Interesting Facts about Hawaii Five-O

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Reboots are the trend on television nowadays and many of the classic television shows have been given contemporary treatments with a new set of cast and a refreshed story line. And Hawaii Five-O is no exception. The original series, about an elite police task force fighting big crimes in the Aloha State, was broadcast from the 1960s throughout the 1980s. The success of the Hawaii Five-O resulted to a great influence that it exerted on pop culture. Fans of the original series would surely remember the scenes, the catchphrases, and of course its iconic theme song

The 2010 reboot – currently on its ninth season as of this writing – features pretty much the same plot. Its new cast plays pretty much same roles as on the original Hawaii Five-O (albeit with different backgrounds). But aside from the cast, it has several other changes such as the updated version of its famous theme song.

Here are some fun facts about the first and the original Hawaii Five-O that many of us may not know (or otherwise have forgotten):

1. Hawaii had only been nine years old as a U.S. state by the time the series was launched.

The (original) Hawaii Five-O premiered on September 20, 1968 – only nine years after Hawaii became a state on August 21, 1959.

2. Where did the “Five-O” come from?

The “Five-O” in the show’s title is actually a homage to Hawaii as being (you guessed it) the 50th state of the USA. The numerals were used to designate a fictional police division on the show.

3. Hawaii Five-O became the first crime series to run for over a decade.

Hawaii Five-O, technically called a “police procedural” series, went on to become the first crime TV series to run for more than a decade, lasting for a total of 12 seasons after its end on April 5, 1980.

4. Gregory Peck almost starred as Steve McGarrett.

Before actor Jack Lord became known as the series’ main character Steve McGarrett, the producers considered other actors to play the coveted role. It was first offered to Richard Boone (of the famous Western television series Have Gun, Will Travel), but the actor turned it down. Oscar award-winning actor Gregory Peck was also considered for the role. Another actor, Robert Brown, was almost cast as Steve McGarrett. But producers of the show felt that he wasn’t totally up for the role, so they replaced him with Jack Lord at the last minute.

5. It’s not just in Hawaii where the series was filmed.

Hawaii Five-O made another milestone in American television at the time, as it was the first series whose scenes were shot at exotic locations. Apart from Hawaii, the show was also filmed in other places such as Hong Kong and Singapore for some of its special episodes.

6. The theme song was a big hit on the charts.

Another legacy of Hawaii Five-O is its iconic theme song. The tune was written by Morton Stevens, who also had scoring credits for other productions such as Gunsmoke and Police Woman. The theme was recorded by the Ventures, with their version peaking at #4 on the Billboard pop music chart in 1969.

7. The building seen on the show’s credits.

Hawaii Five-O’s opening credits contain some of the most memorable elements, including Jack Lord, as Steve McGarrett, who stands on the balcony of some residential building. That building is actually the Ilikai Hotel, which is located in Honolulu. It still operates today so if you’re a big fan of the original series, book for a stay there and recreate your Steve McGarrett moment.

8. Magnum P.I. used the same production facilities that Hawaii Five-O had left.

When Hawaii Five-O ended in the spring of 1980, its producers felt that the production facilities at Diamond Head should not go to waste for the time being. So they created a new series that would also be set in Hawaii. Thus the new show, Magnum P.I., was moved to the same production facilities that Hawaii Five-O had used during the last four years of its run. Check out Interesting Facts about Magnum P.I. for more trivia.

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