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'Baywatch' Turns 22: Where Are They Now?

by Jean Bentley, posted Apr 23rd 2011 11:00AM
David Hasselhoff, BaywatchTwenty-two years ago today, the act of running in a swimsuit was changed forever.

In 1989, NBC aired the pilot episode of 'Baywatch,' a new series chronicling the dangerous adventures of a group of hard-bodied California lifeguards. Next month marks the tenth anniversary since the end of the series, though it lives on in syndication repeats all over the world.

During the show's 12-year syndication run, 'Baywatch' perfected what will ultimately be its legacy: the number one beach-related television innovation of all time -- slow-mo running. Preferably by hot chicks, but sometimes by that prime archetype of manliness himself, David Hasselhoff.

Although 'Baywatch' had some wonderfully soapy plotlines, let's be honest -- the reason we loved the show was because of the aforementioned hot chicks and slow-mo running, not to mention Hasselhoff's chest hair. Okay, kidding on the third. (Although it was magnificent, wasn't it?)

Before migrating to syndication in its second year, 'Baywatch' ran for an entire season on NBC. The first episode, 'Panic at Malibu Pier,' premiered as a two-hour movie on April 23, 1989, but the rest of season 1 didn't debut on the network until September of the same year.

Interestingly enough, the first season's opening theme wasn't the power ballad we all know and love. Instead, NBC used the synth-heavy 'Save Me' by Peter Cetera to soundtrack images of the Hoff running down the beach, passing ladies in oddly proportioned bikini bottoms along the way.

'Baywatch' could've looked very different if the producers' first choice to play Mitch Buchannon came through: rumor has it that Tom Selleck was originally offered the part. Just think, instead of that luscious head of hair and furry chest, we could've watched Selleck's mustache in slow-mo.

We still could see someone else slip on Mitch's swim trunks: a movie version of 'Baywatch' is reportedly in the works. 'Ghostbusters' director Ivan Reitman told The Hollywood Reporter recently that he's pursuing the project, but the script still isn't finished.

"We still don't have a script that's makeable," he told THR. "I think it's a big opportunity. This is a comedy, and I think we have a very interesting take -- a classical idea that will be fresh for the world audience."

Another 'Baywatch'-related project in the works? A reality series starring Traci Bingham, Nicole Eggert, Donna D'Errico and Gena Lee Nolin as they live in a beach house together and "embark on new phases of their career." 'Back to the Bay' doesn't have a network or premiere date just yet.

Since both the 'Baywatch' movie and that reality show probably won't hit screens for a while, indulge your 'Baywatch' nostalgia by checking out where some of its biggest stars are today:

David Hasselhoff
Despite the fact that A&E canceled his reality series after just one episode, the Hoff is doing pretty well for himself (hamburger incident aside). Hasselhoff will star in the first episode of the CBS summer reality series 'Same Name,' in which famous folks switch places with everyday people who happen to share their names.

Pamela Anderson, BaywatchPamela Anderson
The most famous 'Baywatch' babe of them all, Anderson hasn't exactly shied away from the camera in recent years. She starred in her own spy series, 'V.I.P.,' from 1998 to 2002, but has mostly popped up in cameos since then as she raises her two kids with rocker Tommy lee.

Erika Eleniak
Eleniak landed her gig as the original female lead after posing for -- what else -- 'Playboy.' She's mostly pursued films since leaving 'Baywatch' in the show's third season, but made the jump to reality TV on VH1's 'Celebrity Fit Club' in 2006 (the same show fellow 'Baywatch' alum include Nicole Eggert appeared on last winter).

Alexandra Paul
Known for her athletic phsyique, Paul's character was a competitive swimmer. In the years since her five-year 'Baywatch' stint, the real-life triathlete has written and produced two documentary films.

David ChokachiDavid Chokachi
Post-'Baywatch,' Chokachi dropped out of the public eye. He attempted a comeback of sorts on the VH1 reality series 'Confessions of a Teen Idol' in 2000 alongside fellow 'Baywatch' star Jeremy Jackson (Hobie Buchannon), and has since appeared in films like the recent hit 'Soul Surfer' and the upcoming horror flick 'Devour.'

Yasmine Bleeth
Bleeth put in four years on 'Baywatch' before moving on to co-star alongside Don Johnson in 'Nash Bridges.' She headlined the Aaron Spelling soap 'Titans' before entering rehab for cocaine addiction, where she met her future husband. Bleeth retired from acting in 2003 and now lives in Arizona with her husband.

David Charvet
As hunky lifeguard Matt Brody, Charvet was lucky enough have some of the show's hottest ladies as his on-screen loves. After putting in his beach time, Charvet starred on 'Melrose Place' before leaving to pursue his music career. Today, he's engaged to 'Dancing With the Stars' co-host Brooke Burke and involved in environmental activism.

Tell us: Do you miss 'Baywatch'? Which 'Baywatch' star was your favorite to watch running in slow-motion?

Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean

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You forgot to mention Gena Lee Nolin's jungle adventure series "Sheena".

Also,how could ANYBODY forget CARMEN ELECTRA, who played Lani Mckenzie?

Finally,Shawn Weatherly had a role in the first season of the show,but here character was eaten by a shark.

April 26 2011 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched the video above, and Pam Anderson wasn't in it. She was added to butterfat it up. Yeah. Hasselhuff jounced almost as much as she did. Uhh, just reality in slow mo.

April 25 2011 at 10:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The women were beautiful and the setting was interesting. Sometimes the script was a little lame, but it was still good, light entertainment. I enjoyed it.

April 25 2011 at 10:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to drabuck3's comment

But no one was 'lame' in the video or even had a gait, gate, outa the gate problem. How young. How ----.

April 25 2011 at 10:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved Baywatch- used to watch it every weekend!

April 25 2011 at 8:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Live Free or Die

Bo Derek popularized the slow motion "beach run" in the movie "10" but the Baywatch girls certainly added some bounce of their own to the "history" of the beach run with the almost see thru suits.

April 25 2011 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pamela Anderson went on to be the skankiest bitch ive ever seen.

April 25 2011 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

David Chokachi was my favorite on Baywatch

April 25 2011 at 9:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Baywatch was intended to be pretty mindless fun. I could never watch a full episode, because dumb speak might be contagious. I thought it did re-enforce stereotypes, many of which were ethno-centric for Hollywood trolls in power. And then again, some of the stereotypes were pretty cool. It could have had a hot blonde guy and a gorgeous Asian chick, etc, etc., and they could have both had an intelligent and introspective side, interesting hobbies, family ties, or political connections, etc. Maybe in the re-make, it could be better. The cast might be all blonde Americans from the Highlands of central ENgland, glandie, origin. WOW, how Princess Diana. Lifeguarding is a serious job and deserves more respect. Doing a dumb job for hours which requires serious, sustained observation. But also fun and glam. And delicious for the beach or pool. Porkies could also be cast in the lifeguarding thing. Rah, Rah, play yo' hand. And they could have Sushi pizza for lunch. Wow.

April 25 2011 at 9:18 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply


April 25 2011 at 7:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Amazing! This show lasted that long? I doubt I've seen even one complete episode. Whatever anniversary it celebrates, I won't be among the people celebrating it.

April 25 2011 at 5:57 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lthrnck68's comment

idiot it started 22 tears ago not on for 22 years

April 25 2011 at 10:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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