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Hawaii Five-O is an American police drama series produced by CBS Productions and Leonard Freeman. Set in Hawaii, the show originally aired for twelve seasons from 1968 to 1980, and continues in reruns. Hawaii Five-O was named in honor of Hawaii's status as the 50th State, although the show's name ends with the letter "O" instead of the number zero.
It seems that there are different stories as to how the show came to be. One source states the idea for Hawaii Five-O may have come from a conversation producer Leonard Freeman had with Hawaii's then-Governor John A. Burns. Another source claims that Freeman wanted to set a show in San Pedro, California until his friend Richard Boone convinced him to shoot it entirely in Hawaii. A third source claims Freeman discussed the show with Governor Burns only after pitching the idea to CBS. Before settling on the name Hawaii Five-O.
The main cast of characters consisted of;
Steve McGarrett, played by Jack Lord
Danny "Danno" Williams, played by James MacArthur
Kono Kalakaua, played by Gilbert Lani Kauhi (credited as Zulu)
Chin Ho Kelly, played by Kam Fong Chun (credited as Kam Fong)
Attorney General John Manicote, played by Glenn Cannon
Ben Kokua, played by Al Harrington from 1972–1975
Duke Lukela (HPD police sergeant promoted to Five-O), played by Herman Wedemeyer from 1971–1980
Governor Paul Jameson, played by Richard Denning from 1968–1980
James (later "Kimo") Carew, played by William Smith from 1979–1980
Truck Kealoha, played by Moe Keale from 1979–1980
Frank Kamana, played by Douglas Mossman from 1975–76
Lori Wilson, played by Sharon Farrell from 1979–1980
May (secretary), played by Maggi Parker from 1968–1969
Jenny Sherman (secretary), played by Peggy Ryan from 1970–76
The Hawaii Five-O team consisted of three to five members and was portrayed as occupying a suite of offices in the Iolani Palace. The office interiors were sets on a soundstage. Five-O lacked its own radio network, necessitating frequent requests by McGarrett to the Honolulu Police Department dispatchers, "Patch me through to Danno." McGarrett's immaculate hairstyle, as well as wearing a dark suit and tie on all possible occasions which is uncommon on the islands, rapidly entered popular culture. While the other members of Five-O also dressed in the same attire much of the time, they also often wore local styles, such as the ubiquitous Aloha shirt.
To critics and viewers, there was no question that Jack Lord was the center of the show, and that the other actors frequently served as little more than props, standing and watching while McGarrett emoted and paced around his office, analyzing the crime. But occasionally episodes would focus on the other actors, and let them showcase their own talents, such as Danno defusing bombs in "The Clock Struck Twelve".
The show was the longest running crime show on American television until Law & Order surpassed it in 2003. The popularity of the Hawaii Five-O format spawned various police dramas on all the major television networks.
Known for the location, theme song, and ensemble cast, Hawaii Five-O is also noted for its liberal use of exterior location shooting throughout the entire twelve seasons. A typical episode, on average, would have at least two-thirds of all footage shot on location, as opposed to a "typical" show of the time which would be shot largely on sound stages and backlots.
When Hawaii Five-O debuted the Red Skelton Show was in his 17th year on television, most of which was on CBS.
Re-live the 60's attending Brian Hoffman's Remembering Red - A Tribute to Red Skelton.
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