(new) Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

the new Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A local nonprofit teamed up with CBS show Hawaii Five-0 to bring the issue of sex trafficking in Hawaii into the national spotlight.

Ho'ola Na Pua founder Jessica Munoz said her team first approached the show's producers in 2016 in hopes of creating public service announcements highlighting the crisis in paradise.

The CBS team agreed to the PSA's and decided to take it a step further by dedicating a whole episode to the topic.

Season 7, episode 19 was titled "Puka 'ana" -- which CBS describes as Hawaiian for "exodus" — and aired Friday night.

Actress Grace Park's character, Kono, investigates a sex trafficking ring and makes it her mission to take down the pimp.

Dramatic scenes reveal a Waimanalo house full of victims afraid and abused and the pimp is eventually caught and arrested.

The show attracts around 10 million viewers each week, according to Five-0 producers.

"It's amazing for the entire country to see sex trafficking does happen in Hawaii and it's not just limited to here," said Munoz. "Everybody plays a part in combating this issue. It's not one agency, it's not one organization or one entity of law enforcement, it's everyone working together."

"I actually prefer these kinds of episodes because it brings meaning to what we do as opposed to making TV for the sake of making TV," said Bryan Spicer, Hawaii Five-0's executive producer.

Ho'ola Na Pua is nonprofit dedicated to the renewal of underaged sex trafficked girls through health, education, advocacy and reintegration.

Scenes shot at Dillingham Ranch portray the organization's envisioned Pearl Haven residential treatment campus, which the nonprofit is currently raising funds for with hopes of opening sometime in 2018.

On Friday, a private screening of the episode was held at The Modern Hotel in Waikiki.

"It was incredibly moving," said guest Tiffany Hatchett. "Seeing it played out, brings it to life and makes it real."

Following the screening was a Q&A panel featuring Hawaii Five-0 producers, writer and actors and local community leaders working to help end human trafficking.

Actress Grace Park said filming the episode greatly impacted her.

"This kind of thing sat with me for days and weeks and it will sit with me for months and years," Park said. "This is a very important topic to me."

To learn more about Ho'ola Na Pua and view the PSA's, click here.

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Mac (Lucas Till) and Jack (George Eads) say, “Aloha,” to Hawaii Five-0 on tonight’s episode of MacGyver when an earthquake brings them to the island.

Despite the fact that California actually has more earthquakes than Hawaii, Hawaii has the potential for a great many more. This tidbit is something that has been on showrunner Peter Lenkov‘s mind, and on tonight’s episode, he gets a chance to shake things up in paradise.

The episode begins with Mac and Jack returning from a mission when they get rerouted because they’re flying over the islands when the quake hits, and they are assigned to lend a helping hand.

“It’s really a relief effort,” Lenkov tells Parade.com. “It’s helping with the after earthquake rescue and relief effort, and then, obviously, these shows have to have something nefarious happen.”

The something nefarious takes place as they help Chin (Daniel Dae Kim) and Kono (Grace Park) from the Five-0 task force rescue a group of government scientists trapped in a building. However, as they work on the complicated rescue, a group using the chaos as a distraction aims to steal top-secret weaponry.

During our conversation, Lenkov also reveals that he is hoping to do a bigger crossover next season, especially considering the fact that he laid in a relationship between Jack and McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) in the MacGyver pilot, why both heroes have broken hearts, how the super villains were in the DNA of both shows, and more.

When I first heard it was a crossover, I thought it was going to be two hours, but it’s all taking place on MacGyver, right?

Yeah, I feel like it’s perhaps a better thing, because I think there’s a lot of life in MacGyver. I don’t want to blow the whole thing in one episode. I’d like to do a small one this year and maybe a bigger one next year, and do it like that.

Is this something you’ve had in mind ever since MacGyver was picked up?

Yeah, in the pilot you’ve got to look really closely — because the more obvious shot I cut out of the pilot, but Jack has the word “Aloha” painted on the barrel of his sniper rifle, and that was just a nod towards his friendship with McGarrett.

So, you’re saying they knew each other in the military even though McGarrett isn’t in this episode?

Yeah.

You still hope to make that happen next year?

Yeah.

The casts are really stripped down. Obviously, Mac and Jack have to be there. Then you picked Chin and Kono but it seems as if it is a pared-down episode.

