Hawaii Five-0 debuted on CBS, the same network that aired the original version. Like the original version, it follows an elite state police unit/task force set up to fight crime in the state of Hawaii. It premiered on Monday, September 20, 2010, 42 years to the day from the premiere of the original show. On October 21, 2010, CBS announced Hawaii Five-0 had been given a full season order of 24 episodes.
On May 11, 2015, CBS renewed the series for a sixth season.
The series covers the actions of a small special state task force created by the Governor of Hawaii, Gov. Pat Jameson, to investigate serious crimes throughout the Islands, as Hawaii does not have a conventional State police force. The team is headed by Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett, USNR as it investigates crimes ranging from terrorism to kidnapping. McGarrett chooses as his partner Honolulu P.D. Detective Danny “Danno” Williams. He fills out the team by selecting Chin Ho Kelly, and Chin's cousin, a rookie H.P.D. cop named Kono Kalakaua. The task force does not follow the normalCHAIN of command and, instead, reports directly to the governor's office. One unexplained part of the story concerns the name "Five-0". Taken from a video clip that the team watches of a young Steve McGarrett playing high school football, Danny asks why Steve wore the No. 50 since he was a quarterback. Steve explains that it is "Five-0" rather than "fifty" because his father called their family the "Five Oh's" after Hawaii being the 50th state. Kono decides that "Five-0" would be a good name for their task force. It is not explained how everyone (including tourists) seems to know what Five-0 is, despite its being an unofficial name coined in a private meeting, although the name appears to have been made official in later episodes. Five-0's headquarters are located in the Aliʻiōlani Hale building, site of a famous Kamehameha Statue, which features prominently in the series; in real life, the ʻHale serves as the central headquarters of the Hawaii State Judiciary and where the Supreme Court of Hawaii regularly convenes.
Each episode typically begins with a crime being committed or a body being discovered, and assignment of the subsequent criminal investigation to the unit by either the governor or his representative. The task force uses the authority of the governor's office to gain access to crime scenes and investigations involving theHonolulu Police Department (H.P.D.) when they cross paths. To assist them in their investigations, the team is granted immunity from prosecution for actions committed in the line of duty, although this immunity is revoked by the Lt. Governor following the Governor's assassination. The core team remain largely unchanged, with McGarrett's girlfriend Catherine Rollins (Michelle Borth) briefly joining during Season 4 and the newest member Captain Lou Grover (Chi McBride), former commander of H.P.D.'s SWAT team, joining permanently midway through Season 4.
A major character arc set up in the pilot episode involves the murder of McGarrett's father, who was working on a corruption case, even after retiring from the H.P.D. After the terrorist responsible for his father's murder is apprehended, a mysterious figure interrogates Steve about his investigation into his father's old cases. This figure is later revealed to be Wo Fat, a criminal with ties to the Yakuza, possibly connected to the suspectedcar-bomb murder of Steve's mother, which was originally ruled an accident. When his father investigated this as the head of the H.P.D. Organized Crime Task Force, he began to dig too far into the corruption and was ordered to abandon the investigation. He nonetheless saved the evidence in a toolbox, all of which was left to his son in the hope that he would someday conclude his father's work.
Another story arc involves the reasons behind Chin Ho's departure from H.P.D., after being accused of stealingCASH from the Asset Forfeiture Locker. McGarrett accepts Chin Ho onto the task force, as he was the senior McGarrett's protégé. As the series progresses, it is revealed that a mole in H.P.D. framed Chin Ho for the theft and that this mole could have been connected to McGarrett Sr.'s old corruption probe.
In the Season 1 finale, the Five-0 task force is disbanded after McGarrett is arrested for Governor Jameson's murder. In Season 2, the new governor, Sam Denning, reinstates the task force after McGarrett is proven innocent; but the team no longer has absolute immunity and must follow the governor's rules. In Episode 2, Governor Denning appoints Lori Weston from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to Five-0 to monitor the team; she resigns after the Task Force is involved in a diplomatic incident at the Russian consulate.
In Season 2, Masi Oka's Dr. Max Bergman, M.E. works, more closely than usual, with Five-0 on a case involving a serial murderer who has begun killing again; Max's biological mother was a victim of the killer during his original killing spree. There was a cooling of relations between Danny and his ex-wife Rachel, and by the end of the season Danny was about to fight Rachel and her current husband Stan's plan to take Danny's daughter Grace with them on their move to the mainland. Kono is involved in an undercover assignment, for five episodes, where she appeared to have lost her badge, but was actually working undercover with HPD Internal Affairs Capt. Vincent Fryer, who was investigating a group of former cops engaged in illegal activities. Chin Ho and his former fiancée reunite and marry, with the Five-0 task force and Kamekona as members of their wedding party.
