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TV producer pours passion into ‘Five-0’

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    Peter Lenkov has been a "Hawaii Five-0" fan since childhood.

Creating a modern "Hawaii Five-0" was as intimidating as any drama Peter Lenkov could imagine.

The original series had a 12-year run and remained in syndication after CBS stopped making new episodes in 1980. People loved "Five-0," and everything about the crime drama came with built-in expectations.

Lenkov, a veteran TV producer and writer, had grown up a fan of the original. He had watched it with his father, who considered "Five-0" his favorite show.

It was that nostalgia that gave him confidence going into this venture. Lenkov knew "Five-0" — knew it so well, in fact, that he was able to reboot the series and make it a hit. "Five-0" is the No. 1 new show of the fall season, and one of its principal stars — Scott Caan — is a Golden Globe nominee.

"I really went into it with a lot of passion for the source material, and I think that’s what overcame my fear," Lenkov said. "And I think I felt I was going into it in a very honest way, and if I failed, at least I had done it the right way by being a real fan of the original material."

Lenkov, who previously worked on "CSI: NY" and "24," created a "Five-0" that gave each of his four main characters a past, something the original series lacked.


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Lenkov’s co-executive producers are Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the duo who gave the "Star Trek" characters their own quirky histories when the pair wrote the 2009 feature film. When Lenkov first approached them, he shared the story of his father.

"We knew instantly that he was coming from an honorable and emotional place, that it didn’t feel like it was in any way, shape or form a naked grab to rejuvenate a title that was popular," Kurtzman said.

Lenkov sets "incredibly high standards" for the show, but that is because he loves it so much, Kurtzman said.

"You don’t often get the chance to take something from your childhood and bring new life to it," Kurtzman said. "And I think that’s a responsibility he takes very seriously."


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