Hawaii 5-0

Watch Hawaii 5-0

  • TV-PG
  • 1968
  • 12 Seasons
  • 7.4  (8,254)

Hawaii 5-0 is a popular American police procedural drama television series that was broadcasted on the CBS network from 1968 to 1980. Starring Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett, the head of the fictional Hawaii State Police department in Honolulu, the show follows the investigations and law enforcement activities of the elite unit, Five-O.

The series is set against the beautiful backdrop of Hawaii's tropical paradise, with its white beaches, crystal-clear waters, and exotic flora and fauna. This incredible location is not just for show, as the stunning landscape plays a crucial role in the show's overall aesthetic and mood. Viewers get a sense of being transported to this incredible place, with surfers catching waves in the background, fishermen hauling in their catches, and the always present trade winds.

The show's main characters are led by Steve McGarrett, who is assigned by the Governor to head the Five-O task force to combat serious and organized crime on the island. Supported by his team members, the tough-as-nails Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong) and the adventurous Danny Williams (James MacArthur), McGarrett tackles a wide range of cases, from bank robberies to kidnappings, murders, and terrorism. Together, the trio known is known as Five-O, are dedicated to protecting the people of Hawaii from any criminal threat.

Given that the show first aired in the late 1960s, it is understandable that its style and pacing is different from contemporary television shows. At its core, Hawaii 5-0 is an action-packed police procedural, with multiple cases being pursued in each episode, and the main characters often engaging in high-speed car chases, gunfire exchanges, or hand-to-hand combat.

One of the distinctive features of the show is its music. The now-iconic theme song - created by composer Morton Stevens - is a lively, catchy, brassy piece. The song features a cheery and upbeat main melody, which is often punctuated by the brass section's stabs and flourishes.

Apart from the theme music, a unique side effect of the show's popularity was the impact it had on Hawaiian culture. Its success brought attention to Hawaii as a vacation destination, and increased tourism to the state. It also attracted visitors to Hawaii's unique cuisine, with many of its dishes being featured on the show as well as introduced through its ad campaigns. The show cast even regularly attended cultural celebrations, thus immersing themselves deeper into the Hawaiian community.

Hawaii 5-0 is notable not only for its tropically stunning setting but its use of camera and lighting techniques to capture it. Much of the show was filmed on location in Hawaii, and the directors took full advantage of the island's stunning landscapes, which were magnificently shot and framed.

The show also has its unique style in its dialogue, characters and plots. The lead character, McGarrett is a stern, by-the-book character who is deeply devoted to enforcing the law in his state. He often speaks in clipped tones and delivers speeches filled with stark truths about the ugly side of life.

There's also Danny "Danno" Williams, who's Steve's right-hand man. He's often the lightest of the three and is famous for his catchphrase, "Book 'em, Danno!", which coincided with when he arrests suspects on trial. Kam Fong plays Chin Ho Kelly who fills in as one of the more mature members of Five-O, providing the team with a lot of tactical coordination skills while speaking to his co-workers with respect and liveliness.

Adding to this incredible cast is a host of guest stars, including soon-to-be famous actors such as Harrison Ford, Linda Evans, Kurt Russell, and many others. These guest stars helped to make the show a dynamic blend of action and drama.

In conclusion, Hawaii 5-0 is a beloved classic television show that is famous for its tropical locations, colorful characters, and thrilling police procedural stories. Its impact on popular culture is still felt today, over 40 years later. The show is not only a timeless television classic but an ode to Hawaii, its fascinating culture, and its people.

Hawaii 5-0 is a series that is currently running and has 12 seasons (280 episodes). The series first aired on September 26, 1968.

