ALBERTA

Executive producer of 'Hawaii Five-O' admits original leaves big shoes to fill

06/11/2013 11:54 EDT | Updated 08/11/2013 05:12 EDT
BANFF, Alta. - There's a risk when you attempt to remake a classic TV show but "Hawaii Five-0" executive producer Peter Lenkov thinks his "reimagination" of the long-running original has been a success.

The original "Hawaii Five-O" ran from 1968-80 and starred Jack Lord who incorporated the now famous "Book 'em, Danno" catchphrase.

Lenkov said he remembered watching the original series with his father and was treading very carefully after he successful pitched the show, which will begin its fourth season this fall.

"In terms of the fans of the original, there's always people who come to you with their arms crossed and say there's no way you're going to do better. We're not trying to do better. We're trying to honour that original show," said Lenkov, a Montreal native, in an interview with The Canadian Press at the Banff World Media Festival.

"We're trying to expand on the legacy of the show and trying to add some value by exploring the characters. I think if you can get them to watch they would see we're truly fans of the original and that we are honouring it."

Lenkov said you can't turn on a television in Hawaii without a constant reminder of the original series.

"When you're working in Hawaii it airs every day so I end up catching it at some point. It runs every day at 5 p.m. and I think it's on twice on the weekend as well."

The new series stars Alex O'Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Vancouver's Grace Park.

Lenkov said fans of the show can expect more character development next season and, borrowing from episodes from prior years, there will be flashback segments giving background on the main characters.

You'd think shooting a series in Hawaii, far away from television hotspot Los Angeles, would reduce the pressure, but Lenkov said that's not the case.

"In Hawaii it's the only game in town. If you're trying to crew on a show, you've got to get on 'Hawaii Five-0' or hopefully a movie comes into town cause most of the shows in the last couple of years that tried to shoot there for one reason or another have left," Lenkov said.

"The only successful show before us was 'Lost' and then before that it was 'Magnum P.I.' and before that the original 'Five-0.'"

Lenkov said there's another advantage to shooting away from the mainland. It's not like Los Angeles, where a crew can walk across the street and get a new job.

"In Hawaii, when you're the only game in town, those people bring their A game every day — 14 hours a day. Not only are they invested because it may be their only job for a while but also because the show represents them and their culture and who they are and they want the world to see Hawaii in its best light."

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