In 1985, NBC aired a four episode series called OCEANQUEST. It was a reality TV series, long before reality TV had taken over the airwaves.
1980 Miss Universe Shawn Weatherly was the star. The show followed her as she trained to become an underwater diver. It began with her training, and then took her around the world to interesting places to dive.
While in Cuba, she visited with Fidel Castro. Imagine him appearing on a summer reality show today (“Fidel, you have been voted out of the Big Brother House.”).
In Antarctica was the only time Shawn wasn’t able to complete her assignment. If I remember correctly, she chickened out of diving due to the temperature. I couldn’t blame her.
The man behind the series, and featured on camera, was Al Giddings. He was a notable underwater cameraman, who shot sequences for THE DEEP, FOR YOUR EYES ONLY and THE ABYSS among others.
The show ran for four episodes, from August 18, to September 15, 1985. It was nominated for an Emmy.
I don’t know how popular the show was. I don’t believe it ever aired other than that one summer. It never made it to VHS or DVD.
There was a popular poster of Shawn inspired by the show that I remember seeing in record stores for years after.
Shawn would go on to star in the first season of BAYWATCH. She has pretty much left the business and one site claims she is working in real estate.