McGarrett continues to try to learn more about the death of his father and the mysterious Shelburne. His former SEAL Commander, Joe White (who was also a friend of McGarrett's father), arrives in the islands and appears to be helping McGarrett at times and getting in his way at others. Wo Fat returns and is involved in a series of murders, including the leader of the Yakuza, Hiro Noshimuri, and is being hunted down by them.
While Steve is in Japan, searching for Shelburne and Joe White, the Hawaii Five-0 team under Danny's control later form a temporary partnership with theNCIS: Los Angeles team to stop a possible smallpox outbreak which begins in the Hawaii Five-0 Season 2 episode, "Pa Make Loa" and later concludes in the NCIS: Los Angeles Season 3 episode, "Touch of Death".
At the end of the season, Joe takes McGarrett to see Shelburne in Japan; Shelburne turns out to be his mother Doris, who was presumed dead for 20 years which leaves Steve stunned. Doris' past as "Shelburne" would form the story arc leading to McGarrett's running duel with Wo Fat and their final confrontation in Season 5.
Jorge Garcia as Jerry Ortega (season 5–present, season 4, recurring), a conspiracy theorist who regularly assists the Five-0 Task Force with various cases. He was schoolmates with Chin Ho Kelly at Kukui High and they were in the school band. A running gag in the show is the fact that he is either resistant or reluctant to use cellular technology to communicate with McGarrett (e.g. he once used arotary phone toDIRECTLY call McGarrett about updates for a case), which he explained was to prevent eavesdropping. Despite this, he is tech-savvy, often assisting the team with cases involving advanced technology or hackers.
Mark Dacascos as Wo Fat, a crime lord and mastermind with ties to the Yakuza, arms merchants, terrorists, even high-ranking government officials, and possibly behind the murder of McGarrett's father. He is also responsible for setting up Steve McGarrett for the assassination of Governor Pat Jameson, and ordering Victor Hesse to kill McGarrett to prevent him from investigating further, before murdering Hesse himself. He is later arrested by McGarrett in "Ua Hopu" and is eventually transported to a federal prison in Colorado. He escapes in the season 4 finale and returns to Hawaii, eventually being killed by McGarrett during season 5. It was later revealed that Doris McGarrett, Steve's mother (who is a CIA asset codename: Shellburne) was assigned to kill Wo Fat's father but the mission went wrong and instead resulted in the death of Wo Fat's mother when he was a child and Doris took the responsibility for raising him (apparently from guilt conscience due to the failed mission).
James Marsters as Victor Hesse, an international arms dealer, the murderer of McGarrett's father, and an associate of Wo Fat. He is killed by Wo Fat inHalawa Correctional Facility, but not before assisting Steve McGarrett and his team.
Will Yun Lee as Sang Min, a Snakehead busted by Five-0, and later used by the team as a source of criminal intelligence. He was sent to a federal prison in Virginia but returns to Hawaii in Season 3 to testify against his former criminal associates. The Five-O Task Force have a love-hate relationship with him: he is a valuable source of information for them but his penchant for flirting with Officer Kono Kalakaua oftenEARNS him the ire of the team, with Kono sometimes threatening to beat him up herself. He was married to a Rwandan woman and had a son, whom he doted on, and sought them out when he returned to Hawaii, only to find that she had changed her name and found another man, leaving him disappointed and heartbroken.
Dennis Chun as Sgt. Duke Lukela, HPD officer who often acts as a liaison to Five-0. He was one of the few HPD cops who was not antagonistic towards Danny or the other Five-O members from the beginning, as he was colleagues with Steve's father and also personally knew Chin and Kono's family. In "Hookman", he was shot by Curt Stoner (Peter Weller), but survived and recovered. Chun is the son of Kam Fong Chun, who played Chin Ho Kelly on the original Hawaii Five-O.
Claire van der Boom as Rachel Edwards, Danny's ex-wife and mother of Grace. She moves to Hawaii after marrying millionaire Stan Edwards. Early in Season 1, she and Danny are often seen bitterly arguing on the phone to the point where the whole team knew about the situation even before they had met Rachel or Grace in person. She often used Grace asLEVERAGE and threatened to further limit his visitation rights when his job prevented him from being punctual to their father-daughter dates but Danny successfully files for joint custody, meaning that Grace cannot leave Hawaii without his consent. They are on much better terms, particularly after her marriage with Stan hits a rocky patch and Danny was there to help with Charlie's birth (which he later discovers was actually his, not Stan's).
Mark Deklin as Stan Edwards, Grace's stepfather and Rachel's second husband. Danny nicknamed him "step-Stan", initially as an insult. They are now on friendly terms, ever since Danny bailed him out of a misunderstanding with a corrupt government official that nearly turned fatal for both Rachel and Grace.
Larisa Oleynik as ex-CIA analyst Jenna Kaye, assistant to Five-0. She is later revealed to have an association with Wo Fat. At the end of "Ha'i'ole", she is seen driving Wo Fat away after he murdered Victor Hesse. She leaves to follow up on a lead that her fiancé, Josh, whom she claimed had been killed by Wo Fat, might in fact be alive and asks Steve to go with her to North Korea to get him. It turns out to be a trap for McGarrett, from Wo Fat telling Jenna he would release Josh if she brought him McGarrett, explaining her association with him. Jenna later discovers that Josh had been dead the entire time and that it was also a trap for her. She is able to tell McGarrett she is sorry for setting him up, and gives him a pin from Josh's leg to help him escape, moments before Wo Fat shoots and kills her (season 2, episode 10).
Ian Anthony Dale as Adam Noshimuri, Kono's boyfriend who becomes a new head of the Japanese Yakuza after Wo Fat murders his father, Hiro. He has been trying to legitimize andCLEAN UP his organization with the intention of distancing himself from his father's criminal past. After killing his brother, Michael, to protect Kono, he and Kono leave Hawaii and go into hiding. He comes out of hiding after his brother's loyalists are no longer a threat. At the beginning of Season 5, Adam proposes to Kono and at the end of this season they marry.
Daniel Henney as Michael Noshimuri, Adam's brother who was released from prison during season three, and appears apprehensive about any plans to remake the Yakuza. He attempted to frame Kono for a murder he committed. In the season 3 finale he was killed by his brother Adam.
Tom Sizemore as Vince Fryer, a HPD internal affairs captain from Detroit who ostensibly has Kono terminated from the unit, but really has her working a case for him. Kono is shot during Fryer's case, which leads to her being revealed as Fryer's undercover officer. McGarrett quickly disapproves of Fryer and his tactics. After finding out that Fryer had used Kono as part of an elaborate undercover investigation into his former partner and ex-cop-turned-criminal Frank Delano, McGarrett warns Fryer to stay away from Five-O after the team helps Fryer take down Delano, but not before punching Fryer in the face. He is later promoted to Chief of Detectives in "Alaheo Pau'ole", but is killed in season two finale by a female assassin working for Frank Delano, a dirty cop and Fryer's former partner who was stripped of his badge.
Reiko Aylesworth as Malia Waincroft, Chin Ho's wife. She marries Kelly in the episode "Alaheo Pauʻole", but dies in "La O Na Makuahine", the third season premiere episode, from injuries sustained after she was shot, leaving Chin devastated. She had a brother named Gabriel Waincroft who was revealed to be responsible for the murder of Chin's father 15 years earlier.
Brian Yang as forensic scientist Charlie Fong, who often analyzes evidence for Five-0, and was a childhood friend of Kono's.
Al Harrington as Mamo Kahike, owner of a surf rental stand at Waikiki Beach. He has known the McGarrett siblings and Kono since they were young and taught them how to surf. Harrington played Det. Ben Kokua on the original Hawaii Five-O.
Martin Starr as Adam "Toast" Charles, aCOMPUTER expert and friend of Danny's who assisted Five-0 on a couple of cases. His nickname comes from the fact that he is a pothead.
Autumn Reeser as Dr. Gabrielle "Gabby" Asano, Danny's ex-love interest. She worked at the museum and has aided Five-0 in several cases with her expertise in Hawaiian history and artifacts.
Lili Simmons as Amber Vitale, Danny's current girlfriend. A New Yorker, her real name was Melissa Armstrong and she had changed her name after fleeing to Hawaii to escape her abusive ex-husband, who was eventually imprisoned after assaulting Danny.
Keo Woolford as Sgt./Det. James Chang, HPD/Detective who falsely arrests McGarrett.
Amanda Setton as Dr. Mindy Shaw, assistant to Dr. Max Bergman. She and Jerry Ortega had a fling as theySHARED mutual interests.
