Sea Hunt
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Sea Hunt
Sea Hunt
Sea Hunt.jpg
GenreAction Adventure
Created byIvan Tors
James Buxbaum
Developed byIvan Tors
StarringLloyd Bridges
Narrated byLloyd Bridges
Theme music composerDavid Rose
(as "Ray Llewellyn")
Opening theme"The Sea Hunt Theme"
Ending theme"The Sea Hunt Theme"
Composer(s)David Rose
Country of originUnited States
Original English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes155
Executive Frederick Ziv
Maurice Ziv
Herbert L. Strock
Ivan Tors
CinematographyMonroe P. Askins
Edward Cronjager
Robert Hoffman
Editor(s)James Buxbaum
Charles Craft
Harold V. McKenzie
Thomas Scott
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production Ziv Television Programs
DistributorZiv Television Programs
Ziv-United Artists Television
MGM Television
Peter Rodgers Organization
Original networkSyndication
Picture formatBlack and white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseJanuary 4, 1958 (1958-01-04) -
September 23, 1961 (1961-09-23)

Sea Hunt is an American action adventure television series that aired in syndication from 1958 to 1961 and was popular for decades afterwards. The series originally aired for four seasons, with 155 episodes produced. It stars Lloyd Bridges as former Navy diver Mike Nelson, and was produced by Ivan Tors.


Series executive producer Ivan Tors conceived the idea for Sea Hunt while working on the 1958 film Underwater Warrior.[1] He tried in vain to sell the series to all three major networks, but each network passed on it because they felt that a series set underwater could not be sustained.[2] Tors then decided to sell it into the first-run syndication market. He teamed up with Ziv Television Programs and was able to sell it to more than 100 syndicated markets before it debuted in January 1958.[1]

Lloyd Bridges was cast as lead character Mike Nelson. Sea Hunt was intended as a comeback vehicle for Bridges due to his brief black-listing from acting. He was black-listed after admitting to the House Un-American Activities Committee that he had been a member of the Actors' Laboratory Theatre, a group that was tied to the Communist Party.[3][4]

Bridges was given a crash course in scuba diving by Zale Parry and Courtney Brown, and Brown served as his underwater stunt double. Bridges was also educated in the art of scuba equipment by Brad Pinkernell on the beach in Southern California from 1956 to 1957 after a chance meeting when Pinkernell was coming out of the ocean with his scuba gear on. Over the course of the show's run, Bridges got more involved in the underwater stunt work, graduating from close-ups in the earliest episodes to doing all but the most dangerous stunts by the end of the series' run.


Mike Nelson (Lloyd Bridges) is a free-lance scuba diver, a former Navy frogman who left the service about four years before the series begins. He is a well-known expert on diving who is often called on for difficult or dangerous projects. He travels on his boat the Argonaut and outmaneuvers villains, salvages everything from a bicycle to a nuclear missile, rescues children trapped in a flooded cave, and other such adventures. In the pilot episode, he rescues a Navy pilot from his sunken jet. No dialogue was possible during the underwater sequences, so Bridges provided voice-over narration for all the installments. Nelson also educated non-diving characters in various aspects of diving and the underwater world.

The series made frequent references to Marineland of the Pacific, which provided facilities, resources, and technical advice to the production company. At the end of each episode, Bridges would appear as himself to deliver a brief comment. These comments sometimes included a plea to viewers to understand and protect the marine environment, along with gems of wisdom from Bridges' own experiences. A number of notable actors appeared on the series early in their career, including Leonard Nimoy, Bruce Dern, Robert Conrad, Ross Martin, Robert Clarke, Larry Hagman, Larry Pennell, Ken Curtis, William Boyett, Jack Nicholson, and Bridges' own sons Beau and Jeff.[5]

Production notes

Underwater sequences were often created during post-production from individual scenes shot at many different locations, including studio tanks and various underwater sites in California, Florida, and the Bahamas. Much stock footage was shot and later mixed with episode-specific character footage. Filming locations included:

On-land location shots were filmed throughout Los Angeles, central Florida, Nassau, and on a sound stage. Famous divers such as Zale Parry and Albert Tillman were involved in production of the show, as was Jon Lindbergh, son of aviator Charles Lindbergh. Parry was joined in 1960 by 18 year-old Wende Wagner as female underwater stunt double. Pioneering underwater cinematographer Lamar Boren shot nearly all of the underwater footage for the series. John Lamb shot the underwater sequences for both the movie and TV versions of Irwin Allen's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and also filmed some episodes of Sea Hunt. Stunt diver Ricou Browning is credited with coordination of the underwater action sequences during the second season.

