Long before she hit the streets of Boston as Jane Rizzoli, Angie Harmon starred as another investigator. Airing from 1995 -1996, Baywatch Nights featured Harmon in her first acting role as Private Investigator Ryan McBride.
Harmon was invited to join the series by Hasselhoff himself when they both bumped into each other on the same plane. Despite never taking an acting role or class before, she agreed and became the co-star of the series.
The series was greenlit and aired during the height of Baywatch's popularity during the mid-90s. Baywatch Nights showed Mitch Buchannon's (David Hasselhoff) life after the beach where he was moonlighting as a private investigator.
The original format was to be a crime drama, but after low ratings in the first season, the series took a major tone shift to become more of a paranormal and science fiction series. Before its cancellation, Mitch and Ryan faced off against a bizarre assortment of villains, including sea monsters, ghosts, aliens, and much more.
You gotta love the 90s.
Despite its wacky nature, Harmon has nothing but pride for her time on the Baywatch Nights set. Being her first on-screen role, the spin-off series was where she learned everything she knows about acting.
“I will never ever be ashamed of where I started, just because Baywatch Nights wasn’t in the top one hundred television shows. I got to spend fourteen hours a day learning the business. I spent every day learning how to hit my cues and hit my marks—basically learning to walk and talk at the same time," said Harmon about her time on Baywatch Nights.
The series would be canceled following its experimental second season. This only encouraged Harmon to explore her acting career as she would receive her big breakout role in the hit drama Law & Order: SVU just a year after in 1998.
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