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Baywatch is an Americanmarker television series about the Los Angeles County Lifeguards who patrol the beaches of Los Angeles County, California starring David Hasselhoff. The show ran from 1989 to 1999 (and 1999-2001 as Baywatch Hawaii). According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Baywatch is the most watched TV show in the world of all time, with over 1.1 billion viewers.

Baywatch premiered on NBC in 1989, but was cancelled after only one season despite high ratings because the studio, GTG, went out of business. Feeling the series still had potential, creators and Executive Producers Michael Berk, Douglas Schwartz and Greg Bonann revived it for the first-run syndication market in 1991. Hasselhoff was given the title of Executive Producer to incent him to come back to the show. The series was hugely successful, especially internationally. The show led to a spin-off: Baywatch Nights, and a reunion movie, Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding.

In 1999, with production costs rising in Los Angeles, and the syndication market shrinking, the plan was to move the show to Australia and launch Baywatch Down Under. A pilot was filmed but the series was stopped when residents of Avalonmarker put forth strong objections, including potential damage to a fragile ecosystem. Avalon council permanently barred all future filming. The pilot finally aired as a two-part episode of Baywatch.

Australia's loss was Hawaii's gain. Hawaii offered the producers large financial incentives to move the show to the islands and in Season 10 Baywatch Hawaii was launched.


The show starred David Hasselhoff, of Knight Rider fame, as Mitch Buchannon, who was the only mainstay on the show, besides Michael Newman, for 10 of the 11 seasons. Baywatch was centered around the work of a team of lifeguards and their interpersonal relationships, with plots usually centering on dangers related to beach and other activities pertinent to the California (later Hawaii) beach lifestyle. Everything from earthquakes to shark attacks to serial killers, and even nuclear bombs, served as plot conflicts on the show. Saving people from drowning tended to be one of the most typical situations used in the shows. Thus a trademark of the show was slow motion shots of the lifeguards running, most notably done by Erika Eleniak, Pamela Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth, Alexandra Paul, and David Charvet along with Hasselhoff during the height of the show.


Baywatch 1989–1999

Actor Character Years
David Hasselhoff Mitch Bucannon 1989-1999
Michael Newman Michael Newman 1989-2001
John Allen Nelson John D. Cort 1989-1995
Parker Stevenson Craig Pomeroy 1989-1990, 1997-1999
Gregory Alan Williams Garner Ellerbee 1989-1995
Erika Eleniak Shauni McClain 1989-1992
Billy Warlock Eddie Kramer 1989-1992
Monte Markham Don Thorpe 1989-1992
Brandon Call
Jeremy Jackson
Hobie Buchannon 1989-1990
Peter Phelps Trevor Cole 1989-1990
Holly Gagnier Gina Pomeroy 1989-1990
Shawn Weatherly Jill Riley 1989-1990
Tom McTigue Harvey Miller 1991-1992
Richard Jaeckel Ben Edwards 1991-1994
Alexandra Paul Stephanie Holden 1992-1997
Pamela Anderson C.J. Parker 1992-1997
David Charvet Matt Brody 1992-1995
Nicole Eggert Summer Quinn 1992-1994
Kelly Slater Jimmy Slade 1992-1993
Yasmine Bleeth Caroline Holden 1994-1997
Jaason Simmons Logan Fowler 1994-1996
Gena Lee Nolin Neely Capshaw 1995-1998
David Chokachi Cody Madison 1995-1999
Traci Bingham Jordan Tate 1996-1998
Donna D'Errico Donna Marco 1996-1998
José Solano Manny Gutierrez 1996-1998
Nancy Valen Samantha Thomas 1996-1997
Michael Bergin J.D. Darius 1997-2001
Kelly Packard April Giminski 1997-1999
Marliece Andrada Skylar Bergman 1997
Angelica Bridges Taylor Walsh 1997
Carmen Electra Lani McKenzie 1997-1998
Brooke Burns Jessie Owens 1998-2000
Mitzi Kapture Alex Ryker 1998-1999

