The role of Cole Deschanel, initially played by Ashley Hamilton, was recast with Eddie Cibrian.
In mid-1998, following contract disputes, Vanessa Dorman vacated the role of Cole's wife Caitlin, and Kam Heskin was cast. When Susan Ward left to film a movie, Sydney Penny stepped in to replace her, with Ward later returning to play the character for the show's final few weeks. Oliver was let go in December 1997, and his character, Jimmy Harrison, was recast with a younger actor, Jeffery Wood.
Sunset Beach won two Daytime Emmy Awards and was nominated another eleven times.
The show also received twenty-two nominations for various other awards.
The first actress to leave the series was Adrienne Frantz.
However, during the Shockwave storyline, it received its best ratings and showed signs that it might move off the bottom.
Carol Potter and John Martin, who had been recurring during the show's first year, were promoted to contract status, and the expansion of Meg's family also included the arrival of her sister Sara.
The role was first played by then-unknown actress Lauren Woodland, but she was fired two weeks later and replaced by Shawn Batten, who played the role for the remainder of the series.
Although there is a town in California called Sunset Beach, the show's beach scenes were shot on nearby Seal Beach.
The show was co-produced by NBC and Spelling Television.