The boat used in the series was named the Argonaut after the mythological Greek heroes who sailed with Jason on the quest of the Golden Fleece. Several cabin cruisers were utilized in filming, and one notable model was the Trojan Express, custom built by Trojan Yachts in 1960 with mahogany planking and teak decks and trim, measuring 33 feet long and 12 feet wide.[12][13] Diving equipment was supplied by Voit[14] and by Sportsways/Waterlung; wetsuits were made by the small Los Angeles shop Dive N' Surf, which was the genesis for Body Glove.

David Rose is credited with music, although a number of the Sea Hunt stock cues are heard in Buchanan Rides Alone, a 1958 Columbia western film that used stock music from composers including Mischa Bakaleinikoff, George Duning, Heinz Roemheld, and Paul Sawtell.[15]


Sea Hunt proved to be popular with viewers and was a hit throughout its four-season run. It became one of the best remembered and most watched syndicated series in the United States.[2][16] During the first nine months of its debut, it was number one in the ratings. The show attracted half of the viewing audience in 50 major cities and averaged 59 percent of audiences in New York City. Producer Ivan Tors later estimated that 40 million people viewed the series weekly.[17]


Despite its solid ratings, Sea Hunt was canceled in 1961 due to the dwindling first-run syndication market.[18][19] The series ran for a total of 155 episodes.[20]


Sea Hunt went into reruns in 1961,[21] and has aired on various channels since. The series currently airs on weekdays on This TV and Light TV, two classic television and movie networks carried on digital subchannels of local stations around the country.

1987 revival series

A revival series starring Ron Ely and Kimber Sissons appeared in syndication in 1987. Ely had starred in a companion undersea adventure series called The Aquanauts during the run of the original series. For budgetary reasons, land scenes from this second series were filmed in Canada (specifically Victoria, British Columbia), despite the stories being set in Florida. Underwater scenes were filmed in tropical locations.[22]

The updated version of Sea Hunt was canceled after only one season.[23]

Episode list

Title Original air date PC
1"Toxic Waste"September 26, 1987 (1987-09-26)8203
2"Murder at 60 Ft."
"Rehearsal for Murder"
October 3, 1987 (1987-10-03)55590
3"Underwater Park"October 10, 1987 (1987-10-10)8206
4"Underwater Quake"October 17, 1987 (1987-10-17)8213
5"The Meeting"October 24, 1987 (1987-10-24)8216
6"Pearl Beds"October 31, 1987 (1987-10-31)8208
7"The Big Blowup"November 7, 1987 (1987-11-07)8218
8"Treasure Hunt"November 14, 1987 (1987-11-14)8225
9"Torch Men"November 21, 1987 (1987-11-21)8212
10"Danger--Mines Ahead!"November 28, 1987 (1987-11-28)8224
11"Jennifer's Rescue"December 5, 1987 (1987-12-05)8207
12"Girl in the Trunk"December 12, 1987 (1987-12-12)8202
13"The Stunt"December 19, 1987 (1987-12-19)8215
14"Wet Diamonds"January 2, 1988 (1988-01-02)8211
15"Amigo"January 9, 1988 (1988-01-09)60534
16"Scavenger"January 16, 1988 (1988-01-16)8217
17"The Siren"January 30, 1988 (1988-01-30)8201
18"Ultrasonic Tag"February 6, 1988 (1988-02-06)8221
19"Witness"February 13, 1988 (1988-02-13)8220
20"Sea Hunt's Been Stolen"February 20, 1988 (1988-02-20)8222
22"The Phantom Strikes"March 5, 1988 (1988-03-05)8223
Note: The episode numbering was derived from the Epguides page for this series.[24]
23"The Persuaders"March 12, 1988 (1988-03-12)55088


Due to the show's popularity, Dell Comics released a series of Sea Hunt comic books.[25] Series star Lloyd Bridges also endorsed swim equipment by Voit.[26]

Home media

TGG Direct released all 4 seasons on DVD in Region 1 on January 29, 2013.[27][28][29][30]

50th anniversary

The Underwater Videographer Podcast presented a Sea Hunt 50th Anniversary podcast in December 2007. Appearing on the podcast were author Eric Hanauer, who interviewed Lloyd Bridges shortly before he died, actress Susan Silo, who guest starred in the "Cougar" episode, and Jeff Bridges, who shared memories of his father and Sea Hunt.