Mirrah Foulkes as Ellie Clayton, the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney of Honolulu. She is presumably Australian, given her accent (Mirrah Foulkes is Australian), but lived in Hawaii with her father Paul, who ran a pub called Aces High. Paul was shot in a presumed armed robbery gone wrong which John McGarrett had investigated in 1994. The case went cold due to the lack of solid evidence and John was killed before he could follow up on a new lead. Steve first meets her at his father's grave site. After he learned of her link to his father, he reopens the case and was able to solve it. Steve's co-workers have pitched her as a potential love interest but Steve later admits that he preferred to keep her as a friend due to her connection with his deceased father.
The idea to bring Hawaii Five-O back to television had been under consideration well before the 2010 version was announced. The first attempt was a one-hour pilot for a new series that was made in 1996 but never aired, although a few clips were found years later and are available online. Produced and written by Stephen J. Cannell, it was intended to star Gary Busey and Russell Wong as the new Five-0 team. Original cast member James MacArthur briefly returned as Dan Williams, this time as governor of Hawaii, with cameos made by other former Five-O regulars. Another attempt was made to turn the project into a film by Warner Bros. but that also was scrapped.
On August 12, 2008, CBS announced that it would bring Hawaii Five-O back to the network schedule for the 2009–2010 television season. The new version would be an updated present-day sequel, this time centering around Steve McGarrett, who succeeds his late father Steve (Jack Lord's character in the original series) as the head of the unit. Edward Allen Bernero, executive producer and showrunner of Criminal Minds, was to helm the new take, which he described as "Hawaii Five-O, version 2.0". It was also to incorporate most of the iconic elements from the original, including the "Book 'em, Danno" catchphrase, into the remake. Bernero, who was a fan of the original, and had aRING tone of the series' theme song on his cell phone, had always wanted to bring the series back to TV. This version did not go beyond the script stage.
In October 2009, it was announced that Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci had signed on to script a pilot episode, and that Peter M. Lenkov would serve as the series showrunner. Kurtzman and Orci decided to reboot the original concept similar to their work on the 2009 Star Trek film, rather than a sequel to the original series. Production on the pilot was shot in and around Honolulu from February to April 2010.
On May 17, 2010, the Hawaii Five-O remake was picked up by CBS, which scheduled it for Monday nights in the 10–11 pm timeslot. The news was good for the state of Hawaii, which hopes that the remake will pump new life into the economy. Production of the remainder of the first season started in June 2010. On June 24, 2010, the producers announced that it will use the warehouse at the former Honolulu Advertiser building as the official soundstage studio for the series starting in July 2010. Exteriors representing Five-0 headquarters in the series are located at the Judiciary History Center of the Supreme Court Building in Honolulu,DIRECTLY across the street from Iolani Palace, which represented Five-O headquarters in the original series.
This revival series uses a zero as the last character in its title instead of the letter "O" that is used in the title of the original series. According to The Los Angeles Times, a CBS insider said that the disambiguation was necessary because of search engine results. When Variety conducted its own search engine test on Google, it found that "Hawaii Five-0" (with the zero) had 263,000 results while "Hawaii Five-O" (with the letter O) had over 1.7 million. However, in the show itself, team is referred to as "Five-O", and not "Five-Zero".
On August 18, 2011, CBS announced that Hawaii Five-0 would cross over with NCIS: Los Angeles by having Daniela Ruah guest star as Kensi Blye from the latter series. The crossover aired on October 24, 2011, in episode 6 of season 2. A two-part crossover was aired on the April 30, 2012 episode of Hawaii Five-0 and the May 1, 2012 episode of NCIS: Los Angeles, with two characters from each show visiting the other (Callen and Hanna from NCIS: Los Angeles and Danny and Chin Ho from Five-0).
Online voting by viewers determined the ending of the January 14, 2013 episode "Kapu" ("Forbidden"), with two zones, Eastern and Central Time Zones, andMountain and Pacific Time Zones, each getting their own result. Each alternative ending could be seen online after the episode aired.
In February 2010, it was announced that Daniel Dae Kim had been cast to play Chin Ho Kelly, an ex-cop trained by Steve McGarrett's father. He was the first actor cast for the remake. Several days later, Alex O'Loughlin was cast as Steve McGarrett, the son of ex-cop John McGarrett (portrayed by William Sadler). The producers pay homage to the original series throughout the first year, by making one of Steve's hobbiesRESTORING his father's 1974 Mercury Marquis, which is in fact the actual car driven by Jack Lord in the latter half of the original series' run. Actress Grace Park was later cast as rookie detective Kona "Kono" Kalakaua, and Scott Caan was cast as Danny "Danno" Williams. In the recurring cast are Jean Smart as Governor Pat Jameson and Masi Oka as the medical examiner Max Bergman. Oka was upgraded to series regular for the second season.
