Their crews and cameras have been all over Oahu since July, moving like a circus from one location to the next.
They’ve been in the Merchant Street post office, at the old helipad at the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor and in luxury mansions and old homes from Portlock to Aina Haina. They even turned the ‘Iolani School football stadium into a crime scene.
But for CBS and the cast and creators of the new "Hawaii Five-0," all of that is a prelude to the one location where they hope to make their biggest splash: the local premiere Monday at Sunset on the Beach.
"It is the first time we are putting it out there for the people we care for," said Peter Lenkov, the show’s executive producer. "I want them to love it. We are very proud and very excited to show it to people."
The event at Queen’s Surf Beach starts with local entertainment and includes a red-carpet entrance by the principal stars: Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Taryn Manning and Jean Smart. A welcome program starts at 7:30 p.m. and then the series pilot, which was shot here in March, will light up the screen.
CBS is expecting about 7,000 people at the venue, which in recent years has been a popular launch pad for TV series shot Hawaii.
Lenkov, who previously worked on "CSI: NY" and "24," brought a fan’s perspective to the re-imagined series. Growing up in Montreal, Canada, he watched it regularly because it was his father’s favorite show. When he was first approached by CBS about a year ago, he felt he knew the series, but had questions, too.
‘Hawaii Five-0’ Sunset on the Beach Premiere
Where: Queen’s Surf Beach
"I wondered how I could add value to this franchise," he said by telephone from Los Angeles, where he was refining scripts. "But the one thing was, you didn’t know who these characters were. You didn’t know their back stories."
The new "Five-0" serves as a bridge. Watching it is like meeting old friends for the first time.
The original series didn’t delve very deeply into its heroes and it ended a successful 12-year run more than 30 years ago, so it was perfect for a brainstorm. Lenkov got together with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who gave the "Star Trek" characters a past when they wrote the 2009 feature film that serves as a prequel.
Getting their help was one of the "smartest" things he did, because networks rarely do pilots that introduce the history of their characters, Lenkov said.
The show might need that to succeed. "Five-0" is often referred to as the most beloved TV product in Hawaii history. When fans settle into their beach chairs tomorrow, they will need something to keep them from comparing everything to the "Five-0" of old.
WHEN TO WATCH
The new "Hawaii Five-O" will be shown on CBS at 9 p.m. Monday on the 42nd anni-
Lenkov promises a balance of action and character development.
"People approach remakes with their arms folded," Lenkov said. "It’s like, ‘Entertain me.’ We approached this very honestly. We loved the original show. We pay tribute to it."
THE BUZZ around town about the new "Five-0" has steadily increased since the Hawaii premiere was announced.
CBS will unveil it to the rest of the country a week later on the 42nd anniversary of the original show’s network premiere. Until then, Sunset on the Beach spectators will be the only ones to see it, aside from reporters and passengers on select Hawaiian Airlines flights.
The original "Five-0" generated its own buzz in 1968, said retired columnist Eddie Sherman, who played several roles in the series, including one as a corpse and one as himself.
"The excitement was really profound," he said. "The premiere was held at a theater in Waikiki. It was quite a night. It was not the first series in Hawaii but the hoopla was pretty exciting."
Sherman hopes to attend the Sunset on the Beach premiere, but isn’t making any predictions on audience approval.
"We won’t know until it launches," he said. "From the locals I’ve talked to, they’ve said we hope it works but we will wait and see what happens."
Augie Tulba, the local comedian who performs as Augie T, landed a part as a helicopter pilot on episode three of the new series. The coming premiere has generated more excitement than he has seen in years, he said.
"It’s going to be an explosive show," he said. "I’m hoping it is going to last for a long time. Guys like me need work."
The real police will be at the premiere, including the Honolulu Police Department’s top cop, Chief Louis Kealoha, a fan of the original series.
"I’m excited for it," he said. "I saw those previews and it looks like it will be action-oriented."
He isn’t ready to make any predictions on its success, though.
"Who knows what will happen," he said. "I like the old show, but I think enough time has transpired so they can start a new legacy."
Regardless of what happens in Waikiki, the new "Five-0" already has passed a key test for Lenkov.
"I think I tried very hard to make this fresh and original," Lenkov said. "I tried to make something I wanted to see, something my dad would want to see."
Of course, Lenkov showed the pilot to his father, now 76.
"He loved it."