Hawaii Five-0 appears to be ready for `sweeps’

The new Hawaii Five-0 series seems to be ready for the February and May “sweeps,” where ratings are used to set television advertising rates.

CBS said this week that James Caan, father of series regular Scott Caan, will appear on the show next month. The original Five-O series did the same thing, where that program’s Danno, James MacArthur, got to work with adoptive mother, Helen Hayes, in an eighth-season episode.

Meanwhile, for May, CBS is planning a two-night Five-0/NCIS: Los Angeles crossover, according to a Jan. 11 post on the TVline Web site.

And, at some point, CBS is bringing back Edward Asner to reprise a role he played in the original Five-O series for multiple episodes. That, of course, creates all sorts of continuity issues because new Five-0 is a “reboot” (i.e. starting all over again), rather than a continuation of the original. But nobody is worrying too much about that.

UPDATE: We missed this one. Dennis Miller is also going to appear in a February episode, according to a post on the Digital Spy Web site.

James MacArthur, Danno 1.0, passes away at 72

James MacArthur, the last surviving original principal cast member of Hawaii Five-O, died today at age 72. He played the youthful sidekick, Dan Williams, to the Steve McGarrett of Jack Lord, the screen’s original Felix Leiter. MacArthur was 30 when the show began, though his Dan Williams probably is supposed to be in his mid-20s, based on references in early episodes.

The catchphrase of the original show, “Book ’em, Danno,” has been replicated by the new Hawaii Five-0 (whose official spelling is a numeral 0 in place of the capital “O” of the original). In the new version, Dan Williams 2.0 (Scott Caan) doesn’t find the phrase nearly as endearing. But such is the power of the catchphrase there was no way for the producer of the new version to ignore it. MacArthur, son of Helen Hayes and writer Charles MacArthur, got the gig after creator Leonard Freeman decided to recast the role after the pilot was filmed.

MacArthur, in the years after the show ended, was careful about what he said. At a 1996 fan convention in Los Angeles, he made self-depricating remarks but often declined to go into details even as one-time co-star Zulu, the original Kono (now turned into a woman in the new series, courtesy of actress Grace Park) served up behind-the-scene anecdotes to fans that detailed tensions between some cast members.

In early Five-O episodes, Danno sometimes clashed with McGarrett, something that has been a staple of the new series. In this extended 1968 promo, check out the exchange that starts at the 3:54 mark. It’s from an episode called “Samurai,” which was actually the first episode made after the pilot.

(To watch the entire “Samurai” episode, you can CLICK HERE.)

Mostly, though, the banter between the characters was more light hearted, such as in this first-season episode:

Finally, in 1997, when CBS tried reviving the show, a pilot was produced but never broadcast. MacArthur reprised the Dan Williams character, who was now governor of Hawaii: