Adult Swim 'Saved by the Bell'

It's not some late April Fool's joke, nor, as far as we can tell, is it some diabolical plot to take a cult TV phenomenon and make it all bland and mainstream.

But it is true: For the next two weeks, "Saved by the Bell" will be part of Adult Swim. The Cartoon Network's late-night alter ego has been teasing the addition of the show for the past week or so, and starting at midnight Monday, Zack, Slater and Screech will take their place beside Harvey Birdman, Frylock and Moral Orel in the Adult Swim pantheon.

A Cartoon Network spokesperson stresses that the show, which originally ran from 1989-93 and has been a syndication staple (including on Cartoon's sister network TBS) ever since, is only getting a two-week trial. That hasn't assuaged Adult Swim fans, who have been leaving voluminous "What the hell?" posts on the channel's message boards.

"If this isn't a joke, then we shall declare outright war against [AS], take over their offices, and torture them ... CARTOONS FOREVER SBTB NEVER!" reads one, which is pretty representative of the general feeling among posters.

A sizable number of fans also wonder if the scheduling of "Saved by the Bell" -- the first completely live-action show to air in the late-night block -- is a sign of corporate meddling in the typically unencumbered Adult Swim universe, with more content previously seen on TBS or TNT making its way to Cartoon Network.

The network spokesperson, though, says that the sitcom's inclusion is nothing more than the byproduct of the affection some Adult Swim programmers have for the show.