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Star-Bulletin Features

Tuesday, November 2, 1999

Star-Bulletin file photo
A new European TV show will keep "Baywatch"
star David Hasselhoff off the beach.

‘Baywatch’ executives

By Tim Ryan


"Baywatch" icon David Hasselhoff is one big step closer to saying aloha to his swimsuit.

Hasselhoff, who had a significant presence in only seven "Baywatch Hawaii" episodes in its 10th season, is set to star in 22 episodes of "AKA Picasso," a new European-financed television series by the Kaleidoscope Media Group and German partners Rolf Schneider's Movie Factory Film and Medien Capital Treuhand.

According to Jan McCormack, Hasselhoff's manager, the action drama "AKA Picasso" is about a globe-trotting art forger who gets out of a long prison sentence by teaming with a covert government agency fighting the worldwide traffic in stolen and forged art works. The show will be filmed around the world, she said.

McCormack said while Hasselhoff will continue to receive credit as "Baywatch Hawaii's" executive producer and star, he won't be seen on a regular basis in the show next season because of "AKA" being filmed so far from Hawaii.

"Logistically, it would be impossible for David to be a regular on "Baywatch', but he might appear in a few episodes," McCormack said.

Greg Bonann, "Baywatch Hawaii" creator and executive producer, said Hasselhoff, who played lifeguard captain Mitch Buchannon, has wanted to do another series with different storylines for a long time, "something new."

"I wish him the best of luck and I want him to be happy; he's always welcome to come home at any time," Bonann said. "He can continue to contribute to "Baywatch' in any way he wants even if it's just to do a few episodes," Bonann said.

MacCormack confirmed there's no animosity with the show's executives about his departure. "AKA" will film April to October. "Baywatch Hawaii" films July to December" so it's possible Hasselhoff could appear in some later episodes.

Hasselhoff's departure opens the door for his on-air replacement Jason Brooks, who portrays Sean Monroe, head of the top-gun lifeguard squad training in Hawaii.

New show for Bonann

Hasselhoff isn't the only "Baywatch" executive keeping himself busy. Bonann has another television show.

"Avalon: Beyond the Abyss," a state-of-the-art action movie starring Parker Stevenson, debuts at 7 p.m. Saturday in Hawaii on KFVE as a presentation of the network's "Blockbuster Video's Shockwave Cinema." Stevenson, Bonann and David Hagar are executive producers of the show.

Stevenson portrays the strong-willed leader of The Abyss, a world-class oceanographic research institute. When a seemingly idyllic island in the Gulf of Mexico mysteriously implodes, deadly bacteria spreads from the bottom of the sea and threatens the world's oceans.

Stevenson, as John Alden, and his elite team of scientists and adventurers are called in to help avert a worldwide ecological disaster, and make a extraterrestrial discovery on the ocean floor.

"Avalon" includes the use of high definition video in a television first for its extensive underwater sequences and the creation of the last 15 minutes of the film wholly by computer graphics imagery.

Stevenson's character, Bonann said, is a "sort of modern-day Jacques Cousteau, Bob Ballard and Lloyd Bridges from the role he played in the early '60s television show "Sea Hunt."

Ballard, who discovered the locations of the Titanic and the Bismarck, is technical advisor on "Avalon."

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