Fun Flashback Friday: The History of “Baywatch”

It’s going to be a Memorial Day weekend at the box office beach with “Baywatch “starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Zac Efron.  It is a big-screen adaptation of the widely popular 1990s action-adventure series starring David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson, who will be making cameo appearances in the film.

Once the world’s most-watched show, “Baywatch” debuted on NBC in 1989, but drowned after one season.  However, thanks to the Hoff, it was revived a year later into syndication, where it became a guilty pleasure with its simple premise: Mitch Buchanan (Hasselhoff) leads a team of lifeguards to perform heroic rescues, patrolling to keep their beach safe from the criminal elements … as long as they look good while doing it.

Dubbed as “Knight Rider” in a red bathing suit for the Hoff, “Baywatch” aired in syndication from 1991 to 2001.  Watched by over one billion viewers, the series made icons out of Pamela Anderson as C.J. Parker, Nicole Eggert as Summer Quinn, Alexandra Paul as Lt. Stephanie Holden, David Charvet as Matt Brody, Yasmine Bleeth as Stephanie’s sister Caroline, Gena Lee Nolin as Neely Capshaw, and Carmen Electra as Lani McKenzie.

“Baywatch” spawned spin-off “Baywatch Nights” (1995-97) with the Hoff’s Mitch moonlighting as a private investigator with future “Law & Order” and “Rizzoli & Isles” star Angie Harmon, and “Baywatch Hawaii” (1999-2001) with the Hoff alongside Michael Bergin, Brooke Burns, and Jason Momoa, who’s about to make an even bigger splash on the big screen this fall as a member of the “Justice League” as Aquaman, the King of the Seven Seas (his titular movie is scheduled for a 2018 release).

“Baywatch” is making waves in theaters right now.


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