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By Joshua Smith

Baywatch Abandons Aussie Beaches
Author: Joshua Smith
Published on: March 14, 1999

Australia possesses some of the most stunning, unspoiled beaches in the world. We also possess a ripe talent pool in the entertainment industry that has recently been exploited by the American forces behind Dark City, Star Wars Episodes II and III and John Woo’s Mission Impossible squad. We have again made a big splash at the Golden Globes and in Academy Award® nomination this year. Yet despite this, Baywatch officially confirmed today that they have aborted their plans to shoot the next season of the world’s most watched television series on our shores.

Originally planning to set the series against the utopic backdrop of Sydney’s Avalon Beach, producers of the series were received apprehensively by local residents. In response to public backlash, producers set their eyes on their contingency location – the ever-changing, always amazing Gold Coast (as goes the city’s slogan). The Gold Coast has hosted a number of weekly television series’ in the past, many of which revolve around the region’s breathtaking coastline (such as Paradise Beach, Pacific Drive and Flipper.

While some Queensland residents spoke publicly against plans to use the pristine Currumbin Beach as the program’s main location, support from Mayor Gary Baildon and the local industry had the Baywatch crew stating that the show would go ahead in South-East Queensland, expecting to bring $18 million into the local economy during the coming months.

Despite assurances made to the Gold Coast City Council and Australia’s Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, and despite the pre-production team’s employment of Air New Zealand’s services on a contra basis, today rumours surrounding the suggestion that the show may instead be produced and shot in Hawaii were confirmed. Hawaii’s oft-filmed beaches were finally selected by the team based, it has been suggested, purely due to financial considerations.

The Queensland Government is reportedly considering taking legal action against the show’s producers on contractual grounds. Nothing has yet been said regarding the future of the significant Australian contingent (including Tania Zaetta) who have been offered lucrative deals to occupy starring roles in the program’s rebirth.

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