Let's just start with the most popular American TV show ever -- "Baywatch." At its peak, the show starring Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff was broadcast in 142 countries. More than 1 billion people have watched the show [source: Britannica].
"Baywatch" made its debut in 1989, then was canceled after one season. Hasselhoff and his partners bought the rights to the show and resurrected it as a syndicated series in 1991. One of the reasons "Baywatch" got a second chance at life was because of its overseas popularity. The show went off the air in 2001. However, it made Hasselhoff one of the most recognizable American celebrities in the world. Hasselhoff's European fans helped launch his music career in the late '80s [source: Biography].