Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

OVERLOOKED TELEVISION: BAYWATCH NIGHTS

When it comes to "Jiggle Television," two shows stand out in my mind...Charlie's Angels and Baywatch.  It's hard to go wrong with a television show that emphasized good looking women, especially when most television executives were male.  Of the two, I think Baywatch may have made more money because of its great popularity overseas.  David Hasselhoff was a huge hit in Japan and other countries.  What happens when you have a very popular show based on a simple formula?  If you are a television executive, you make a spin-off that belies everything that made the original show successful.  Thus, we have Baywatch Nights, a two-season, non-jiggle, private eye (vs. crime in the first season, and vs. monsters in the second) misstep.

Hasselhoff stars, again as Mitch Buchanan, the lieutenant in charge of LA County's lifeguards.  But, and this is a big BUT, he now moonlights as a private detective.  Buchanan is joined by Sergeant Garner Ellerbee (Gregory Alan Williams, who played the same role in Baywatch) and Detective Ryan McBride (Angie Harmon).  Ellerbee lasted the first season, while McBride soldiered on for the entire 44 episodes.  Also on board were Lou Rawls, playing Lou Raymond, the owner of the nightclub where Buchanan rented his office -- another character who didn't make it to the second season.  Also in the cast were Edidie Cibrian as Griff Walker and Donna D'Errico as Donna Marco.  D'errico had enough jiggle to slide her character over to Baywatch after Baywatch Nights was cancelled.

So how bad was Baywatch Nights?  Pretty bad.  A ludicrous surmise and lack of jiggle doomed it from the start.  The effort to save the show by trying to copy the successful X-Files formula did not go over.  (Full disclosure:  I really liked the cheesiness of the second season, far more than I liked the first season or its primogenitor, Baywatch.)

Here's the first episode of the revamped second season, "Terror of the Deep," first airing on September 29, 1996.  "Mitch and Griff investigate a sunken freighter where they fight for their lives against an unknown force and realize that the freighter might have been sunk by a New Guinea sea monster according to a woman they found floating in the ocean near sunken wreckage of her sailboat."

Enjoy.  I think.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bITK35pgsk4

5 comments:

  1. I found both seasons hilarious...in small doses...

    My favorite cheesecake series probably ran to PACIFIC BLUE and SILK STALKINGS, though the Stephen Cannell anthology SCENE OF THE CRIME was amusingly sleazy...it, like SILK STALKINGS, got its start in the "Crimetime After Primtime" strip on CBS late night before they let Letterman and friends have the whole thing...NIGHT HEAT was another durable series in that slot, and so aggressively stupid that it gave BAYWATCH NIIGHTS a run for the Monopoly money...

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  2. Contrast the Archie Andrews (and Jughead and Betty and Veronica) series ARCHIE'S WERD MYSTERIES.

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