See also


  1. ^ a b Erickson, Hal (2001). Syndicated Television: The First Forty Years, 1947-1987. McFarland Classics. p. 41. ISBN 0-786-41198-8.
  2. ^ a b Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007-10-17). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present (9 ed.). Ballantine Books. p. 1205. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.
  3. ^ Allen, Rick (2011-05-25). "Celebrating 'Sea Hunt'". p. 3. Retrieved 2012.
  4. ^ "Variety a hallmark of Lloyd Bridges' career". 1998-03-11. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ "Sea Hunt - cast". TV Guide, CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Bevil, Dewayne. "Silver Springs looks back at its 'Sea Hunt' days". Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ Van Hoose, Joe (2008-05-23). "Silver Springs marks 'Sea Hunt' anniversary - underwater - Star-Banner". Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ Alec Peirce Scuba (27 April 2017). "Sea Hunt Remembered: Silver Springs, Florida - S02E11". Retrieved 2017 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Sea Hunt (TV Series 1958-1961)". Retrieved 2017.
  10. ^ "Now Endangered, Florida's Silver Springs Once Lured Tourists". Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "Shipwreck used during filming of the TV show "Seahunt" - Silver Springs, Florida". Florida Memory. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ Sea Hunt Television Series - The Argonaut Trojan International Boats,
  13. ^ Scott, Susan (8 June 2001). "TV boat's real name holds a rich history". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ Boys' Life. Boy Scouts of America, Inc. July 1958. p. 4.
  15. ^ Buchanan Rides Alone on IMDb
  16. ^ Weaver, Tom (2003). Double Feature Creature Attack: A Monster Merger of Two More Volumes of Classic Interviews. McFarland. p. 86. ISBN 0-786-41366-2.
  17. ^ Laslo, Greg. "Dive History: Sea Hunt". Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 2012.
  18. ^ Vincent LoBrutto (4 January 2018). TV in the USA: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas [3 volumes]. ABC-CLIO. pp. 116-. ISBN 978-1-4408-2973-4.
  19. ^ Newcomb, Horace (2004). Encyclopedia of Television, Volume 1 (2 ed.). CRC Press. pp. 2627-28. ISBN 1-579-58411-X.
  20. ^ Berard, Jeanette M.; Englund, Klaudia (2009). Television Series and Specials Scripts, 1946-1992: A Catalog of the American Radio Archives Collection. McFarland. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-786-43348-3.
  21. ^ Olson, James Stuart (2000). Historical Dictionary of the 1950s. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 261. ISBN 0-313-30619-2.
  22. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007-10-17). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present (9 ed.). Ballantine Books. p. 1206. ISBN 978-0-345-49773-4.
  23. ^ "The Syndicated Season: 1987-1988". 2004-02-01. Retrieved 2012.
  24. ^ Sea Hunt (1987 series) at
  25. ^ Sassienie, Paul (1994). The Comic Book: The One Essential Guide For Comic Book Fans Everywhere. Chartwell Books, Inc. p. 299. ISBN 1-555-21999-3.
  26. ^ "Take Voit On Your Sea Hunt! (Advertisement)". Boys' Life. Boy Scouts of America, Inc. 48 (6): 69. June 1958. ISSN 0006-8608.
  27. ^ "Sea Hunt Complete Season One". 29 January 2013. Retrieved 2017 – via Amazon.
  28. ^ "Sea Hunt Complete Season Two". 29 January 2013. Retrieved 2017 – via Amazon.
  29. ^ "Sea Hunt Complete Season Three". 29 January 2013. Retrieved 2017 – via Amazon.
  30. ^ "Sea Hunt Complete Season Four". 29 January 2013. Retrieved 2017 – via Amazon.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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