “felt he would be good for the team,” that also didn’t stop her from getting what the AP declared an “unprecedented” offer for the team.

Sterling had first received an offer of $1.65 billion for the team from potential buyer David Geffen, but after talking to Ballmer, he offered her $1.9 billion. But Sterling wasn’t done: After Ballmer had tried to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, she made him promise he would keep the Clippers in Los Angeles.

“I told him, ‘you won’t have to build an arena or a practice field.’ So he was getting a bargain,” Sterling told the AP. “And I told him, ‘We have great players, a great coach and you’ll never have the chance to buy a team in Los Angeles again.'” An inspired Ballmer upped the offer to $2 billion and offered Sterling floor seats to every game as owner emeritus. “He really really wanted the team,” Sterling said.

According to leaked court documents that ESPN got its hands on, $2 billion was more than the Clippers’ actual worth.

Ballmer’s $2 billion final bid is 12.1 times the expected 2014 revenues of the team, according to the numbers given to the bidders by Bank of America, which conducted the sale on behalf of the Sterling trust. . .

“No team in the history of sports has sold for six times total revenues, so that should give you an idea of how crazy this purchase price is,” said a sports banker who was not involved in the transaction.

While money might have been a non-issue for the tech mogul and he would have paid the figure regardless, Sterling deserves serious credit for closing a huge deal — particularly after rising above her disgraced husband’s racist antics that cost him the team.

“I was given the task and I did it,” Sterling said. “I just did what I had to do.”

[AP]

TIME Crime

The Homeless Man Miley Cyrus Brought to the VMAs Turned Himself in to Police

My Friend's Place representative Jesse accepts Video of the Year (on behalf of Miley Cyrus) for 'Wrecking Ball' onstage during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on Aug. 24, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif.
My Friend's Place representative Jesse accepts Video of the Year (on behalf of Miley Cyrus) for 'Wrecking Ball' onstage during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on Aug. 24, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif. Kevin Winter—Getty Images

Jesse Helt gained unwanted police attention after the wanted youth accepted Miley Cyrus' award for music video of the year

The homeless youth Miley Cyrus brought with her to MTV’s Video Music Awards last weekend turned himself in to Oregon police late Thursday night. Jesse Helt, 22, had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for violating his probation.

Cyrus had Helt accept her music video of the year award for “Wrecking Ball” in order to raise awareness for homeless youth. However, Helt’s appearance on the VMAs resulted raised flags among police in Oregon, where Helt is actually from.

Helt arrived in jail with 10% of his $25,000 bail, Sheriff Bob Wolfe told the Statesman Journal. In a Monday interview, Helt’s mother said that Cyrus had given Helt enough cash to visit home.

[Statesman Journal]

TIME Iceland

Eruption Causes Iceland to Temporarily Close Airspace

Warning sign blocks  road to Bardarbunga volcano in north-west region of Vatnajokull glacier
A warning sign blocks the road to Bardarbunga volcano in the north-west region of the Vatnajokull glacier, Iceland on Aug. 19, 2014. Reuters

Following thousands of earthquakes, Iceland has been watching a volcanic site for more than a week.

Iceland closed airspace near an erupting volcano Friday, according to its Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. Initially, the department closed airspace up to 18,000 feet near the Bardarbunga volcano, but it later reduced that ceiling to 5,000 feet after an investigation found the eruption produced little of the airborne ash that’s dangerous to aircraft.

Icelandic scientists have been watching the Bardarbunga area closely over the last week after thousands of earthquakes rocked the area, indicating the potential for the kind of ash-producing eruption that could seriously impact global air travel. Back in 2010, thousands of flights were delayed following the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

Iceland has recently raised its aviation alert level to red at least twice, only to later reduce it after ash clouds were found to be minimal. The Ministry of Civil protection has been posting regular updates about Iceland’s seismic and volcanic activity on its social media pages:

All Icelandic airports are currently operating as normal.

TIME Business

Watch Johnny Manziel Dancercize in New Snickers Ad

Meet Johnny JamBoogie

+ READ ARTICLE

As the Snickers tagline goes, “You aren’t you when you’re hungry.” So what does Cleveland Browns backup quarterback Johnny Manziel turn in to when his tummy is growling? According to a new commercial, Johnny Football transforms into Johnny JamBoogie, an aerobics instructor jazzercising his way into our hearts.

While the entire point of the commercial is that a bite of a candy bar has the power to get his football helmet-wearing head straight and turn his back on florescent leotard-wearing older women, we must ask — does Manziel have to choose? Dance can be an important part of any pre-game or post-touchdown routine.

Signature steps can get you new endorsement deals, Manziel. Embrace the JamBoogie.

TIME Television

Jimmy Kimmel’s Mini Friends Reunion Is Pretty Incredible

Even though Aniston refused to wear a "Rachel" wig

+ READ ARTICLE

Jimmy Kimmel revealed to his guest Jennifer Aniston during Wednesday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! that he has been writing some fan fiction, based on her hit show Friends, that he wanted her to help act out. And thus began one of the reunions we have all been waiting for. It was perfect, save the fact that Aniston refused to wear a “Rachel” wig.

Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow joined Aniston on a replica set of the Friends kitchen for a scene in which they mostly talked about how good Kimmel (who played Aniston’s on-again, off-again love interest “Ross”) was in bed. Apparently all of the other male cast members had died after being bit by a rabid “Marcel,” the pet monkey.