Hawaii 5-0
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Woe to Wo Fat
19. Woe to Wo Fat
April 5, 1980
In a desperate move to locate three world-famous scientists who have vanished, Steve McGarrett sets himself up to be kidnapped by assuming the identity of a fourth eminent scientist -- and is shocked to find himself once again locked in mortal combat with his eternal adversary, Wo Fat. The sinister Wo Fat has been a thorn in McGarrett's side since the series began. Now, after more than a decade of thwarting the malevolent master criminal, McGarrett has one final climactic confrontation with his perennial nemesis.
The Moroville Covenant
18. The Moroville Covenant
March 29, 1980
Paul Burke guest stars as attorney David Lawrence, a political candidate whose promising bid for the U.S. Senate is endangered by the murder of a man who tried to blackmail him. Although Lawrence swears he knows nothing about the murder, he admits that the dead would-be extortionist did have knowledge about him that could have destroyed his political future. Granting that Lawrence could be guiltless, McGarrett and his staff begin analyzing who, besides Lawrence himself, may have vested interest in protecting him from ruinous scandal.
A Bird in the Hand
17. A Bird in the Hand
March 22, 1980
Someone is waging a bloody vendetta against a band of innocuous birdwatchers. Although Steve McGarrett feels certain that slaughter will continue, he can't comprehend the "who" and "why" of the killer.
Clash of Shadows
16. Clash of Shadows
March 8, 1980
The murder in Hawaii of a famous Nazi-hunter and the discovery on his bullet-riddled body of a rare World War II German medal pulls Steve McGarrett and Five-O into the search for a Nazi war criminal. McGarrett learns from an Israeli government official that the dead man, Yuri Bloch, came to Hawaii on the trail of Emil Klaus, a fugitive Nazi mass killer. McGarrett feels certain that the same trail to Klaus will lead him also to Bloch's murderer. The rare medal, he is convinced, some-how holds the solution to this case, which is laden with international intrigue.
The Flight of the Jewels
15. The Flight of the Jewels
March 1, 1980
Three bright young graduate students use radio-controlled airplanes and some homemade scientific creations to pull off the " impossible": the theft of the priceless royal jewels of Liliuokalani, the last reigning queen of Hawaii. On public display, the gems are protected by an intricate mechanical security system -- and augmented by armed guards -- the even cautious Five-O boss Steve McGarrett concedes is virtually impenetrable. But the gem theft takes place, nevertheless, and Five-O's security system soon faces a test again.
The Golden Noose
14. The Golden Noose
January 15, 1980
From his gut reaction to Jonas Halloran, a brittle, clever aide-de-camp to Premier Lon Tho of Baradak, and to Nadira, a beautiful troubled girl, Steve McGarrett senses evil in the wind. Halloran arrives in Hawaii with Lon Tho to retrieve the Baradak Treasury's $150- million in gold, which has been held for safekeeping in arrangements surrounding the transfer of the gold. But when he meets Halloran and Nadira, his instincts tell him that Halloran could be a dangerous opportunist and the girl a truthful, indirect witness to some of Halloran's's savagery.
For Old Times Sake
13. For Old Times Sake
January 8, 1980
Counterfeiter Willie McFee reluctantly returns to his old game for a worthy cause, but he fails to foresee the luck that gives Steve McGarrett an inkling of his move.
School for Assassins
12. School for Assassins
January 1, 1980
Assigned to handle security for an important energy conference in Hawaii -- one that could determine America's energy sources for the next decade -- Steve McGarrett and his Five-O agents encounter international forces who will stop at nothing -- including murder by schooled assassins -- to try to insure the failure of the meeting.
11. Labyrinth
December 25, 1979
Steve McGarrett and his Five-O crew try to solve the kidnapping of a wealthy socialite, Mrs. Christine Ames, and at the same time, accommodate her husband, who declares that if the police are involved, the criminals will kill his wife. It is Mrs. Ames' hairdresser who finally comes up with some information about his customer that could be the key to the mystery.
The Kahuna
10. The Kahuna
December 18, 1979
When the inhabitants of a privately owned Hawaiian island dig up the remains of two young people and bury them at sea to insure that autopsies will not be performed, Steve McGarrett launches an investigation into the reputedly accidental deaths.
A Shallow Grave
9. A Shallow Grave
December 11, 1979
Steve McGarrett finds himself dealing with apparent psychic phenomena as he tries to trace the whereabouts of a jewel cache worth $2 million. John Ireland guest stars as thief Phil Coleman, whose release after twenty years in prison prompts McGarrett to keep watch to see whether or not Coleman attempts to recover from their hiding place, the jewels he claims to have lost after heisting them so many years before.
Voice of Terror
8. Voice of Terror
December 4, 1979
Tension, barely controlled fury and gut-numbing fear -- it's all there as Steve McGarrett confronts a pair of political terrorists who are threatening to kill their policewomanhostage unless their demands are met.
Use a Gun, Go to Hell
7. Use a Gun, Go to Hell
November 29, 1979
In a powerful episode playing upon the easy availability of handguns, McGarrett and his Five-O unit follow the trail of pain and death left by one of the weapons, hoping to recover it before it can wreak yet more havoc. The wounding of a florist by a pistol-wielding bandit results in the first break for McGarrett in his stymied search for the assassins of an Hawaii state senator. Ballistics tests show that the politician and the florist were felled by the same gun, originally a World War II souvenir. How much more tragedy will it produce, wonders McGarrett, unless he can track it down.
Image of Fear
6. Image of Fear
November 8, 1979
Someone apparently is trying to convince Joan Carter and everyone she knows that she is mentally ill and only imagining the frightening attacks on her life, but one of those people -- Five-O boss Steve McGarrett -- isn't buying it. Apparently, Joan's antagonist -- if, indeed, that's what he is -- is a mysterious, very-much alive man named Kwan, who, according to the confused Joan, she once shot to death.
Good Help is Hard to Find
5. Good Help is Hard to Find
November 1, 1979
Is the Five-O crew as foolish and inept as they are beginning to appear to the public?
Sign of the Ram
4. Sign of the Ram
October 25, 1979
Jayne Meadows guest stars as an astrologer whose ominous warnings tempt the skeptical Steve McGarrett to follow her clues in his investigation of a murder. The dead man, gambler Toby Wesson, was a friend of boxer Pete Shore, and owned a share of the promising young heavyweight's contract. Pete's depression over Wesson's death prompts him to confide in astrologer Jessica Humboldt. She becomes so alarmed at the grim portents she sees in Pete's horoscope that she goes to McGarrett, insisting that unless he heeds her astrological charts, more disaster is inevitable.
Though the Heavens Fall
3. Though the Heavens Fall
October 18, 1979
McGarrett goes after a unique secret ring of high-society vigilantes who are determined to see that justice is done -- even if they have to do it themselves.
Who Says Cops Don't Cry?
2. Who Says Cops Don't Cry?
October 11, 1979
Honolulu policewoman Lori Wilson is on the scene when her husband, Honolulu cop and Five-O recruit, Kevin Wilson, is gunned down by bandits. McGarrett brings Five-O into the search for Wilson's killer, meanwhile, trying to dissuade grieving Lori from waging a risky personal crusade to find the fugitives.
A Lion in the Streets (Part 1+2)
1. A Lion in the Streets (Part 1+2)
October 4, 1979
McGarrett finds himself caught in the crossfire as a faction of embattled Hawaiian natives take on the Island's underworld. The prize -- control of a labor union and the 50th state's rich tourist business.
Where to Watch Hawaii 5-0
Hawaii 5-0 is available for streaming on the CBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Hawaii 5-0 on demand at Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Amazon and Vudu.
  • Premiere Date
    September 26, 1968
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (8,254)