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CBS' Hawaiian Eye

August 16, 1992|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Hawaii has been a good-luck charm for CBS.

During the 1980s, CBS scored a great success with the lighthearted "Magnum, P.I.," starring Tom Selleck as a Vietnam vet turned Honolulu detective. No sooner had "Magnum" packed his bags in 1989 than the network moved its popular detective series "Jake & the Fatman," with Joe Penny and William Conrad, to Hawaii for two seasons. CBS is back in the 50th state this summer with its martial-arts series "Raven," which also looks to be a hit.

But the granddaddy of all CBS Hawaii series is the long-running police drama "Hawaii Five-O." Every day this week, TBS will be airing special two-hour episodes of "Hawaii Five-O."

The fast-paced series premiered Sept. 26, 1968, and starred actor Jack Lord, late of the underrated series "Stoney Burke," as the tough-minded, no-nonsense Det. Steve McGarrett, the head of an elite arm of the Hawaii State Police that was accountable to the governor. Assisting McGarrett was Detective Danny Williams (James MacArthur). McGarrett's order, "Book 'em Danno," became a catch phrase. His team also consisted of Detective Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong) and Detective Kono Kalakaua (Zulu). Veteran film star Richard Denning co-starred as Gov. Philip Grey.

Each episode found McGarrett and the Five-O team battling the forces of organized crime and the Hawaiian underworld. McGarrett's chief nemesis was the evil Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh), who would appear several times per season to make life difficult for McGarrett. On April 5, 1980, McGarrett finally acquired enough evidence to send the slippery Wo Fat to the pokey.

"Hawaii Five-O" cracked the Top 20 during its second season and placed as high as No. 3 during the 1972-73 year. The Ventures hit No. 4 in the pop music charts in 1969 with the instrumental title tune.

The series, though, began running out of steam in the late '70s. Kam Fong called it quits in 1978 and MacArthur followed a year later. The series finally bid aloha on April, 26, 1980.

The five episodes featured this week:

Monday: "The Grandstand Play," with Pernell Roberts.

Tuesday: "The 90-Second War," with Donald Pleasance.

Wednesday: "Cocoon," with Leslie Nielsen.

Thursday: "A Lion in the Streets."

Friday: "The Year of the Horse," with Victoria Principal

"Hawaii Five-O" airs Monday-Friday at 10:05 a.m. this week on TBS.

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