Of note, several recurring roles have been filled by surviving members of the original cast. Al Harrington, who played Det. Ben Kokua in the original series, now plays a friend of McGarrett's, Mamo Kahike. Dennis Chun, who had various guest roles in the original series and is the son of Kam Fong Chun (the actor that portrayed the original Chin Ho), has a recurring role as HPD Sgt. Duke Lukela in the remake. James MacArthur, the last surviving main cast member from the original series, agreed to guest star in a first season episode; however, he died on October 28, 2010, before filming his appearance.
Larisa Oleynik was cast as Jessica Kaye (changed to Jenna Kaye in the episode broadcast), scheduled to join the Five-0 task force in the show's 19th episode. Oleynik appeared on a recurring basis for the remainder of the 2010–11 season, with an option to become a regular in season 2; however, her character was killed off in season 2, episode 10. It was also announced that Terry O'Quinn would be joining the cast of the show in season two, along withLauren German, who would play Lori Weston, a former HomelandSECURITY (and FBI agent) official assigned by the new governor to keep an eye on the team.
For season three, Christine Lahti has been cast in a recurring role as Doris McGarrett, the thought-to-be-deceased mother of Steve McGarrett. Also, Michelle Borth who plays Lt. Catherine Rollins became a main cast member for season 3.
After appearing as a guest star in several season four episodes, Jorge Garcia who plays the character of Jerry Ortega (a conspiracy theorist and high school classmate of Chin's) was promoted to series regular commencing season five.
Hawaii Five-0 uses the original show theme song composed by Morton Stevens. Critics received an early copy of the pilot with a synthesizer and guitar-based version of the theme. After negative reaction to the reworked song spread quickly online, Kurtzman said he and others realized that changing the music was a mistake, and arranged for studio musicians, including three who had worked on the original from 1968, to rerecord the theme "exactly as it was", except shortened to 30 seconds from its original length of about 60 seconds. Original instrumental music is composed by Brian Tyler and Keith Power.
Hawaii Five-0: Original Songs from the Television Series is a soundtrack album featuring music used in theCBS television series Hawaii Five-0. The first volume in the series received attention for how show producers integrated these new and previously unreleased tracks from major-name artists into the second season episodes. This method contrasted with the norm for TV soundtracks, which tend to be compilations of previously released music that is already available individually or on other albums. Hawaii Five-0: Original Songs from the Television Series was released on October 4, 2011.
The series premiered in the U.S. on CBS on September 20, 2010. Canada's Global TV and NTV premiered the show at the same time as the United States premiere. Hawaii Five-0 has been syndicated for broadcast in several countries worldwide, including Australia, the United Kingdom, and South Africa,
The show has received mostly positive reviews. Metacritic gave season 1 of the show a 65 out of 100 aggregate score based on reviews from 22 critics.Rotten Tomatoes gave season 1 a score of 74% based on 23 reviews. The site's consensus calls it: "A brisk, slick reboot of an old favorite, Hawaii Five-0's picturesque locales and attractive cast make for pleasurable viewing."
On May 19, 2010, The Honolulu Advertiser offered an opinion about the new version: "A smart script, slick production values and maybe a splash of nostalgia got the remake of Hawaii Five-O placed on the CBS prime-time lineup this fall, but it will take more than beefcake and a remixed theme song to keep the show on the air." The piece also pointed out that times have changed since the original left the air, citing other shows that were set in Hawaii which have come and gone. It expressed a hope that the producers will succeed in bringing a new life to the title with this remake. Hawaii Five-0 was also in theGuinness World Records 2012 for Highest-Rated New Show in the U.S. with a record 19.34 million viewers for its January 23, 2011 episode (Kai eʻe).
Hawaii Five-0 made several positive effects on the state's economy since it began airing. Known as the "Five-0 Effect" by Hawaii News Now reporter Steve Uyehara, various Hawaii-based businesses saw an increase in sales after they were featured in episodes of the show. Visitor numbers to the USS MissouriMemorial Association, after being featured in some of the episodes, increased 25 percent, helping the site achieve a record year in 2010. Waiola Shave Ice, the business run by Kamekona on the show, saw a 20 percent increase in shave ice sales, along with a 30 percent rise in T-shirt sales. Kona Brewing Company also saw a 60 percent increase in sales after their beers were featured as McGarrett's favored alcoholic beverage in several episodes. In addition, residents from other states visit Hawaii based on viewing the series.