Well, Justin Hires [Bozer] is going to be in there. Kamekona [Taylor Wily] is going to be in there. Riley’s [Tristin Mays] there. In terms of who went over to Hawaii, it was just Lucas and George but you’ll see in our very creative way, it’s going to appear as if they’re all there.

Both of these shows are reboots. Was there something that you learned from Hawaii Five-0 that you used to make MacGyver a success?

Just cast it well. Obviously, that’s a big thing. I think the audience likes our team, and, I think, what I learned that with Five-0 is that the people are really going to tune in for the characters, not the plot.

You’re very active on social media. Do you read responses to your tweets? Do pay attention to what the fans say?

It doesn’t affect the show in terms of whether they like something or don’t like something, which they’re very vocal about, because we’re so far ahead by the time they see an episode. It’s not that I ignore it, but the good ones make me feel like, “Okay, we’re doing a good job,” and the bad ones probably sit with me a while longer than they should. We can’t tailor the show to a specific group that’s very active on social media because, again, we’re just so far ahead. But yeah, I definitely read as much as I can. I’m happy when they’re happy.

Both shows have a couple of things in common. The first one is that both Mac and McGarrett seem to not be able to sustain a relationship with a woman. Is that on purpose?

McGarrett did have a very long term girlfriend, Catherine [Michelle Borth]. She was in the show for a very long time and, I think, that it was her choice to sort of end the relationship. MacGyver was in a long term relationship where Nikki [Tracy Spiridakos] betrayed him.

But they both got dumped, right?

Yeah. I think the drama of a broken heart is definitely interesting to watch, especially when it comes to your heroes.

The second thing I think that they both have in common is that they both had a super villain — Wo Fat [Mark Cacascos] for Hawaii Five-0 and Murdoc [David Dastmalchian] for MacGyver. Do you think that fans like there to be that one criminal that gets away?

Well the good thing is Murdoc’s in prison, so he didn’t get away. Wo Fat got away all the time. But I’m really trying to be true to the original source material. In both shows, Wo Fat was a big villain that actually was around for 12 years. He was finally caught in the finale. We killed Wo Fat at the 100th episode. In the original MacGyver, Murdoc was a big presence as well. Honestly, I think the audience likes it. I think it’s fun for the show. It’s fun to write, definitely, but it really was baked into the DNA of the franchise so that’s why it’s there.

Are good villains hard to come up with?

For sure, absolutely. Good villains are hard to come up with and then even harder to cast. I think we had it a little easier because they existed already. The hard part was finding actors to make them three dimensional. I think both are really cast well.

Five-0s ratings are good this season. It’s looking for sure like a Season 8, but Alex has said that Season 8 is going to be his last. Will you plan for that? Do you think the show can go on without him?

Look, nobody wants to think of the show without him, especially me, because he’s such a big part of it. The whole thing was really built on him building the taskforce. I’m really not looking at it. I’m just looking at it one season at a time. Look, actors say things sometimes when they’re exhausted, and I think these guys are more than anybody because they shoot on location. I think they’re walking around with constant fatigue, so that could have been on a bad day, but I’m hoping that if that really was something he said, I’m hoping he changes his mind.

You had a full-time job when you just had Five-0. How do you personally juggle the two shows? Is it 24/7 now for you?

No, it’s always been 24/7, especially with the time difference. I got great advice from Garry Marshall. He was a great, great producer, who told me the way to do multiple shows is delegate or die. So I had to embrace the idea of letting some things go, which I wasn’t very good at up until then.

MacGyver airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS, followed by Hawaii Five-0 at 9.

It’s a match made in action heaven.

The Hawaii Five-0 team meets the MacGyver crew face to face for the first time on Friday’s crossover, and it’s something that has been in the works since the start of the season last fall.

“When I got the job to write the [MacGyver] pilot, I always thought that the two shows existed in the same world,” Peter Lenkov, executive producer on MacGyver and Hawaii Five-0 tells ET. “I was hoping that one day we could do something like this.”

RELATED: Alex O'Loughlin Gets Candid About Why He's Ready to Step Away From 'Hawaii Five-0'

In the crossover episode, the story kicks off when Lucas Till’s MacGyver and his cohorts catch word that help may be needed to aid in earthquake relief efforts in Hawaii. That’s when they meet Hawaii Five-0’s Chin Ho (Daniel Dae Kim) and Kono (Grace Park), who are trying to help rescue scientists, before they get caught up in shady plots dealing with top-secret weapons.

