Sunday, October 03, 2010

Random TV Title: Hawaii Five-0 '98

This is a rerun of a 2009 post in tribute to the late Stephen J. Cannell.

Before the current HAWAII FIVE-0 remake on CBS, Stephen J. Cannell tried one in 1998. The original series starring Jack Lord ran from 1968 to 1980, and CBS thought there still was some life left in the concept. So, the network hired Cannell and Kim LeMasters to write a pilot and shoot it in Hawaii.

Russell Wong (BLACK SASH) and Gary Busey (!) starred as the new heads of Five-0, who are tasked with finding the black-gloved assassin who took a shot at Danny "Danno" Williams (James MacArthur), who replaced the late Steve McGarrett (Lord) as the head of Five-0 and is now the governor of Hawaii. Also appearing, in a very nice touch, were the surviving actors of the original show, including Kam Fong (whose Chin Ho Kelly was killed off in Season 10, but what the hell), Zulu, Harry Endo, Moe Keale, and Herman Wedemeyer.

Bradford May (DARKMAN II and III) directed the pilot, and what I saw of it (only about half) was not too bad. The writing was a little stiff and old-fashioned, but the concept still held water, and Busey and Wong likely could have made it work.

For whatever reason, CBS didn't pick up the show, and the 1998 HAWAII FIVE-0 pilot never aired. The opening titles were a nice throwback to the original series, including a repeat of the famous shot of Lord standing on that hotel balcony. I don't know who rearranged Morton Stevens' classic theme, but I'm guessing it was Mike Post.

6 comments:

Drake said...

CBS is trying for another remake of the series, haven't heard much about lately.

Aloha

hobbyfan said...

Shoot, Marty, I didn't even know about this. I don't think Mike Post redid the theme. They might've outsourced the music on this one, which goes against the usual Cannell M.O..

Booksteve said...

Kinda cool. Thanx!

Rich D said...

Hmmm.... The theme sounds very similar to the version that the Brian Setzer Orchestra often plays live in concert. A live version is available on a couple of Setzer compilations. BSO was hitting big with their album "The Dirty Boogie" in 1998, so it may be possible...

Paul D. Brazill said...

Never heard of it! Well done!

Graham said...

Interesting, something else from the 1990's that I'd never heard of. And Gary Busey playing a good guy, now that would have been a sight.