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Mark-Paul Gosselaar and His Beard Are the Stars of Fox's Exciting New Thriller

Get the details on your favorite new show, The Passage

Keisha Hatchett

Prepare to swoon! Mark-Paul Gosselaar and his magnificent five o'clock shadow have found an exciting new gig. Fox has officially ordered the thriller The Passage to series, meaning you're in for a weekly dose of the Saved By The Bell and Pitch actor sometime in the near future.

Based on Justin Cronin's popular trilogy of the same name, the story centers on a top-secret government experiment with a deadly virus that could either cure the world's diseases or jumpstart the end of humanity. At the center of it all is 10-year-old Amy Bellafonte, played by Hidden Figures' Saniyya Sidney, who was chosen as a test subject but could also be the key to saving the world. Gosselaar will take on the role of Brad Wolgast, the (ridiculously good-looking) federal agent who acts as her surrogate father and is charged with protecting her.

In the books and in the show's original premise, the government experiment gone wrong accidentally creates vampire-like creatures that present a major threat to society. However, the word "vampire" is conveniently missing from the show's official synopsis. Whether or not that means we'll be dealing with different creatures remains to be seen.

The series was ordered to pilot last year with the hopes of adding it to the 2018 fall lineup but a lackluster episode sparked a major overhaul including reshoots with a new director and several characters to be rewritten. Gosselaar and Sidney kept their original roles but the characters Alicia Donadio (Genesis Rodriguez), Peter Jaxon (BJ Britt), and Sarah Fisher (Jennifer Ferrin) were recast with new actors set to portray them.

The hour-long drama also stars Entourage's Emmanuelle Chriqui, The Shannara Chronicles' Caroline Chikezie, The Exorcist's Brianne Howey and Boardwalk Empire's Vincent Piazza. It is executive produced by Matt Reeves, Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker and Adam Kassan.

​Saniyya Sidney and Mak-Paul Gosselaar, The Passage

Saniyya Sidney and Mak-Paul Gosselaar, The Passage

Steve Dietl/FOX