Aniston may have thought the dialogue was dumb, but Kimmel brought up a fair point: “Is it dumber than living in a huge apartment in New York City for eight years, even though you work at a coffee shop?”

Bring on the movie.

TIME celebrity

6 Farm Dates We Need To See on Chris Soules’ Season of The Bachelor

Chris Soules was on the tenth edition of "The Bachelorette"
Chris Soules was on the tenth edition of "The Bachelorette" Craig Sjodin—ABC

Let's get hog wild, and other terrible puns.

ABC formally announced Wednesday that Chris Soules will be the leading man in its next season of The Bachelor. Let’s just call this season Farmer Gets a Wife. While we could have been living life in the fast lane with race car driver and Bachelor hopeful Arie Luydenyk Jr., instead we will be watching corn grow with Soules — a stable and successful farmer from quite possibly the smallest town in the world.

Last season, Soules’ mother assured Bachelorette Andi that “there’s no limit for a woman on a farm nowadays.” And we are sure that Bachelor producers, never shying away from a theme-date or pun, (pilot Jake Pavleka’s season was called On the Wings of Love, complete with its own eponymous song and everything), will be sure to teach us exactly what life on the farm would be like in the form of ridiculous date cards. This season on the Bachelor, the “surprise concerts” will be country, the strategically placed couches in the middle of the wilderness will be replaced with haystacks, and helicopters will be swapped out for tractors.

These are the farming dates we are the least, and by that I mean most, excited for:

Find a needle in a haystack
The winner of this group date is rewarded with one-on-one time and the promise of love everlasting, of course. The losers go home to cry and pick the hay out of each others’ hair. (Or, if there’s a hairdresser this season, learn how to incorporate them into elaborate braids for the Rose Ceremony).
Pun potential: I mean, implied

Catch a greased pig
Where mud wrestling meets Babe.
Pun potential: “Let’s get hog wild!” “I want to be his prize pig.”

Cook Chris a farm fresh breakfast using only products found on the farm
Chris told Andi that his wife doesn’t have to be a homemaker. The “big” city of Cedar Rapids is only an hour away. But let’s face it, knowing your way around a hen house and kitchen is going to be a plus.
Pun alert: “I am putting all of my eggs in this basket. Apart from the ones I’ve frozen. I really want to get married.”

A corn maze race
Especially appropriate considering that Chris grows corn.
Pun alert from the loser: “Shucks!”

Shear a sheep
The wise contestant will hoard her wool throughout the competition and give Chris a hand-knitted sweater toward the end of the season, shouting from the barn rooftops, “I choose ewe!”
Pun alert: “I’m in sheer disbelief that such a manly, gentle, gentleman farmer exists.”

Assist with the birthing of an animal
Just as contestants in past seasons have compared rappelling off the side of a building to rappelling into their potential mate’s heart, this date will be all about the metaphors. Like, “As I watched Chris pull a calf out of that cow’s vaginal canal, I realized, wow this guy has real fatherhood potential.”

Is it January yet?

TIME celebrity

Cops Want to Arrest the Homeless Youth Who Accepted Miley Cyrus’ VMA

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Backstage And Audience
Miley Cyrus attend the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards MTV/MTV1415—Getty Images for MTV

Oregon police are looking to arrest 22-year-old Jesse Helt

Taking a page out of Marlon Brando’s award show/advocacy playbook, singer Miley Cyrus made headlines at the MTV VMAs Sunday not for twerking, but for sending a homeless youth on stage to accept her award for Music Video of the Year on her behalf.

While Cyrus certainly raised awareness for homelessness and a Los Angeles-based organization called My Friend’s Place, she also unintentionally drew some negative attention on her date. As the spotlight turned towards Jesse Helt, Cyrus’ 22-year-old friend who left home and found himself living on the streets as he pursued a modeling career, it was discovered there’s a warrant out for his arrest in Oregon.

Helt pleaded guilty and served 30 days in jail for criminal mischief and criminal trespass in 2010, the Associated Press reports. A warrant was put out for his arrest in November 2011 when he violated his probation.

“He doesn’t make himself available to community supervision, and he takes off,” Polk County Director of Community Corrections Martin Silbernagel told the AP.

Helt’s mother told the Oregonian Monday that Cyrus had given her son money that he was using to travel home to visit his family. Police told Helt’s mother they are looking for her son with the intention of arresting him.

Here’s an excerpt from Helt’s emotional speech during Sunday night’s show:

I am accepting this award on behalf of the 1.6 million runaways and homeless youth in the United States who are starving, lost and scared for their lives right now. I know, because I am one of those people.

I have survived in shelters all over this city. The music industry will make over $7 billion this year, and outside these doors are 54,000 human beings who have no place to call home.

 

[AP]

TIME Television

Seth Meyers Helps Emmys Hit Second-Highest Ratings in 8 Years

66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Show
Host Seth Meyers speaks onstage at the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on August 25, 2014. Kevin Winter—Getty Images

It was the second highest-rated Emmys in 8 years

Even though the Emmys aired several weeks earlier than usual and on a Monday for the first time in 38 years, the Seth Meyers-hosted awards show raked in its second-highest ratings in eight years.

Although Meyers’ joked in his opening monologue that “this year we’re doing the Emmys on a Monday night in August, which, if I understand television, means the Emmys are about to get canceled,” Nielsen reported 15.6 million viewers tuned into the show. It had a 10.9 rating among metered market households.

The show, however, still had lower ratings than last year’s broadcast by 10 percent.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 46,448 other followers