How Avalon Beach lost Baywatch

If you’re a TV nostalgic there’s a fascinating article today at the Daily Telegraph that reminisces over the 1998 push to stop hit US series Baywatch filming at Avalon Beach on Sydney’s northern shores.

With production costs rising in Los Angeles, and the syndication market shrinking, the plan was to move the show to Australia and launch Baywatch Down Under.

But locals were unimpressed with Hollywood looking to “take over” the small beach.

Baywatch had 15 trucks and, frankly, they had a Hollywood approach, thinking they were God’s gift to the area,” one local said at the time.

By comparison Home and Away only filmed with 3 trucks.

As reported by the BBC: “1700 angry locals — a fifth of the (local) population — turned out at a public meeting to oppose the move, fearing everything from an invasion of California culture to environmental disaster.”

Producers offered to stay one year: “If you don’t like it, send us home.”

In the end Baywatch filmed a pilot and went to Hawaii for a further 2 seasons.

You can read more here.

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