Back in February, we told you that Fremantle Media and First Look Entertainment was bringing Baywatch to DVD, at long last. In June, we revealed the cover art and release date (October 3rd) for the two packages. The plan at first was for a pair of "collection" sets, referred to as "Collection 1" (with Carmen Electra on the cover) and "Collection 2" (with Pam Anderson on the cover).
Now First Look has moved the release date back a bit, to October 31st
instead. As we've reported, the new plan is to bring you the show in season sets now. But the first year of the show, the 1989-90 season on NBC, is going to be referred to as "The Pilot Season," or Season 0 if you want. The show really became popular and hit its stride when it returned to the air in 1991 as a syndicated series, so Freemantle has decided that it is the 1991-92 season that will be referred to on the packaging as "Season 1." The 1992-93 season (the first with Pam Anderson as "CJ") will be "Season 2," and so on.
Another thing we've reported is Fremantle's and First Look's special plans for how to distribute "Season 0": they are planning to produce a bonus DVD with "pilot season" episodes on it for each season set, starting with Season 1, and then giving one more bonus disc in each season set released thereafter, until all the bonus discs are distributed to make up the so-called "complete pilot season." So season one gets disc one, season two gets disc two, etc., until devoted fans have collected them all. THEN, you'll be able to mail off to First Look to redeem an offer to get a separate "Baywatch – The Pilot Season" box to store your discs in, so that you can view them all sitting on the shelf in order! Neat, eh?
So what's going to be on that packaging? Carmen Electra ("Lani") is from the 8th syndicated season of the series, so it's not good to show her on the first DVD set any more. Pam Anderson as "CJ" is still fine for "Season 2," but who's to go on Season 1? Well, the answer lies in the below scan of an advertisement found in various trade magazines over the past few weeks. As you can see, Pam is still prominent on the second season cover, and the first season box is largely hidden from view. HOWEVER, the bit of spine peaking out, which we show a close-up of right above, is very clearly the same publicity picture of Erika Eleniak ("Shauni") that we display in the upper right corner of our group of pics down there. Eleniak was on the cast in both "Season 0" and "Season 1" of the show, so it makes sense to replace Electra with Eleniak for that package. Take a look:
So Erika Eleniak ("Shauni") seems to for-sure be on the first season, and Pamela Anderson ("CJ") is definitely on season two's cover, as we've seen! Going forward from there, my own personal speculation (and it's just that, a guess!) is that the third season set will have Nicole Eggert ("Summer") on it, followed by either Alexandra Paul ("Stephanie") or Yasmine Bleeth ("Caroline") on season four. Then season five will almost certainly get the popular Gena Lee Nolin ("Neely") on it, in her first year on the show.
Then it's another coin toss, as the sixth season might get either Donna D'Errico ("Donna") or Traci Bingham ("Jordan") on it (hey, can they squeeze both of those pretty girls onto there?). The seventh season, there's no doubt, will get Carmen Electra ("Lani") on the front cover, as that's her only year on the series (and a cover art design with her on it was already produced, of course). For the eighth season we'll most probably get Brooke Burns ("Jessie"), followed in all likelihood by Stacy Kamano ("Kekoa") on the ninth year.
The studio will definitely want to wrap up the tenth and final syndicated season with Brande Roderick ("Leigh") on it. And, somewhere along the way, the bonus DVDs for the "Season 0 (Pilot Season on NBC)" will finish getting distributed, and you'll be able to mail off for a separate box to keep your "Pilot Season" discs in. I'm thinking that the box cover for season zero will feature Shawn Weatherly ("Jill") on the front.
Well, those are my own personal guesses. How correct will they be? Only the folks at Fremantle and First Look know for sure! Stay tuned, and we'll find out...