Baywatch title logo
|Also known as||Baywatch Hawaii (1999–2001)|
|Created by||Michael Berk
Gregory J. Bonann
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||11|
|No. of episodes||242 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Michael Berk
Gregory J. Bonann
|Location(s)||Santa Monica, California (1989–1999)
|Running time||45–48 minutes|
|Production company(s)||GTG Entertainment (1989–1990)
Pearson Television (1998–2001)
The Baywatch Company (1991–2001)
Tower 12 Productions (1991–2001)
Tower 18 Production Company (1996–2001)
|Distributor||The Fremantle Corporation (1989-1999)
LBS Communications (1991–1992)
All American Television (1992–1998)
Pearson Television (1998–2001)
|Original channel||NBC (1989–1990)
First-run syndication (1991–2001)
September 22, 1989 – April 6, 1990
September 23, 1991 – May 14, 2001
|Related shows||Baywatch Nights|
Baywatch is an American action drama series about the Los Angeles County Lifeguards who patrol the beaches of Los Angeles County, California, starring David Hasselhoff. The show was canceled after its first season on NBC, but survived and later became one of the most watched television shows in the world. The show ran in its original title and format from 1989 to 1999, except for the 1990–1991 season, during which it was not in production. From 1999 to 2001, with a setting change and large cast overhaul, it was known as Baywatch Hawaii.
Baywatch premiered on NBC in 1989, but was canceled after only one season when it placed 73rd out of 103 shows in the seasonal ratings and also because the studio, GTG, went out of business. Feeling the series still had potential, Hasselhoff along with 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 for his work on bringing the show back. 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 Avalon put forth strong objections, including potential damage to a fragile ecosystem. Pittwater Council permanently barred all future filming. This pilot finally aired as a two-part episode of Baywatch.
Baywatch filmed for two seasons in Hawaii, from 1999 until 2001. The proposal to relocate Baywatch to Hawaii rather than Australia was initiated by April Masini in a telephone call to executive producer Greg Bonann. The deal to provide the incentives necessary to secure the series was presented to Governor Ben Cayetano by Al Masini and April Masini; Tony Vericella, president of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau; and Cayetano's executive assistant, Joe Blanco. The agreement required the production to change its name from Baywatch to Baywatch Hawaii, hire local leads, and film in the state for at least two years, guaranteeing 44 episodes, each at a cost of about $870,000, 60% of which was to be spent in Hawaii.
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 revolved 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 and 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. Each show would feature one or two such montages, often only superficially related to the plot.
Baywatch Hawaii (1999–2001)
|Mitch Buchannon||David Hasselhoff||1999–2000|
|Jessie Owens||Brooke Burns||1999–2000, recurring thereafter|
|J. D. Darius||Michael Bergin||1999–2001|
|Dawn Masterton||Brandy Ledford||1999–2000|
|Allie Reese||Simmone Mackinnon||1999–2000|
|Jason Ioane||Jason Momoa||1999–2001|
|Kekoa Tanaka||Stacy Kamano||1999–2001|
|Sean Monroe||Jason Brooks||1999–2001|
|Leigh Dyer||Brande Roderick||2000–2001|
|Zach McEwan||Charlie Brumbly||2000–2001|
|Jenna Avid||Krista Allen||2000–2001, recurring previously|
- The original NBC theme was "Save Me", performed by Peter Cetera, with Bonnie Raitt on guitar and Richard Sterban, bass singer for The Oak Ridge Boys, as one of the background vocalists. The song is from Cetera's 1988 album One More Story.
- On some DVD releases of the first series "Save Me" was replaced with "Above the Waterline" by Kim Carnes.
- For the syndicated series, the new theme "I'm Always Here" (written by Jimi Jamison, Cory Lerios, John D'Andrea and Joe Henry, performed by Jimi Jamison of Survivor) replaced "Save Me". An instrumental version of "I'm Always Here" was used as the ending theme of seasons 6 to 9. A different instrumental version was used as the theme for season 10 (the first season of Baywatch Hawaii).
