1968: Hawaii Five-O what could have been

Over at the Cinema Retro Web site, the authors are upset at the notion of a remake of Hawaii Five-O. Here’s an excerpt:

For our money, Hawaii 5-0 was one of the all-time great action TV shows. Now, CBS- the network that telecast the series for years- has commissioned a pilot for a remake of the series. Can’t they just set a brand new crime concept in Hawaii and leave the legacy of this classic series unblemished? Besides, the original series holds up great even by today’s standards.

The thing is, just like James Bond movies, things could have been very different. For example:

— The first choice for the role of Steve McGarrett wasn’t Jack Lord, but Robert Brown, the star of Here Comes the Brides. Rose Freeman, the widow of series creator Leonard Freeman, told fans attending a 1996 Five-O convention in Los Angeles that Brown was replaced by Lord with only five days before filming began on the series pilot.

— Leonard Freeman’s first draft script (which one of our staff got to inspect at that 1996 convention before he got outbid at a charity auction), had a cast of characters including the following: Steve McGarrett, the Five-O leader; Kono Kalakua, second-in-command Hawaiian in his mid 20s; a big, beefy Hawaiian whose first name was Lee; and Chin Ho Kelley, a member of the Honolulu Police Department, who was the laison between Five-O and HPD.

By the time the final shooting script was done, the second-in-command had morphed into Danny (Danno) Williams; Lee the Hawaiian had taken the Kono name; and Chin Ho was a full fledged member of Five-O.

— CBS has tried more than once to revive Five-O so it remains to be seen whether it can actually happen. Here’s the title sequence from a 1997 pilot, which never aired, in which retired members of Five-O team up with a new Five-O crew when Gov. Dan Williams is gunned down during a public appearance. One problem: the pilot included Kam Fong as Chin Ho, who had been killed off in the final episode of Five-O’s 10th season.

UPDATE: Alex O’Loughlin has been cast as Steve McGarrett in this latest revival attempt, according to Entertainment Weekly’s Web site.

One Response

  1. […] 1997: Gov. Danno gets shot in unsold Hawaii Five-O pilot Posted on April 12, 2010 by The HMSS Editors We’ve mentioned before how there was an unsuccessful attempt to revive Hawaii Five-O. […]

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