The Fascinating History of that Iconic TV Show Baywatch

It won’t be wrong to call Baywatch one of the most iconic shows of all time. The action-packed TV drama series was based on L.A County lifeguards. There was a lot of slow-motion running in red swimwear and beach waves in every episode, yet audience could never have enough of it. 90’s people distinctly remember the show because it was plastered on every billboard or TV screen during its peak. To the dismay of passionate fans, a forgettable Baywatch movie also aired in 2017. The movie included Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron, but still failed to grip the audience like the good show did during the 90’s. 

Whether you just caught up on it or grew up waiting for Baywatch on TV, we bet you did not know these historical facts about the legendary show:

Special appearances in 2017

Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff were the stars of Baywatch. These two made a cameo in the 2017 movie to attract the old fan following. The movie also included the traditional red attire and a lot of slow mo running to pay tribute to the series. It revolved around a crime plot and some lifeguards attempting to land a job in L.A. 

Hasselholf’s Casting Issues

In the original casting procedure, Hasselholf did not want Pamela Anderson to be included in the series. Today Anderson is popular for her work on Baywatch, but back in the days she did not make an appearance until season three. Hasselholf believed that Anderson’s looks will sway attention from his character and would be bad for his image. 

It is good that the producers did not pay heed to Hasselhoff’s criticism, because Anderson brought more popularity to the show than ever. The ratings soared and more eyeballs tuned in to the show compared with previous seasons. 

Leo Di Caprio Almost Made a Cut

Our favorite actor DiCaprio almost became a part of the series as Hobie. We all know that Baywatch was not popular for its acting, but for looks and again, the slow mo running. Di Caprio auditioned for the role of Hobie and was loved by the producers but eventually the team decided he was too old for the role. We don’t think Leo minds it much now that he has had one amazing career, but back in the day it might have hurt him a bit. 

Pro Surfer as a Cast Member

A professional surfer Kelly Slater was also a cast member in the show. You will see him cruising along the beautiful blue seas and pushing back the waves on his surfboard. Slater lived in a van on the beach and later moved to Hawaii on the show. After a while, Slater got sick of the show’s storyline and asked to be written out of the show. He became World Surf League Champion not once but 11 times and was the youngest to do so. If you want to surf like Slater, here are some boards you can pick up as a beginner. 

Sunscreen Issues

A show about beach and the seaside means a lot of suntan would be involved. While people adored the beautiful tan of their favorite Baywatch actors, an average of 40 sunscreen bottles were being used each month to keep the cast safe. 242 episodes in 11 seasons required a lot of care for the cast, and sunscreen was a key product. You should also keep a non-toxic sunscreen in your beach essentials because the risk of skin cancer looms on everyone who stays exposed for long. 

Game of Thrones Khal Drogo also Made an Appearance

Popular for his role of Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, Jason Momoa rode some surfboards in Baywatch as well. He was 19 years old when he made the cut in Baywatch Hawaii. However, he believes that the show gave him a lot of negative publicity because no one took Baywatch seriously. His fans still love him for the looks, but in Game of Thrones Momoa proved that he is just as refined an actor as his looks. Momoa also got the role of Aquaman in DC Universe. 

The slow-motion shots

The slow-motion running scenes in Baywatch were picked up from the Olympics. A crew member previously worked on the Olympics where he filmed athletes in slow motion to record their movement. He suggested this become a norm for the series and his suggestion became a hit. Hasselhoff once jokingly told media that these scenes were also fit for episodes that were running short of footage. 

Practicality of the sets

When the TV series shifted to syndication, its budget took a hit of more than 30 percent. That made produces take a different approach to the sets. Most of the sets that popped up on the screen were turned into functional spaces for the team to use. The production break room was a lifeguard station kitchen with running water, and a gym set was also there for the main lead to get a pump on his pecs during the takes. 

Filming on Exotic Beaches

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the series was the locations where it was shot. The core filming location were the spots along the Santa Monica Beach (the first decade of the show was shot here). However, the predominant beach for the tv series was the Rogers State Beach, followed by some scenes in Malibu and at Long Beach. 


Baywatch become a global hit for all the right reasons. The action drama offered more than overly confident actors and taught several life lessons to people watching. For example, lifeguards can do more than just rescue those about to drown and they have tough decisions to make every day. The show also popularized the exotic beauty of California and made viewers visit the Will Rogers State Park beaches.