E komo mai!
Welcome! ...to Memories of "Hawaii Five-0."
Glad to have you stop by. Look around...browse to your heart's content. It is our hope that you will find this to be a compendium of information about the original Hawaii Five-0 as it was created by Leonard Freeman and perpetuated by Jack Lord.
No matter how many times I watch the episodes, I am constantly awed by the gargantuan efforts that the cast and crew put into the making of Hawaii Five-0. From the intense emotions displayed when cases hit close to home to such small nuances as Alan Naluai's outlandish jackets, few details were overlooked. Although the scenery was (and is) gorgeous, it did not make Five-0 as special as the efforts of these remarkably talented and dedicated people did.
Our goal here is two-fold: to help each other learn more about Hawaii Five-0 and to give a tip of our hats to those who gave us 284 wonderful episodes to enjoy, now, for more than forty years. Please visit our guestbook while you're here and leave a message to say mahalo (thank you) to the wonderful people who made Five-0 number one.
And may I add a special mahalo to our members, whose contributions make this website as special as it is. It is impossible for one person to have all the resources or the knowledge. Just as it takes a community to rear a child, it takes our members to make sure we capture as much of what Five-0 was about as we possibly can. You will find the names of these generous souls beside each contribution they made.
~ H50 1.0 FOREVER, Webmaster
Aloha ke Akua
Why is the show called Hawaii Five-0?
Because it was named for Hawai'i's being the 50th state. Len Freeman said so.
According to James Hong, who appeared in four episodes of Five-0, everything connected with the show was first class. Even before the producers had contacted him about appearing, they rolled out the red carpet for him with first-class airline seats to Hawai`i, a limousine to the Kahala Hilton, and a bottle of scotch, which was a gift from Jack Lord.*
Hawaii Five-0 is an award-winning police drama. Its prime-time run spanned 12 seasons, from September 1968 until April 1980. Its re-runs began to be shown in syndication even before production ceased and continue to be shown to this day. Until 1993, when the original Law & Order series surpassed it, it was the longest-running police drama on American television. Today, it continues to enjoy enormous popularity through syndication, online viewing, and the release of remastered DVDs.
Five-0, as it is affectionately called, was groundbreaking in its day. Creator and producer, Leonard Freeman, wanted to make a series in Hawai'i. His mother-in-law lived in Honolulu, and with a series set there, he would be able to visit her more often.
At the same time, Governor John A. Burns (1962-1974), who began his career as a police officer and, later, a detective with the Honolulu Police Department, wanted to establish a state law enforcement unit. The unit would investigate complex crimes that were beyond the scope of local law enforcement agencies. His wish did not come true in real life, but it came very true in Hawaii Five-0.
In those days, the networks did not like to film on location any more than was necessary. Stirling Silliphant had shown that it could be done successfully with his series, Route 66, for which Leonard Freeman had written. Mr. Freeman managed to persuade the studio to let him film the pilot onsite, in our 50th state. Hawai'i had joined the Union only eight years earlier.
Mr. Freeman made contacts with and quickly won the support of government, business, and private individuals in Hawai'i. This made him aware of issues and conditions that could be included to truly site Five-0 in Hawai'i. This also allowed him to film in and around such historical sites as 'Iolani Palace. The Palace, then the state capitol building, had been the home of the last king of Hawai'i, David Kalakaua, and his sister and successor, Queen Lili'uokalani.
And, so, in that day when the new state capitol building still was being constructed, Leonard Freeman sited Five-0's offices in the Palace, where the real-life offices of the governor and lieutenant governor, as well as the two houses of the legislature, were located (see "McGarrett's Office" for more information).
The pilot was filmed in Hawai'i. When the preview was shown in New York, it blew the rating sensors off the chart. Hawaii Five-0 would become a series!
Even so, the studio was not convinced that the series needed to be filmed entirely in Hawai'i. Jack Lord, who portrayed Chief Investigator Steve McGarrett and held owner interest in the production, agreed with Mr. Freeman and insisted that the program be filmed entirely on location. With very few exceptions, it was.
Similarly, Mr. Freeman made connections with Mr. Chinn Ho, founder of the Ilikai Hotel. The Ilikai was Waikiki's first high-rise hotel, having opened in 1964 with 30 storeys and 1,050 guest rooms and apartments (now, condominiums). And, so, the star of the new show posed on the penthouse balcony in the opening sequence to welcome viewers to Hawai'i and to Hawaii Five-0.