1 9 8 9 – 2 0 0 1 (USA)
241 x 60 minute episodes
Mitch Buchannon (David Hasselhoff) supervised the scantily-clad Malibu Beach lifeguards as they frolicked in the surf during their rescue efforts.
This particular beach was one where things tended to be either very very good or very very bad. On one hand, there were the blue skies, the sun, the tanned, attractive bodies . . . on the other hand, there were homicidal jet skiers, murderers hanging out under piers, sea ghosts, hurricanes, sudden riptides that swept hundreds of swimmers out to sea in seconds – disasters never alluded to in lifesaving class, much less California natural history.
Most critics thought the series had nothing to offer other than a lot of bare-chested, handsome young men and numerous scantily-clad young women . . . but millions of fans disagreed and when NBC cancelled the show after one season, the producers filmed new episodes and placed them in syndication.
In spite of the lack of network support, the series became a national and international sensation, and until 2001 was one of the most popular TV series in the world.
Over the years, a bevy of beautiful actresses and handsome actors appeared on the show, increasing audience viewing and making Hasselhoff (who became one of the producers of the show) one of the richest men in show business.
Among the more prominent members of the regular cast over the years were Billy Warlock, Erika Eleniak, Holly Gallagher, Brandon Call, Jeremy Jackson, Pamela Bach, Pamela Anderson, Susan Anton, Nicole Eggert, Yasmine Bleeth and Gena Lee Nolin.
The series was filmed mainly at the Will Rogers State Park in Los Angeles.
In 1994 the estimated worldwide audience enjoyed by Baywatch was said to have been over 1 billion. From a series that was considered destined for failure, Baywatch became one of television’s legendary series.
The show was probably best summed up by a newspaper listing for one episode: “Baywatch: Eddie and Shauni are trapped in a submerged armoured car; Jill and Trevor play volleyball (CC).”
A spin-off series, Baywatch Nights, in which Mitch became a detective (!), was screened in 1996 (pictured below).
Brandon Call (1)
Jeremy Jackson (2)
Gregory Alan Williams
Gena Lee Nolin