“The most important thing for me was to establish the fact that these two franchises co-exist in the same world tonally. I’m hoping that this introduction -- the get to know you -- will ultimately be the beginning of many more of these down the road,” Lenkov says.

The most challenging aspect of setting up Friday’s special episode wasn’t on the creative side, but rather the logistics, as they often are. Since MacGyver films in Atlanta, Lenkov recalls having to figure out when they could feasibly fly out the cast to Hawaii, where Hawaii Five-0 calls home base -- without shutting down production on either show. It explains why Kim and Park were the lone Hawaii Five-0 regulars able to take part.

RELATED: 'Hawaii Five-0' Star Daniel Dae Kim Addresses the Show's Future

One of the more comedic through lines centers on Jack Dalton’s (George Eads) schoolboy crush on Kono, which is in line with Jack’s character. “We established Jack as somebody who has gone through a lot of relationships and it just made sense that when he sees Kono, the first thing on this mind is, ‘Is she single?’” Lenkov says. “It was very organic. It didn’t feel like we were forcing something; it felt like that’s who the character was and he would react that way.”

Lenkov hopes this episode will leave fans yearning for more crossover events like this -- possibly “bigger” in scope in the future.

“It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” he says of the two Friday dramas, adding, “This was an experiment in some way. We really learned how to do it and how to make this work more effectively next time.”

Speaking of Hawaii Five-0, Lenkov doesn’t foresee an end date just yet for the long-running series, which will have aired 168 episodes by the end of the current seventh season.

RELATED: Lucas Till Catches a Suspect in Impressive DIY Fashion in 'MacGyver'

“I try not to,” he admits. “As long as people are watching, we’ll keep coming up with stories and hopefully good enough material to keep them interested and keep going. The big thing is also keeping the actors invested and that’s what we strive to do first and foremost -- making sure they’re engaged and growing their characters, so they want to stay with it as well.”

Last November, series star Alex O’Loughlin told ET that he was ready to move on past a hypothetical eighth season. Lenkov confesses he hasn’t entertained the idea of continuing the show without O’Loughlin.

“No. If it’s something that’s really going to happen, it’s something that I would have to take seriously, but right now, I’m hoping that this is something he’ll want to do for a few more years at least,” he says.

The MacGyver-Hawaii Five-0 crossover airs Friday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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Masi Oka, <em>Hawaii Five-0</em>

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Tags: CBS, Casting, Exclusive

Five-0 Redux

By Wendie Burbridge / Special to the Star-Advertiser
March 3, 2017
  • COURTESY Cindy Ellen"Hawaii Five-0" actor Alex O’Loughlin with fans before the show's season 7 premiere held at Sunset on the Beach, September 2016.
    COURTESY Cindy Ellen"Hawaii Five-0" actor Alex O’Loughlin with fans before the show's season 7 premiere held at Sunset on the Beach, September 2016.

Season seven has been an interesting one for “Hawaii Five-0” fans. The high points seem to have cemented an eighth season, yet in the last few months, the show has experienced several sad surprises. While their renewal is not officially confirmed — the stellar ratings and increased viewership are among the reasons why “Hawaii Five-0” is a perfect candidate for another season.

Since the start of their lucky seventh season, Five-0 has experienced great ratings, in part because of their hot new lead-in show, “MacGyver,” coupled with its position as the lead-in for another top CBS show, “Blue Bloods.” Friday night on CBS seems to be the hottest TV ticket in town, and their streak doesn’t seem to be cooling off anytime soon.

While there has been many great moments — not everything is always sunsets and mai tais for our favorite show. The year started off on several high notes, especially after the beautiful sunrise blessing in July, and the awesome spectacle of the “Sunset on the Beach” red carpet premiere in September. While the 150th episode “Ka Makuahine a me ka Keiki kāne” (“Mother and Son”) could not compare to the epic 100th episode from season five, the celebration of “Hawaii Five-0” reaching yet another milestone, was a great moment in the burgeoning legend of the contemporary reboot.

Still, while ratings have improved and the show has not only gained new viewers, but also new actors– it’s the loss of a few cast and crew members that have made quite an impact on the loyal fandom.

In January, Masi Oka, who plays Dr. Max Bergman, left the show to have more time to focus on other projects close to his Los Angeles home. Oka also felt that the Max Bergman story had run its course. Max’s farewell episode, “Ua hoʻi ka ʻōpua i Awalua” (“The Clouds Always Return to Awalua”), aired on January 14 and gave Max– as well as Oka– the kind of send off a beloved character and actor deserves.

