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Updated on October 2, 2014

The Winning Baywatch Formula

'Baywatch' is the most watched TV show of all time and its winning formula is very simple - Sunny California, blue skies, crowded beaches, beautiful, scantily-clad lifeguards.

'Baywatch' was first aired in 1989 and ran until 2001. Millions and millions of people watched it for years and it made household names of stars like Pamela Anderson, David Hasselhof and Carmen Electra.

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.

Love it for its cheerful vulgarity or hate it for its banal predictability, you can't ignore Baywatch, and it takes it place centre stage in the history of TV programme development.

This is the Baywatch story.

Gregory J. Bonann worked as a Los Angeles County lifeguard, and started up a motion picture project about lifeguards that eventually became Baywatch. Baywatch premiered on NBC in 1989, but was cancelled after only one season because of the high cost of producing it and low ratings. Feeling the series still had potential, David Hasselhoff revived it for the first-run syndication market in 1991, investing his own money and additionally functioning as executive producer. The show was hugely successful, especially internationally. The show led to a spin-off: Baywatch Nights and a reunion movie, Baywatch: Hawaiian Wedding.

In 1999, an Australian version was planned and cast members travelled to Sydney for filming. The idea was to have the established stars appear in the pilot, interacting with a local life saving organisation, and thus help launch "Baywatch Downunder." A pilot was filmed but the series was stopped when residents of Avalon, a local village, put forth strong objections, including potential damage to a fragile ecosystem. Avalon council permanently barred all future filming, and the pilot remained unbroadcast for over a year, only to be panned by critics and viewers.

In Season 10, the location of the show was changed to Hawaii and the show's name was changed to Baywatch Hawaii.

The Cast Members

Baywatch 1989-1998

David Hasselhoff - Mitch Buchannon 1989-2000

Michael Newman - Mike 'Newmie' Newman 1989-2001

John Allen Nelson John D. Cort 1989-1999

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 (Baywatch) 1989-1992

Brandon Call - Young Hobie Buchannon

Jeremy Jackson - Hobie Buchannon 1989-1990

Shawn Weatherly - Jill Riley 1989-1990

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

Monte Markham - Don Thorpe 1992

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

Michael Bergin -J.D. Darius 1996-2001

Traci Bingham- Jordan Tate 1996-1998

Donna D'Errico -Donna Marko 1996-1998

Kelly Packard -April Giminski 1997-1999

Marliece Andrada - Skylar Bergman 1997-1998

Angelica Bridges - Taylor Walsh 1997-1998

Carmen Electra - Lani McKenzie 1997-1998

Brooke Burns - Jessie Owens 1998-2000

Mitzi Kapture- Alex Ryker 1998-1999

Baywatch Hawaii 1999-2001

David Hasselhoff Mitch Buchannon - 1999 - 2000

Brooke Burns Jessie Owens - 1999 - 2000

Michael Bergin - J.D. Darius 1996-2001

Jason Brooks - Sean Monroe 1999-2001

Brandy Ledford - Dawn Masterson 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

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