Baywatch and Baywatch Hawaii

Baywatch (1989-1999)
Baywatch Hawaii (1999-2001)
Type: Series Revamp

   Baywatch is a show with more lives than a cat. It started on network TV as a supposed realistic look at the life of lifeguards. The show flopped on NBC but was a big hit around the world. Bounced from the network after one season, the show found new life in syndication.

   In syndication utter realism... okay the show NEVER had utter realism... semi-realism gave way to cheesy fun plots and gratuitous shots of hunks and babes in bathing suits. The show became a huge hit. It spawned a spin off called Baywatch Nights which failed to grab an audience but didn't hurt the main show's popularity in the least.

   After ten years on the air though, any show will start to lose its audience. That's a long run! And Baywatch was no exception. After ten years, the show's star David Hasselhoff was getting a little tired of the same old thing and he was getting just a little old to be the hunky lead. To breath some life into the show, the decision was made that after 10 years of being set on the beaches of L.A. a change of location might be in order. But a change to where?

   The two main contenders were Hawaii and Australia. With the show still an international sensation that would draw people's attention to wherever it was set and with the prospect of Hollywood money coming in to fuel the local economy, folks in both locations started competing to woo Baywatch to their shores. It got to be sort of ugly with each location making claims that the producers had promised them the show and the producers taking their time to see who would give them the best deal.

   In the end, Hawaii it was. The whole production picked up and moved to the islands and the show was rechristened Baywatch Hawaii. David Hasselhoff had also made the decision to appear on the show a little less but aside from that the formula was the same: beaches, boobs and biceps.

   Despite the changes the show was getting just too old. Nothing lasts forever. Not Baywatch and not David Hasselhoff's character. Baywatch Hawaii was cancelled fairly quickly and so was Hasselhoff's character of Mitch. At the end of the second to the last season lifeguard Mitch was apparently blown up by a bomb in a boat! Who knew being a lifeguard was THAT dangerous? I guess the idea was to reinvent the show by removing the one remaining tie to its early days. Only, um, for whatever reason David Hasselhoff was one of the show's main draws. And that final couple of seasons? They were nothing to write home about. If you were tuning in for ANY reason it would be out of loyalty to the former Knight Rider. Kill him and it was over. And after one Hasselhoff free season it was.

   But all hope, sadly, is not lost. With Baywatch Hawaii barely gone there was already talk of a Baywatch reunion TV movie. It would bring back many past lifeguards including the apparently not so blowed up after all Mitch! Whether the reunion will actually happen remains to be seen...

Other Baywatch Crossover Links
Baywatch and Baywatch Nights

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