Wednesday, February 7, 2001
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Updated at 1:17 p.m., February 7, 2001

'Baywatch Hawaii' canceled; cost cited by producer

Advertiser Staff

The London-based producer of "Baywatch Hawaii" has canceled the show, saying the economics of continuing the program could not be justified.

Brian Harrris, president and chief executive officer of Pearson Television, said the show was one of the most successful series ever and was carried in over 100 countries.

"It was an extremely difficult decision not to move forward with 'Baywatch Hawaii' for another season, but the economics associated with bringing the program back could not be justified," he said in a press release.

The 11-year-old “Baywatch” series has filmed exclusively in Hawai‘i since its 1999-2000 season. “Baywatch Hawai‘i” is the state’s only locally based television series.

Pat Morita, who plays Hideki Tanaka, father of the Kekoa character portrayed by Stacy Kamano, said from Las Vegas, where he now lives: “Whenever these things (cancellation) happen, it’s an unfortunate surprise. I had high hopes that they had turned the corner, to move into the right direction; but you’re talking about moneybrokers, so once the bank drops, there’s nothing anyone can do but wrap it up.”

He likened the show's death to “a dear, ailing relative who’s been diagnosed as terminal; no matter how hard you prepare for the end, it’s still a shock. It’s a heart-breaker, but we’re pros, so we’ll move on.”

Morita, who also played Miyagi-san in the “Karate Kid” films, completed five “Baywatch” episodes that were filmed around another recurring role he has on “The Hughleys,” a UPN series. “Even on that show, we’re now awaiting word on a pick-up,” he said.

Advertiser staff writer Wayne Harada contributed to this report.

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