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The most watched show of all time
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The Wonderful Pamela Anderson
The Baywatch Cast
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 attractive lifeguards running, most notably done by Pamela Anderson, Yasmine Bleeth, Alexandra Paul, and David Charvet along with Hasselhoff during the height of the show.
After the 1997-1998 season, many cast members decided to leave as Baywatch began to recycle storylines used in earlier seasons such as a plane crash, grand prix, and sand castles, etc. There was also an effort made to downsize the amount of regular cast members on the show at the time as it was believed there were too many characters.
Many different actors and actresses were featured on the show over its long run with most appearing for only a few seasons. Some of the other stars who became famous were Carmen Electra, Traci Bingham, Donna D'Errico, Nicole Eggert, David Chokachi, Gena Lee Nolin, Jaason Simmons, and Kelly Slater, a pro surfer, among many others. Erin Gray, former star of Silver Spoons and Buck Rogers, was among the cast.
The eleven seasons of the series dealt with a crew of tanned, muscular male and mostly large-breasted female lifeguards. It was one of the first network TV shows that featured frequent close-up shots of the large breasts.
Baywatch was most notable-some might say 'notorious'-for most of its female cast members dropping their lifeguard swimsuits for Playboy. Most of the female stars appeared in Playboy at the height of their fame on Baywatch, while Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra had already appeared before joining the show. Yasmine Bleeth, who played lifeguard Caroline Holden, was at least one Baywatch actress who was offered $750,000.00 in 1998 to pose nude, but refused, vowing that she never would.