The Hawaii Five-O FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

(Revised by Mike Quigley from information supplied by Karen Rhodes, posted originally in alt.fan.hawaii-five-o)


When was Hawaii Five-O originally on TV (its prime-time run)?
September 26, 1968 to April 5, 1980
Sept. - Dec. 1968, CBS Thursday 8:00 - 9:00 P.M.
Dec. 1968 - Sept. 1971, CBS Wednesday 10:00 - 11:00 P.M.
Sept. 1971 - Sept. 1974, CBS Tuesday 8:30 - 9:30 P.M.
Sept. 1974 - Sept. 1975, CBS Tuesday 9:00 - 10:00 P.M.
Sept. - Nov. 1975, CBS Friday 9:00 - 10:00 P.M.
Dec. 1975 - Nov. 1979, CBS Thursday 9:00 - 10:00 P.M.
Dec. 1979 - Jan. 1980, CBS, Tuesday 9:00 - 10:00 P.M.
Mar. - Apr. 1980, Saturday 9:00 - 10:00 P.M.

What kind of ratings did Five-O enjoy during its twelve-year run?
According to the WWW site http://www.classictvhits.com/tvratings/:
Season 1 (1968-1969) - Not in top 30
Season 2 (1969-1970) - #19
Season 3 (1970-1971) - #7
Season 4 (1971-1972) - #12
Season 5 (1972-1973) - #3
Season 6 (1973-1974) - #10
Season 7 (1974-1975) - #10
Season 8 (1975-1976) - Not in top 30
Season 9 (1976-1977) - #19
Season 10 (1977-1978) - #23
Season 11 (1978-1979) - Not in top 30
Season 12 (1979-1980) - Not in top 30

How many episodes are in each season?
Season 1 - 23 (does not include pilot or rebroadcast of pilot at end of the season in two parts)
Season 2 - 25 (includes a two-part episode)
Season 3 - 24 (includes two two-part episodes)
Season 4 - 24 (includes a two-part episode)
Season 5 - 24
Season 6 - 24
Season 7 - 24
Season 8 - 23 (includes one two-hour episode)
Season 9 - 23 (includes one two-hour episode)
Season 10 - 24
Season 11 - 21 (includes one two-part episode and one two-hour episode)
Season 12 - 19 (includes one two-hour episode)

When did the Hawaii Five-O pilot movie ("Cocoon") premiere?
A week before the series, on September 20, 1968.

It should be noted that either of these dates, as well as any of the air dates of any other of the episodes during the 12-year run of the show, may vary from the "official" dates (the CBS network airdates) in any particular local market because of pre-emption or other schedule shifting on a local level. Episode guides do not take these local shifts into account; that would be impossible to track down and too space-consuming to include.

Who created Hawaii Five-O?
Leonard Freeman, who died January 20, 1974 from complications of heart surgery.

Who composed the main title theme?
Morton Stevens, who died November 11, 1991 of cancer. He composed music for other TV shows like Police Woman, Gunsmoke and The Wild, Wild West, arranged music for the Boston Pops, and was musical director for concert tours of Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli.

Is the soundtrack to Hawaii Five-O available?
Music from the TV soundtrack was available on the Capitol LP record ST-410, released in 1969. It was reissued by Film Score Monthly in 2010. Some of the music on this LP (which is around half an hour long) is taken from the show's pilot movie and is also heard in some early season episodes. The theme as heard on the TV show was recorded by studio musicians under the direction of Morton Stevens. There are supposedly subtle changes in the main theme under the opening credits several times during the 12 years the show was on the air. These are all on my main page under the Music Business section. The rock group The Ventures had a famous cover version of the main theme released on Liberty Records, released around the same time that the show premiered in the fall of 1968. Mel Taylor, drummer for the group from 1962 to 1996, produced the soundtrack album. Members of the Ventures also performed the weird "psychedelic" music heard in the first season episode "Up Tight," without any credit. The main title (not the version from the soundtrack LP) can also be found on various TV theme compilation CDs.

Were there any changes between the pilot movie and the series?
In the pilot movie, Dan Williams was played by Tim O'Kelley. Apparently a test audience in New York didn't think he did such a good job. Leonard Freeman went looking for a new Dan Williams, and settled on James MacArthur, who had appeared in the movie Hang 'em High (1967) which Freeman had produced. Aside from Danny Williams, there were no changes as far as the primary characters were concerned. The movie starred Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett, with Zulu as Kono, who seemed to be second-in-command, and Kam Fong as Chin Ho Kelly. Secondary character changes included the Governor -- Lew Ayres in the movie, Richard Denning in the series; and Attorney General -- Philip Ahn in the movie, Morgan White in early episodes of the series, who was dropped eventually in favor of District Attorney (later Attorney General) John Manicote, played by Glenn Cannon.

Is Jack Lord (Steve McGarrett) still alive?
No, he died in Honolulu on January 21, 1998 of congestive heart failure.

What was Jack Lord's real name?
John Joseph Patrick Ryan.

When was he born?
At New York University, which Lord attended from 1938 to 1942, their records give December 30, 1920 as his birthdate. According to records in the Library of Congress, it is December 30, 1922. The figure of 1930 is one allegedly invented by Lord himself for his publicity material. If 1930 is true, then he would have graduated from high school at age 8!

How tall was Jack Lord?
Despite a rumour that he was quite short, Lord was actually 6 feet, 2 inches tall.

Did Jack Lord ever wear a wig or hairpiece?
According to Glenn Cannon, who played the Attorney General in several later season shows, when asked why Jack Lord always wore a plantation hat, Cannon pointed to the crown of his own head and said, "To cover his thinning spot on the top of his head. He wore a hair piece on the show." When asked how he knew this, he replied, "Because my chair in the makeup trailer was right next to Jack and I would watch them put it on." On the other hand, according to Dave Donnelly, who wrote about entertainment for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin since the late 60's, and also appeared in some episodes (albeit earlier ones, since Donnelly wrote a nasty parody of Jack Lord and was not on friendly terms with Lord thereafter): "I've been around and near Jack Lord enough to assure you he never wore a hairpiece. For all his failings, losing his hair wasn't one of them. Granted, it was sprayed to within an inch of its life and arranged to droop for what passed as 'casually' across his forehead, but it's his." James MacArthur, who played Danno to Lord's McGarrett for eleven years, has confirmed this.

What is James MacArthur's (Danny Williams) full name?
James Gordon MacArthur.

When was he born and where is he now?
December 8, 1937. He passed away on October 28, 2010 from natural causes.

Wasn't his mother a famous actress?
Yes, Helen Hayes, known as "The First Lady of the American Theater." She had an outstanding and long career on stage, in movies, and on television. She died March 17, 1993, of congestive heart failure. James MacArthur's father was also famous, the playwright Charles MacArthur (1895-1956). These were, however, his adoptive parents. Nothing is known about his biological parents, since he was adopted as an infant.

Why did James MacArthur leave the series?
Contrary to popular rumour that he had a contractual dispute with CBS at the end of the eleventh season, MacArthur told attendees at the 1996 Five-O convention that he was in South America on a holiday and just phoned his agent and said "I'm not coming back," and it was as simple as that. He'd had enough.

Where is Kam Fong (Chin Ho Kelly)?
He lived in Honolulu after leaving the show, and in the late 1980's, he was heard on his own radio show on a Hawaiian-music station in Honolulu. He also ran a rather tongue-in-cheek gubernatorial campaign at that time, using the campaign slogan "Give a damn -- Vote for Kam!" He passed away on October 18, 2002 after a long battle with lung cancer.

Why did Kam Fong leave the series?
Kam Fong's character Chin Ho Kelly was murdered in the final episode of the 10th season, A Death in the Family. At the Five-O convention in 1996, Kam said that he originally wanted Chin Ho to "retire gracefully," and fought the idea of having his character murdered. There was even talk of the production company suing Kam for breaking his contract! Then someone told him that it was an honour if you were a regular in a TV show and you were knocked off ... this meant that no one else could play your character. Despite Chin Ho's demise, he reappeared to play a part in the "new" Five-O TV pilot filmed in 1997!

Where is Zulu (Kono)?
Zoulou (his preferred spelling), whose real name was Gilbert Francis Lani Damian Kauhi, lived on the island of Hawaii. He suffered from health problems, including two heart attacks and two strokes. Despite this, he was able to make it to both the Burbank and Honolulu Hawaii Five-O conventions in the fall of 1996, and played a role in the Hawaii Five-O pilot filmed in the spring of 1997. He passed away in May, 2004.

Why did Zoulou leave the series at the end of the fourth season?
The "truth about Zulu getting fired" is as follows, told to me by a friend of the late James MacArthur, who was witness to related events. Sometime during the 4th season, the Coast Guard (with whom Zulu had served before becoming an entertainer), came to CBS and said they wanted to honor "one of their own" by having a special dinner and event with Zulu as the honoree. They wanted funds and publicity from CBS to sponsor the event. CBS initially agreed. Plans began to proceed for the gala event. However, when Jack Lord, who considered himself "the star" of Five-O, got wind of it, he made a fuss. He went to CBS and threatened if they allowed it to happen, he'd leave the show. So CBS decided to compromise and told the Coast Guard they either had to honor Lord (who never had anything to do with the Coast Guard in Hawaii or anywhere else) and Zulu both together, or do nothing. The Coast Guard decided it would not make sense to include a non-Coast Guard person in an official Coast Guard event, so they cancelled the whole thing. A publicity guy for CBS, who happened to be Jewish, was delegated to break the news to Zulu, who was devastated, and he took it out on the publicity guy. In his anger, Zulu slurred the man, using some pretty horrible anti-semitic terms. This was on the set and witnessed by several people, none of whom knew the background behind why Zulu was yelling and calling this guy and everybody else at CBS racist names. People were shocked and stunned and Zulu went home in tears. And when word of the incident got back to Leonard Freeman and the rest of CBS, Zulu was done for. Fired. He got a phone call soon after, telling him he need not return to the set ever again.

Where is Al (Ben Kokua) Harrington?
He has retired and is living in Hawaii. He has been seen playing a variety of parts in movies (including Native American Indians!) and a Hawaiian production of Shakespeare's Othello which shifted the action from medieval Venice to 1830s Kauai with the Hawaiian warrior Othello dealing with Russian colonists.

Why did Al Harrington leave the series?
No reason was ever given for Ben's departure (or his arrival, for that matter!). However, during a 1996 Honolulu TV show about Five-O, Harrington said that he was chosen by Leonard Freeman to replace Zulu starting in the fifth season, despite the fact that Jack Lord "didn't approve" because Harrington was "too tall" or "too something." After Freeman died in early 1974, Harrington said "the writing was on the wall that I wasn't going to be there very much longer." He survived until the end of the seventh season, appearing in ten of the seventh season's twenty-four shows including the second last episode, though that was actually filmed much earlier. After he left, he was replaced by Doug Mossman as Frank Kamana and Herman Wedemeyer as Duke. Details of Harrington's final season are
here.

How many episodes did Sharon Farrell appear in during the final season?
Farrell appeared in less than half of the twelfth season's twenty shows. She appears in the second last show, but this was actually the second show filmed. Further details are here.

Is Khigh Dhiegh (Wo Fat, Steve McGarrett's nemesis) still alive?
No, Khigh Dhiegh -- whose real name was reportedly Kenneth Dickerson -- died of liver and heart failure in November of 1991 at the age of 81. Although he was well-known for playing Oriental villains, Dhiegh was born in Spring Lake, New Jersey and was of Anglo-Egyptian Sudanese descent.

How do you pronounce Khigh Dhiegh's name?
It rhymes with "Why me?"

Who played Che Fong?
Che Fong was played by three different actors. In "...And They Painted Daisies on His Coffin" (#5), the Chinese forensic scientist is played by Edward Tom (uncredited). In "A Bullet for McGarrett" (#29), the part is played by Daniel Kamekona. The role was finally taken over in "Blind Tiger" (#38) by Harry Endo. Endo passed away on January 9, 2009 at the age of 86.

Which 1970's sitcom star appeared on Five-O as the drug dealer "Big Chicken"?
Gavin MacLeod, who appeared on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Love Boat." He was featured as "Big Chicken" in two episodes -- #5, "And They Painted Daisies on His Coffin," and #16, "The Box."

Is there a real "Hawaii Five-O" -- a state police agency?
No. Guidebooks have to keep telling tourists that Hawaii does not and never did have a state police force. According to Karen Rhodes,a "Five-O"-style police unit was proposed by governor John Burns (who was in office from 1962-1973), but apparently didn't get anywhere, possibly because the legislature didn't want to fund it or for some other reason. Leonard Freeman had a conversation with the governor, who told Freeman of the idea, and that's where the idea for the series came from.

Why was it called Five-O, anyway?
Hawaii was the fiftieth state in the union. (The original title was "The Man," but producer Leonard Freeman changed his mind.)

Was the team's office filmed in the real Iolani Palace in Honolulu?
No, that was a standing set at the studio. The way Iolani Palace is laid out, the office suite as we see it would not have fit in the building! There was a lot of exterior and interior photography done at the palace--remember that beautiful koa-wood staircase McGarrett took two at a time!

Why did the Five-O team move their offices in the ninth season?
The move, shown taking place in the season opener, "Nine Dragons", was necessary because they could not do any exterior or interior filming at the palace because it was undergoing extensive renovations. So the fictional Five-O team "moved" to the old Territorial Building. Five-O moved for real, too, because their lease on the Fort Ruger studio was up. The office shots in the Territorial Building are not of a standing set -- that is the real space in the Territorial Building, which became the temporary studio for the production.

Where was Hawaii Five-O's studio?
They began in an old, rickety, un-airconditioned Navy warehouse at Pearl City that was nicknamed "Mongoose Manor". Next they moved to a studio facility at Fort Ruger on the eastern side of Diamond Head. The local neighborhood association balked, however, charging that the studio in their midst would lower property values and be a noise and traffic nuisance. In 1976 they moved piecemeal to a new studio site on Diamond Head Road.

What was the governor's name?
There is misinformation in some references on TV shows. There are at least two such references which have the governor's name listed as Philip Grey. However, that was a different character played by Richard (The Governor) Denning in the episode "24 Karat Kill" in the first season -- a U.S. treasury agent named Philip Grey. The governor's name shows up first in "The 90-Second War". It isn't mentioned, it's seen. There is a scene where Jonathan Kaye has McGarrett, Army & Navy brass, and the governor in the secret Diamond Head bunker. Each man has a nameplate. The governor's clearly reads: Paul Jameson. That name is also used in "A Capitol Crime" when Barnard Hughes's character demands to speak to "Governor Paul Jameson." However, in two tenth season shows -- #227, The Big Aloha and #226, Tread the King's Shadow -- he is referred to as "Phil and "Phillip"!

What was the origin of the nickname "Danno" for James MacArthur's character?
According to an interview with MacArthur in the April 1998 issue of Cult TV magazine: "Jack [Lord] and I were shooting a thing one day and we both had our guns out and were going to surround someone. Jack said something like, 'Go down there, Danno,' and I just stopped and said, 'Danno? Who's Danno?' We cut and Jack said, 'You know, I had a friend named Dan when I was a kid, and we used to call him Danno,' and the next thing you know ... It was really Jack's invention."

Why did some Five-O episodes run under the title "McGarrett"?
CBS had a late-night "series" to compete against the talk shows (Johnny Carson in particular), which consisted of reruns of their best shows such as Five-O, Magnum, P.I. and others. They even bought an additional fourth season of the cancelled ABC series T. J. Hooker for this gig. They selected episodes from the twelfth season of Five-O to run in this slot, and changed the title to McGarrett.

What is the structure of Five-O episodes?

Typical season 1-4 opening:

Brief Wave (8 seconds)
Teaser (beginning of the plot)
Main Titles (wave, stars of the show, etc.) -- 55 seconds
First Commercial Break
Act One (features opening credits -- director, writer, etc. -- near the beginning)

Typical season 5-8 opening:

Main Titles (wave, stars of the show, etc.) -- 55 seconds
First Commercial Break
Act One (features opening credits -- director, writer, etc. -- near the beginning)

Typical season 9-12 opening:

Teaser (excerpts from the show to come) -- 30 seconds
Main Titles (wave, stars of the show, etc.) -- 55 seconds
First Commercial Break
Act One (features opening credits -- director, writer, etc. -- near the beginning)

All shows are divided into four acts followed by the end credits (cop car with blue light or guys paddling).

What was the license number of McGarrett's car?
F6-3958. McGarrett was the only member of the team to have the same license number through the entire run.

What was Steve McGarrett's home address?
In early episodes, 404 Piikoi Street. This is an actual address, though it is not in a residential area. In fact, it is across the street from the Ala Moana Shopping Center, and was the location of a business called "Records Hawaii." Since their departure some years ago, a number of businesses came and went in that building which was torn town and replaced by part of a skyscraper complex. Back when the show was being produced, this address was the administrative/production office for Five-O. That's where they'd meet every morning before going to work at the studio or on location. The building that is there now is not the same building that was there then. In 'V' For Vashon: the Father, McGarrett is living at 2085 Ala Wai Blvd., which is a real apartment building.

Did Hawaii Five-O ever win any Emmy awards?
Yes. Two. Morton Stevens won them for the music to the episodes "Hookman" and "A Thousand Pardons, You're Dead."

Is there going to be a Five-O movie?

There have been rumours about this for several years and a movie seems to be in what might be described as "a stage of development." When and if an announcement about the movie is definite, you'll read about it here.

Is Five-O coming back to TV?

A pilot for a new Hawaii Five-O series was filmed on Oahu in March, 2010. The project was bankrolled by CBS, same network that showed the original series, who liked what they saw. It was announced a couple of months later that the show was going to be in CBS's fall lineup. As of 2014, the show has broadcast for four seasons, with a fifth announced for the fall of that year.

Is Five-O available on video or DVD?
Some episodes of the show were available on tape through Columbia House in the U.S.A. and Canada. Subsequent to this, all twelve seasons are now available on DVD. There have been at least two "complete sets" released on DVD as well.

Will you make copies of episodes for me?
No. The shows are, with one exception and some minor editing issues, all available on DVD. You can order these here from amazon.com; they are also available from other on-line sites.

Why has the second season episode "Bored She Hung Herself" not been seen since the original broadcast in 1970 and is not included in the second season DVD box set?

Mrs. Leonard Freeman, wife of the late creator of the show, speaking to some fans at the 1996 Five-O convention, said that someone tried the yoga-related hanging technique depicted in the show and killed themselves. Speculation is that because of litigation, the show was not rebroadcast (this is my opinion, not Mrs. Freeman's). It has also been removed from any syndication packages, though there is a suggestion that prints were prepared for this purpose because of Viacom logos at the end of bootleg copies currently in circulation.

According to someone at CBS I spoke to in late 2011, this episode will not be seeing the light of day officially on DVD -- ever. there are "legal" issues connected with this episode. The person didn't know specifically what these issues are, just that every time the possible release of this episode came up, the "legal" department had a say in the matter (i.e., NO).

Wikipedia at one point claimed that the episode was included in the Region 4 (Australian) season two DVD set. Fan David Farley contacted me regarding these claims: "I didn't believe this, so I went on Ebay Australia www.ebay.com.au. I emailed two sellers of the Australian R4 release and asked them if there was a disclaimer about a missing episode on the back. Both wrote back to me and said the disclaimer was there. In fact, it matched our R1 release word for word. I was 99% sure Wikipedia was wrong and as far as I'm concerned, this confirms it."

Is there a Hawaii Five-O WWW page?
Mike Quigley maintains The Hawaii Five-O Home Page at
http://www.mjq.net/fiveo.htm (you're already there!) and there are several others as well:

Is there a Hawaii Five-O fan club?
The Iolani Palace Irregulars, founded by Karen Rhodes, was the international appreciation society for Five-O for several years. Unfortunately, it ceased to exist in April of 1998. Its successor, The Hawaii Five-O Fan Club, is accessible through http://www.hawaiifive0.org/. If you want to write to them via postal mail, their address is The Hawaii Five-O Fan Club, c/o Kerry Lynch, 142 Castle Street #3, Great Barrington, MA 01230

Is it Five-O (as in "oh") or Five-0 (as in "zero")?
This is a matter of debate. The Five-O soundtrack album, released in the late 60's, uses "oh." See the text on the back cover of the record and compare the "O" in "Five-O" to the number "0" (zero) in the dates 1950 and 1960. With the 2010 reboot, CBS is using zero to distinguish it from the earlier show. This suggests that they consider the old show to be "oh."

Revised May 27, 2014