Hawaii Five-0: CBS Orders the Second Remake of the Popular Cop Show

Hawaii Five-0In the ongoing tradition of resurrecting popular TV series of the past, CBS is developing a new version of the classic crime show, Hawaii Five-0.

Hawaii Five-0
originally aired on CBS from 1968 to 1980. It held the record for being the longest running crime drama on American television until 2003, when Law and Order eclipsed it. The cop series stars Jack Lord and James MacArthur as detectives Steve McGarrett and Dan Williams as they work for the fictional Hawaiian state police department. The series was filmed primarily in Honolulu, with additional locations throughout Oahu. The show’s straightforward storytelling, fast-paced action and strong ensemble cast kept the show popular for years. The series’ format has also provided a successful template for the many police dramas that have followed.

A revival series was first attempted in 1997, spearheaded by Stephen J. Cannell (The A-Team, The Greatest American Hero). The pilot was filmed with Gary Busey in the lead role. When Governor Dan Williams (MacArthur) — the former second-in-command of Five-0 — is shot, retired members of the team join forces with the current Five-0. Lord was in very poor health by this time but the pilot reunited Williams’ “Danno” with Kono (Zulu), Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong), and Duke (Herman Wedemeyer). Cannell wasn’t a big fan of the original series and included Chin Ho in a prominent role — a regular character who had been killed off in season 10. The pilot was ultimately deemed “unairable” by execs and Busey needed surgery for a brain tumor, a complication that would have delayed production for months.

A big screen re-make of Hawaii Five-0 has been in the works on and off for some time. In the late 1990s, CBS claimed that it owned the series’ movie rights but, after lengthy arbitration, ownership was awarded to series creator Leonard Freeman’s widow. There have been several plans for the movie over the years but none have materialized.

Now, CBS wants to try remaking the show once again. Ed Bernero, the executive producer of the hit crime drama Criminal Minds, is currently writing the project. He’s such a big fan of the show that he has the theme song as his ringtone. The main character of the new version will be Chris McGarrett, son of the original series’ Steve McGarrett. Although the storytelling will be updated, the spirit of the original will be maintained as much as possible including a re-vamped version of the iconic theme song and some form of the famous closing line “Book’em Danno.” The new Hawaii Five-0, like its predecessor, will take place at a fictional Hawaii state police department (Hawaii is the only US state without a statewide police agency) and will be filmed on the islands.

There is no word yet on who will star in the new pilot, but some critics are hoping that the new series will feature a more diverse cast than the largely Caucasian original. Given the popularity of the original in first run and syndication, the new show has a solid foundation of fans waiting for it. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

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12 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. John says

    Being a huge fan of the original series I have a feeling that
    this remake is not going to work . They should have kept
    their new actors as close as they can to the original. Look
    at Kono nd the governor and then tell me the new series is
    going to work. CBS needs to realize that with the enormous
    fan base the original series has, that the closer they keep it
    to the great series it was, the better chance they have of making
    it work. Jack Lord made that series work. He knew what would
    work. I just hope that someone talks to James Mc Arthur and
    listens to him about how the show worked so well.

  2. Mauiman says

    Yes, the death of a regular character before the original series ended was probably why the remake with that character in an major role was “unairable”. Any die-hard fan would ask, “WTF??” There was also an interesting criticism on another site; beware of devolving into predicatable Hawaii cliches and uninteresting/unbelievable plot lines

  3. Chris says

    I think Tom Selleck would be awesome! Didn’t he also film a series in HI? Rumors have it maybe Alex O’Loughlin…Can’t see it..Sorry!!! He’s just not the right look I don’t think. However, Daniel Henny would be a great addition. Just a thought.

  4. Patrick says

    If they should do a new Hawaii Five-O, I would prefer it be the “next generation” (or two generations, since the show has been off the air for almost 30 years). I would find it difficult to have Chin Ho Kelly back, for example, since the character was killed off in the last episode of Season 10, “A Death In The Family.” Were one of his kids to be part of the new Five-O, however, it would be more believable. The same with A son or daughter of Steve McGarett be in charge (or to have a child of Danno Williams in charge and s child of McGarett as second in command).

    One big problem I see, however, is finding an audience. The viewing public and what they want to watch has changed greatly since 1980 (and especially since the series’ premier in 1968). So have the programs we watch (compare the original Five-O to say, “Law and Order” or one of the “CSI” shows, not to mention “ER,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Gossip Girl,” and the whole plethora of “reality” / contest shows). I fear that no matter how good the acting or storytelling, or beautiful the Hawaiian scenery, it may be hard for a new version of Hawaii Five-O to find an audience.

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