Hawaii Five-O: In the beginning

Hawaii Five-O logo in the main title

The recent news that Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park are departing the Hawaii Five-0 remake that has aired since 2010 has created a stir.

Example: IndieWire posted a July 6 article about why the departures are “a huge problem” for the series that’s entering its eighth season.

As it turns out, the makeup of the Five-O (official spelling of the original show) is an issue goes back to the very beginning of the original series.

In 1996, the Spy Commander attended a Five-O convention in Los Angeles. One part of the event included an auction. One of the items up for auction was a photocopy of the first-draft script for the pilot episode written by creator Leonard Freeman.

The Spy Commander lost out in the auction, but had a chance to examine said script.

In that first version, the Five-O team only had one white member, Steve McGarrett (initially American actor Robert Brown, but replaced by Jack Lord days before filming). Five-O’s second-in-command was Kono Kalakaua, described as a Hawaiian in his mid-20s.

Another Five-O member was named Lee, who was described as a heavy-set Hawaiian. Rounding out the cast was Chin Ho, who worked for the Honolulu Police Department but was also a liaison with Five-O.

Between that script and filming of the pilot, Five-O got another white member, Danny “Danno” Williams (Tim O’Kelly in the pilot, James MacArthur in the series); the Lee character got the Kono name; and Chin Ho was made a full-fledged member of Five-O.

As an aside, arch villain Wo Fat was named after a restaurant in Honolulu. The character of Chin Ho Kelly was named after Chinn Ho, a successful Hawaiian businessman.

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Hawaii Five-0 loses two stars

Cast of the 2010 Hawaii Five-0

Hawaii Five-0, the remake of the original Five-O series, is losing two of its stars in a pay dispute, Variety reported.

Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park are departing the series ahead of its eighth season, according to the entertainment website.

The two “had been seeking pay equality with stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan, but were unable to reach satisfactory deals with CBS Television Studios, which produces the series,” Variety said. “Kim and Park were believed to be making 10-15% less than O’Loughlin and Caan.”

The remake debuted in 2010. Park played Kono Kalkaua, who had been a man in the 1968-80 original show. Kim was a fitter, trimmer version of Chin Ho Kelly.

O’Loughlin and Caan are revamped versions of Steve McGarrett and Dan Williams from the original series. The characters were played by Jack Lord and James MacArthur in the 1968-80 show, although Tim O’Kelly played Williams in the 1968 pilot TV movie.

The remake series also has done new takes on other characters from the original, including turning villain Wo Fat, Gov. Paul Jameson and U.S. spymaster Jonathan Kaye. For the new series, Jameson and Kaye were made into women characters.

The new versions of Jameson and Kaye were revealed to be in cahoots with Wo Fat and were killed off. The new Wo Fat was killed off in the new show’s 100th episode.

(And yes, the official spelling of the original is Hawaii Five-O while the 2010 series is spelled Five-0.)

 

New Hawaii Five-O makes CBS’s fall schedule

CBS is doing a reboot of Hawaii Five-O, the 1968-80 crime drama that often featured espionage-themed stories (starting with its pilot). Here’s what an Associated Press story on the New York Times Web site says:

CBS has also scheduled a modern revival of the 1970s cop drama ”Hawaii Five-O” with Daniel Dae Kim, fresh from the Hawaii-based ”Lost,” in the cast. Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan also star.

O’Loughlin has been referened previously as playing Steve McGarrett, the role made famous by Jack Lord, while Kim was reported to be playing Chin Ho Kelley, portrayed by Kam ong in the first series. Caan is the son of actor James Caan. According to zap2toit.com, the new Five-O will be telecast at 10 p.m. Mondays New York time.

According to IMDB.com’s entry for the 2010 series’s pilot episode, two characters have gotten gender changes. Instead of Gov. Paul Jameson in the original (played by the late Richard Denning), the new version has Gov. Pat Jameson played by Jean Smart. And Kono Kalakaua (originally played by the late Gilbert Kauhi, aka Zulu) has been turned into a woman played by the considerably lighter Grace Park.

As we’ve written before, CBS produced a 1997 pilot for a revival that was never broadcast.

UPDATE: The new main titles….

UPDATE II: At about 8:25 p.m. New York time on May 20, CBS ran a promo for the new Five-O. It shows new McGarrett telling new Danno, “Book ’em, Danno!”

UPDATE III: CBS has uploaded a 2-minute promo to YouTube: