Ten thousand fans packed a section of Waikiki Beach to get a sneak preview of the new Hawaii Five-O. The televised premiere is on September 20, the same date as the original series. That connection is just one of many between the original and it’s “reimagined” successor.

Before the showing began on the giant screen used for Sunset on the Beach, the show and its producers were welcomed to Hawaii by the governor of Hawaii and the mayor of the City and County of Honolulu. Both presented proclamations honoring Hawaii Five-O. Any television series shot in Hawaii provides an economic boost to the state. However, in many productions Hawaii stands in for a different tropical location. In this series, the state gets to play itself; producers call it one of the stars of the series.

But the connection is even more personal than that. Peter Lenkov, one of three executive producers, said his father has a huge fan of the original series, and then he introduced his father, who was in the audience on the beach. The three daughters of the original show creator, Leonard Freeman, recalled their first visit to Hawaii with their father as he scouted locations in the islands. They read part of a letter from their mother to the new series producers, passing on the legacy and wishing them as much success as the first series enjoyed. Several people who performed in the original series were recognized in the audience as well.

Al Harrington played Detective Ben Kokua in the original series. He told the new cast, crew and producers that the key to being successful in Hawaii is to treat everyone with respect and love, which drew applause from the crowd. He first made the comment in Hawaiian before repeating it in English. Harrington also read a letter from James MacArthur, “Dan-o” in the original series. He got a catch in his throat when the letter mentioned Hawaii actor Zulu, who played Detective Kono Kalakua. Zulu died in 2004 in Hilo, on the island of Hawaii. In the new series, the part of Kono is played by Grace Park.

Organizers say tonight’s audience was the largest ever for Sunset on the Beach, topping the LOST finale. Producers hope their version of the series is able to do the same with television audiences, many of whom still have fond memories of the original.

10 COMMENTS

  1. How exciting
    I love Oahu from the country to 10,000 fans in Waikiki this island really does offer everything
    ALOHA

  2. getting homesicker and homesicker for Hawaii. i guess i should count myself lucky to be there half a year at a time, but i'm greedy or more, and time is something they ain't making anymore of. Good luck to the new show, Aloha and much love to all of you who keep HN running every day, see you all soon

  3. OMG, i was out there on the sand with 10, 000 other locals and tourists alike ! it was really hot until the sun went down, but it was alot of FUN !

  4. My nephew and I attended the premiere and enjoyed mixing and mingling with both natives and tourists.  It was difficult to see the stars ans the crowds pressed in and some rather large people blocked everyone else's view.  However it was fun in the sun and a good way to begin our Hawaiian adventure!

  5. WE TOO HAD JUST BEGUN OUR VACATION IN WAIKIKI. THE EVENT ON SUNSET ON THE BEACH WAS WONDERFUL! THE NEXT DAY WE WENT TO NORTH SHORE AND COULDN'T BELIEVE THAT WE ENDED UP AT THE SAME BEACH THAT THE CAST AND PRODUCERS WERE,FILMING A SCENE FOR AN UPCOMING EPISODE OF HAWAI 5-0! I MISSED GRACE PARK BY SECONDS IN THE PUBLIC BATHROOM!

  6. My Fiance and I were in Waikiki for my 21st birthday and attended the premier by luck! We got there at 3:00 in the afternoon when not many people had arrived yet and stayed until the end of the premier! I have never seen so many people in such a small place! It was insane and amazingly fun at the same time! I officially LOVE Hawaii! :)

  7. THE PICTURE THAT IS AT THE TOP OF THIS SITE IS THE EXACT PLACE WHERE WE SAW THE FILMING OF HAWAII FIVE-O. WAIWEA BEACH AT NORTH SHORE.
    THE EPISODE WAS JUST ON THIS PAST MONDAY NIGHT. IT WAS THE SCENE OF THE CEROMONY IN THE WATER WHERE GRACE PARK AND FRIEND SPREAD THE ASHES OF ANOTHER FRIEND. THE SURFERS WHERE ALL IN A BIG CIRCLE AND THEN THREW ORCHIDS IN THE MIDDLEOF IT. BETWEEN GOING TO SUNSET ON THE BEACH TO SEE THE PREMIERE AND THEN GOING TO NORTH SHORE AND WATCHING THEM FILM ALL DAY WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF OUR VACATION! BEST TIME EVER!

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