Baywatch Hawaii 1999–2001

Simmone Jade Mackinnon (L), Brooke Burns (C), and Stacy Kamano (R).
Actor Character Years
David Hasselhoff Mitch Bucannon 1989-2000
Michael Bergin J.D. Darius 1997-2001
Brooke Burns Jessie Owens 1998-2000
Jason Brooks Sean Monroe 1999-2001
Brandy Ledford Dawn Masterton 1999-2000
Simmone Jade Mackinnon Allie Reese 1999-2000
Jason Momoa Jason Ioane 1999-2001
Stacy Kamano Kekoa Tanaka 1999-2001
Krista Allen Jenna Avid 2000-2001
Charlie Brumbly Zach McEwan 2000-2001
Brande Roderick Leigh Dyer 2000-2001
Alicia Rickter Carrie Sharp 2000-2001

Theme song

  • The first theme song which accompanies the pilot episode and season one was "Above the Waterline" by Kim Carnes. On the DVD edition of the first season, the original main title theme is replaced by the song "Strong Enough," performed by Evan Olson (from his album Audio).

  • For the syndicated series, the new theme "I'm Always Here" (performed by Jimi Jamison of Survivor) replaced "Save Me". This song is sometimes mistakenly attributed to the show's star David Hasselhoff.

  • When the NBC episodes started to air five times a week with all the other syndicated episodes, the opening theme was changed to a shorter version of "I'm Always Here," with some images of the original NBC opening retained.

  • Daivd Hasselhoff sang "Current of Love" as the ending theme of seasons 2-4. Together with Laura Branigan he sang "I Believe" as the ending theme of season 5. An instrumental version of the song appears in the episode "Battles" of the UK television programme Spaced. The Swedish electronic musical group Sunblock remixed the song and released it as a single. A Soundalike version was used in an episode of Hey Arnold over the end credits.


Theatrical release

In 2004, DreamWorksmarker announced they had bought the rights to create a new theatrical Baywatch movie. Jessica Simpson was officially cast as C.J. Parker. The movie is slated for release in 2010.

The film is reported to be a comedy production being written by Jeremy Garelick who is credit with the rewrite of "The Hangover" that made that movie the highest grossing comedy of all time.

Pop culture references

  • In the 1996 animated movie, Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, Butt-Head asks Bruce Willis's character, Muddy Grimes if they missed Baywatch. Muddy then pulls out his gun and shoots his TV screen. His reply is, "no".
  • In the movie Gigli, the character of Brian, played by Justin Bartha, is an avid fan of Baywatch and thinks that the beach in the show is a real place where the girls from the show live.
  • In the early seasons of the TV show Friends, Joey and Chandler are big fans of Baywatch and Chandler is in 'love' with Yasmine Bleeth.
  • In the film Borat, whilst in America Borat watches an episode of Baywatch and then falls in love with CJ Parker (Pamela Anderson) and travels across America to meet her and finally does at a book signing.

DVD releases

Baywatch Nightmare Bay/River of No Return DVD

Australia: Seasons 1-4 have been released in collector's edition boxsets.

Finland: Seasons 1-3 have been released by Futurefilm.

Germany: Seasons 1 to 11 have been released. These releases are presented exactly as they originally aired, albeit with German language credits (These are also available in the U.K. from amazon as imports).

Italy: Seasons 1, 5 and 6 have been released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Netherlands: Seasons 3 have been released.

Sweden: Seasons 1-3 have been released.

USA: In June 1999 a single disc DVD was released featuring two 2-part episodes from the show's original run ("Nightmare Bay" part 1 and 2 from Season 2, and "River of No Return" part 1 & 2 from Season 3). These episodes are absent from the U.S. box sets of their respective seasons mentioned below.

Three seasons have since been released on DVD by First Look Studios. Although the box sets are labeled "Season 1," "Season 2," et cetera, the sets actually feature episodes of the following season (i.e. the "Season 1" box set contains the episodes of the literal second season (1991-1992) of the show). The second and third sets were released on October 31, 2006. Each set features a disc with Season 1 episodes on it. Fans will need to purchase all U.S. box set releases (the literal seasons 2-7) to complete season 1. It will then be possible to order a box from First Look to hold the six discs. These releases also do not contain the original theme songs as they appeared when the episodes aired. They have been removed due to copyright agreements.

Vehicles employed

See also


  1. "Largest Audience For A TV Series"
  2. "Baywatch" Swims Into Theaters
  3. Simpson Lands Anderson ‘Baywatch’ Movie Role
  4. News for Baywatch
  5. Internet movie cars database
  6. Internet movie cars database

External links

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