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July 29, 2014

'Hawaii Five-O' Producers Swear Their 'Reboot' Will Honor Original - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 28th 2010 9:29PM
TCA 'Hawaii Five-O' panel: Alex Kurtzman, Alex O'Loughlin, Scot Caan, and Peter Lenkov
At the TCA panel for 'Hawaii Five-O' this morning, producers Alex Kurtzman and Peter Lenkov swore up, down and sideways that they're both huge fans of the original show from the '60s and '70s. But they also kept calling the show a "reboot" or "reimagining," trying to stay as far way as possible from the work "remake."

According to Kurtzman, "I think, for me, the word "remake" suggests that we're doing exactly the same thing, just doing it again. And I think in our experience in 'Star Trek,' we felt like you have to find the spirit of what that original franchise was about, and you have to really be true to it, and then you have to expand on it and bring it into the modern time with whatever rules will govern it."

Krurtzman, Roberto Orici, and Lenkov think they've kept to the true spirit of the show, and the first piece of evidence they give is the theme song.

Yes, that iconic 'Five-O' theme song, with the pulsating kettle drum and quick staccato horns, will be in full force in the new version; CBS showed us a clip of an orchestra recording the theme song, which will be used when the show airs this fall. In the pilot sent after upfronts, there was a more electronic version that Kurtzman said was placed in the intro just as a placeholder.

"There are few themes that are as good as the 'Five-0' theme," he said. "I mean, it is the greatest theme. And what that really led us back to was this is one of those things that we have to be utterly respectful to the point that we found the original musicians who did the first, the original theme, and brought them back in to re-record it. And I think that at the end of the day, why mess with something that's perfect?"

More on the "reboot" of 'Five-O':

-- Alex O'Loughlin, who plays Steve McGarrett, said of his predecessor in the role, Jack Lord, "I love Jack Lord's McGarrett. I love Jack Lord's hair. I think he started blue steel, the look that he does. nHe's awesome. None of which I can get away with today in 2010 on television."

-- After the failures of 'Moonlight' and 'Three Rivers', O'Loughlin is really hoping 'Five-O' will stick: "I mean, if this one doesn't go, I'm completely bewildered. I have no idea how television works at all." He may have been half-joking on the panel, but during the scrum, he repeated his "Three strikes and you're out" mantra, saying he'd seek more work in film if this doesn't work out. He felt this has been a better fit for him than his previous two shows.

-- The producers took questions about how gritty the pilot felt compared to the original. But Kurtzman thinks there will still be a lightheartedness to the show, in the banter between McGarrett and Dano (Scott Caan, who was also on the panel), as well as between Chin Ho kelly and his cousin Kona (Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park, who were shooting in Hawaii and couldn't make the panel). "But the foundation has to be real."

-- The Five-O team will be dealing with a lot of modern Honolulu crime -- Lenkov said the meth and ice trades are bustling there -- but they'll also deal with international matters. "You know, in terms of its strategic importance, it's really the first border in the United States on that side of the world," said Lenkov.

The producers didn't exactly convince everyone in the room that this show won't be more than what looks to be more than just a traditional CBS procedural, albeit with palm trees. But at least they'll have the theme song going for them, which is nice.

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