- When the NBC episodes were added to the Baywatch syndication package, the opening theme was changed to a shorter version of "I'm Always Here", with some images of the original NBC opening retained.
- David 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.
- 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).
- The theme for season 11 (the second season of Baywatch Hawaii) was called "Let Me Be the One" written and performed by Carlos Villalobos, Glenn Medeiros and sung by Fiji.
- The spin-off series, Baywatch Nights theme song was performed by saxophonist Alfonzo Blackwell. "The Nights Will Never Be the Same" (Baywatch Nights Theme) was also featured on his 1996 sophomore CD release. Alfonzo Blackwell was featured with David Hasselhoff each week in the ending credits of the TV series.
Other versions of "I'm Always Here" include:
- 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.
In October 2014, it was announced that Paramount is moving forward with its big-screen adaptation of Baywatch and has loosely attached Dwayne Johnson to the project. The studio has also hired Justin Malen to rewrite and has attached the comedy writing team of Sean Anders and John Morris to direct.
On August 10, 2015, it was announced that Zac Efron had been cast in the film. Johnson also announced that the film will be R-Rated. The report stated, “The story centers on a by-the-book and very serious lifeguard (Johnson) who is forced to team up with a young rule-flouting hothead (Efron) in order to save their beach from environmental destruction at the hands of an oil tycoon.”
- Australia: On May 1, 2013, Shock Entertainment released seasons 1–9 on DVD. They also released a complete series set on November 6, 2013 which features all 9 seasons of Baywatch, both seasons of Baywatch Hawaii and both seasons of Baywatch Nights.
- France: The reunion movie Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding was translated to French language as Alerte à Malibu: Mariage à Hawaï and has been released.
- Finland: Seasons 1–3 have been released by Future Film.
- 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). The reunion movie Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding was translated to German language as Baywatch: Hochzeit auf Hawaii and have been released.
- Italy: Seasons 1 and 2 have been released by Koch Media, season 5 and 6 have been released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
- Netherlands: Season 3 has been released.
- Sweden: Seasons 1–3 have been released.
- UK: Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 have been released by Network.
- 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.
First Look Studios released the first three seasons on DVD in 2006/2007. 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. These releases also do not contain any of the original music as it appeared when the episodes aired. They have been removed due to copyright agreements. However, these releases have been discontinued and are now out of print.
- Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding
- Baywatch: Forbidden Paradise
- Baywatch Nights (Baywatch spin-off)
- Son of the Beach (Baywatch parody).
- Babewatch is a satirical term sometimes used in connection with the series, which has been used by Mad Magazine, commentators, as well as used as the title for a series of adult films with crossover characters which ran up between 1994–1999 to become a tridecology.
- Beach Heat: Miami (Softcore version)
- Lifeguard, 1976 lifeguard film starring original Baywatch star Parker Stevenson
- MacLeod, Tyler (August 18, 1996). "Life's a beach". Canoe. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- Herbert, Steven (December 25, 1990). "Baywatch: A New Wave of Popularity Overseas". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- Carter, Bill (1995-07-03). "Media: TELEVISION; Stand aside, CNN. America's No. 1 TV export is – no scoffing, please – 'Baywatch.". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
- Gritten, David (November 20, 1996). "Baywatch Has a Cow, Man, London Style". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- McDougal, Dennis (November 28, 1991). "Surf's Up Again for Baywatch". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- Huff, Richard (March 1, 1999). "Aussie Town Boos Baywatch". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-10-16.
- "Wave of protest over Baywatch move". BBC. February 26, 1999. Retrieved 2010-10-15.
- Film and television in Hawaii
- Ryan, Tim (March 4, 1999). "'Baywatch' May Relocate to Hawaii". Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
- Fleming, Michael (July 6, 2009). "Garelick adding laughs to 'Baywatch'". Variety. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- Exclusive: Reno 911! Co-Creator to Direct Baywatch Movie
- Seth Gordon to Direct Dwayne Johnson in Paramount’s ‘Baywatch’ Movie
- Zac Efron Cast In Baywatch Reboot
- News for Baywatch
- Article: "Surf's Up For 'Baywatch'". KFOX-TV. 1999-11-16.