It’s 1970 All Over Again

CBS may have canceled SWINGTOWN, but their love affair with the 1970s is just getting started. Hot on the heels of the news that CBS is remaking THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO comes word from the Hollywood Reporter that the network is also developing a new HAWAII FIVE-O. They've hired CRIMINAL MINDS showrunner Ed
Bernero to craft this new take. The last time CBS tried to revive HAWAII FIVE-O, back in the late 90s, they turned to writer/producer Stephen J. Cannell, who wrote the script with former network chief Kim LeMasters and cast Gary Busey and Russell Wong as the stars.  James MacArthur reprised his role as Danny "Dano" Williams, who'd bec0me Governor of Hawaii. Several other HAWAII FIVE-O cast members, including Chin-Ho (who was killed off in season 10), returned in cameos.  Mike Post even updated the FIVE O theme. The pilot was shot and never aired…but I have a copy.

6 thoughts on “It’s 1970 All Over Again”

  1. I don’t know whether to welcome this idea or not. I remember when the original was on, the first five or six years I never missed an episode. The rest of it’s run you couldn’t make me watch any episodes

  2. Yes – was it?
    I know fans of the original hated it – but was it okay on its own?
    With Russell Wong hot off Mummy 3, they might offer him a role on the series again 😉
    Left Coast Crime on Hawaii?
    I would consider that ….

  3. I agree, Randy. The original HAWAII FIVE-O started great and then the stories got progressively worse, particularly after season six, as you noted. The final episode, WOE TO WO FAT, is simply horrible in every way and illustrates just how bad the series had become (McGarrett puts on a gray wig and mustache and goes undercover in Woe Fat’s organization as a famous scientist. Woe Fat doesn’t recognize his mortal enemy until McGarrett whips off his fake mustache!) Even the HAWAII FIVE-O fan site acknowledges the show’s steady decline.
    The unsold 1997 pilot is not so much bad as it is slow and dull. It doesn’t feel like FIVE-O at all and Busey looks pudgy and ill (which he was– I think shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with a tumor in his sinuses or something like that). The rest of the regualar cast, which included a TV tough guy Marshal Teague, had no sparks whatsoever. The cameos by the aged FIVE-O cast from yesteryear were perfunctory and pointless. Their big scene was a expositional conversation between Busey and the oldsters at a park near Waikiki. It was not Steve Cannell’s best work by any measure.

  4. I wish producers would sell those unreleased pilots, at least as downloads. They did it with the unreleased Aquaman pilot a few years back. Kinda stunk but I had no problem plopping down 99 cents. At least they’d get SOME money back instead of zilch.


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