COURTESY BOB PEAK ESTATE
ABOUT THE ART:
This image of Jack Lord by the late illustrator Bob Peak ran on the cover of TV Guide in September 1971. Peak was a renowned designer of movie posters whose work also appeared on magazine covers such as Time and Sports Illustrated (view examples at bobpeak.com
). His TV Guide covers will soon be available as limited-edition prints through the Web site.
‘Five-0’ at four-0
"Book 'em, Danno."
It's been 40 years since we first heard those words uttered by Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett.
"Hawaii Five-O" made its national television debut with a two-hour pilot, "Cocoon," airing on Sept. 20, 1968. Local viewers had their first chance to see "Cocoon" on KGMB a week later. Filming had begun in Honolulu in November 1967.
40 YEARS LATER, MCGARRETT LIVES
» Coming up: CBS is working to bring the series back, possibly for the 2009-10 season, under producer Ed Bernero ("Criminal Minds"). It would be filmed again in Hawaii.
» Online: CBS Interactive Online offers free episodes for viewing via kgmb9.com/main/content/view/6134/209.
» On DVD: Four seasons of the show have been released by Paramount on DVD, and the fifth season (1972-73) will be in stores in November.
» Reruns: Air locally on KWHE
» Also: For episode guides, news updates and links to online resources, see the "Hawaii Five-0" home page, www.mjq.net/fiveo.
Lord, Kam Fong as Chin Ho Kelly and Zulu as Kono Kalakaua all appeared in the pilot. McGarrett's No. 2, Danny "Danno" Williams, was played by Tim O'Kelly, but producer Leonard Freeman decided to recast the part with James MacArthur.
Star-Bulletin columnist Dave Donnelly once wrote that the true star of the series was Hawaii itself, perhaps the major reason the show was such a hit.
The series not only showcased the beauty of the islands during its 12-season run, but also took advantage of local talent. Actors such as Richard Denning, Herman Wedemeyer, Al Harrington, Harry Endo, Glenn Cannon, Moe Keale and Doug Mossman all played integral roles.
KGMB's staff also won various roles, some not far removed from their actual jobs at the station. In early episodes, KGMB anchors Bob Sevey, Bob Jones and Tim Tindall played anchors and reporters; Phil Arnone, a TV director. Morgan White (Pogo Poge) can be seen playing the attorney general. Entertainers Carol Kai, Lucky Luck, Danny Kaleikini, Melveen Leed, Kimo Kahoano and Jimmy Borges, as well as journalists Eddie Sherman, Bob Basso, Bill Bigelow, Les Keiter and Joe Moore, would all make appearances over the years.
Keiter recalls being on the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship in the Caribbean when the maitre d' from England complimented him not on his sports expertise, but his 14 appearances on the show. "It showed to me how popular the show was on a worldwide basis," said Keiter.
Moore appeared in about a dozen episodes, including one with the late John Ritter, "Dealer's Choice Is Blackmail."
"For some reason Jack Lord took an instant liking to me from my first episode, 'Skinhead,' where I had a small role as an Army captain, and took me under his acting wing, as it were, and gave me helpful tips about working in front of a camera," Moore said.
"We had a great relationship over the years on and off the set. He'd often drop me notes at the newsroom, commenting on something I'd said on a newscast."
With the departures of Fong in season 10 and MacArthur in season 11, the series began to show its age. "When Jim MacArthur dropped out of the show before the 12th season, Jack asked if I'd like to replace him in the cast as a member of the Five-O team," Moore said. "It was a difficult decision, but I turned him down because as much as I like acting, I felt the show was on its last legs. And, in fact, that turned out to be their final season."
The show was a ratings hit for many years and was the longest-running crime show on American television until being surpassed in recent years by NBC's "Law & Order." Production ended in December 1979; CBS aired first-run episodes until April 1980. The show remained so popular locally that KGMB aired reruns in prime time well into the 1980s.
Many in the "Five-O" ohana have died in the last 10 years: Lord, Denning (Gov. Jameson), Wedemeyer (Duke), Keale (Truck), Fong (Chin) and Zulu (Kono).
The most prominent of the series regulars, MacArthur, is working on his autobiography and lives near Palm Springs, Calif.
, a collector of film and videotape cataloging Hawaii's TV history, has worked as a producer, writer and researcher for both local and national media. His column runs on the first Monday of each month. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org