Yet, it was the news last week that Five-0 stunt coordinator Jeff Cadiente was leaving the show for new adventures that really spun the fans for a loop. After seven seasons of Emmy-caliber stunts, fight scenes, shootouts, car chases, and explosions– the fans definitely wondered not only what would happen to the amazing stunt and stand-in crew of their favorite show, but also where Cadiente was headed next. Fans have grown to love the candid stuntman and director, who is very popular on social media and quite open with fans. He often posted behind the scenes pictures and videos of stunt work, car stunts, and explosions, and was always gracious with fans online and at Five-0 events.

It seems as if fans have been saying aloha to more than their fair share of cast and crew members, as last November they were shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Keo Woolford, who played HPD Det. James Chang from the start of season two until season six. Woolford suffered a stroke in his home, and passed away a few days later. His memorial in January was a moving tribute to the talented actor and kumu hula. He will be sorely missed by Hawaiians and Five-0 fans around the world.

Still, Five-0 perseveres, and with the addition of some fresh new faces, and interesting storylines, season seven is not just a year of saying good-bye. The new actors who have joined the recurring cast, all seem to help with the continued growth of the show.

The season premiere introduced us to Dr. Noelani Cunha, played by Hawaiʻi actress Kimee Balmilero, who eventually took over as medical examiner after Max, Masi Oka’s character, resigned. Balmilero is the first Hawaiʻi actress to fill the shoes of a series regular like Oka. This is a definite change, as some of the newer recurring cast members, are not local actors. Julie Benz, who plays Inspector Abby Dunn; Sarah Carter, who plays McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) lady friend, Lynn Downey; and Rosalind Chao, who plays new Governor Keiko Mahoe — are great additions to the show, but of the four new ladies, only Balmilero is a Hawaiʻi actress.

I did appreciate that the latest “Hawaii Five-0” governor, played by veteran film and television actress Chao, is of the correct Hawaiʻi demographic, as over 50% of Hawaiʻi residents identify as Asian or part Asian. I like Benz as Chin’s (Daniel Dae Kim) newest girlfriend, but she has not been on very much this season after getting a series regular spot in CBS’s newest police drama, “Training Day.” She plays Holly Butler, a madam, who is also the girlfriend of Det. Frank Roarke, played by the late Bill Paxton.

Some of the more adorable additions to the show, like Londyn Silzer, who plays Chin’s niece, Sara Diaz; and Chosen Jacobs, who plays Lou’s (Chi McBride) son, Will, have really helped to develop the adult characters on the show. We have been lucky enough to see Chin act like the perfect father with Sara, and seen Lou’s softer side when it comes to his son. Even Danno (Scott Caan) has shown a different fatherly side with Will, who happens to also be dating his daughter, Grace, played by recurring cast member Teilor Grubbs.

Grubbs moved to Los Angeles early in the season in order to gain more acting exposure and audition for other projects. The H50hana, headed by Lisa Woo, and Amy Bakari of TeamH50, threw her a farewell Tweetup last October to wish her good luck in her new acting endeavors. She will continue in her role as Grace Williams, now commuting to Hawaiʻi to shoot future episodes.

While we love our recurring cast members, some of the guest stars this season have been equally fantastic– this includes Claire Forlani as former FBI profiler, Alicia Brown; Elizabeth Röhm as fifty-shades-of-crazy Dr. Madison Gray; and Willie Garson, as former art swindler and forger, now crime scene clean up expert, Gerard Hirsch. Other guest stars who have had an impact was George Cheung as Wo Fat’s father in the 150th episode; Bumpy Kanahele as himself in“Ka laina ma ke one” (“Line in the Sand”), and Max Gail as Kalaupapa resident Bill Walker in “Ka Pāʻani Nui” (“Big Game”).

The last two episode mentioned brings me to the types of storylines I have really enjoyed and felt really reflected the true history and legend of Hawaiʻi. While both stories are fictional, they are steeped in the history behind the Hawaiian sovereignty movement; the tragic past about Kalaupapa and Hansen’s Disease; as well as the story of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi and the annexation of our island nation by the United States. Many people outside of Hawaiʻi do not know this history, so I was thankful that several plotlines this season have focused on the truth behind our island home.

Still, while this season has been a bit rocky — with many changes happening on all sides of the Five-0 screen — there is one clear element that has not changed. The desire by fans and viewers alike that the show will continue on into season eight — and beyond.


Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.