Saturday, June 23, 2007

Reality Show on Life Gaurds coming to HB

Reality Show on Lifeguards Got the Okay

A studio got City Council's permission to do a reality series about Surf City lifeguards for Court TV. You may not see bodacious babes in red bathing suits bounding down the city's shoreline in super slow motion any time soon. Those "Baywatch" images wouldn't be part of a 10-part series called "Beach Patrol," to be aired on the Court TV cable channel after the City Council gave its blessing to the production Monday night. "Beach Patrol," a reality show along the lines of Fox Network's "Cops," would stick to what lifeguards do on the job rather than their off-duty antics or personal relationships, said Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Michael Baumgartner. The show will be filmed over the summer. A production crew from Burbank-based Evolution Film and Tape will follow lifeguards seven days a week, capturing their every move on the job, from ocean rescues and medical aids to jelly-fish bites and their interactions with beach-goers, Baumgartner said. "We look at it as an opportunity to showcase what we do as lifeguards and create awareness about beach safety," he said. Evolution Film and Tape also produces the popular reality show, "The Real Housewives of Orange County." City Council members gave city officials the authority to control what goes on film and to take out "embarrassing or unprofessional" portions, if necessary. The studio is also offering the city an $8,000 donation per episode to be used for marine safety programs. Susan Ievoli, a senior publicist for Court TV, declined to talk about the Huntington Beach production because it is "still being developed." "Beach Patrol," which airs in prime time, begins its fourth season July 16 with episodes of lifeguards in Honolulu, Ievoli said. Huntington Beach would potentially be featured for its fifth season. The show consciously steers clear of the type of sensationalism associated with lifeguards, and instead, focuses on their daily heroics and behind-the-scenes action from daring rescues to brawls on the beach, Ievoli said. "Their everyday lives are so dramatic," she said. "We don't feel the need to add more sensationalism to it. We just want to show their importance and heroism." If the show moves forward, it would be the first time Huntington Beach lifeguards were featured on a series-type cable show.

From The Wave: By DEEPA BHARATH and ANNIE BURRIS - STAFF WRITERS

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