Archive for May, 2012

An aloha message from the 'Five-0' gang

May 14th, 2012

On the morning (May 14) of the finale of season two finale, the cast of CBS' “Hawaii Five-0” has posted an online video to bid fans a fond aloha.
Taped on the final day of filming, the brief behind-the-scenes clip includes kibitzing, lei, hugs, even skateboarding.
The excerpted aloha messages:
Alex O’Loughlin (Steve McGarrett): “This is our last night on season two, it’s my last scene. We’re all really happy to finish up and have a summer break. We’re also stoked for coming back in season three.”
Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly): “It’s been a crazy wild ride. What we’re shooting now, I think you guys are gonna get a kick of. Thanks for watching, thanks for following ... Aloha.
Grace Park (Kono Kalakaua): “I want to thank everybody for watching. Hawaii is an amazing place, as you can tell.”
Scott Caan (Danno Williams): “I hope you keep watching. See you next year.”
The final episode airs at 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland).
To view the aloha clip, go to:

Not enough punch in McGarrett's 'Five-0' return

May 8th, 2012

Despite the return of Alex O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett in full glory, CBS’ Island-based “Hawaii Five-0” could not win its Monday 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland) slot on May 7, playing second-fiddle to ABC’s “Castle.”
O’Loughlin, absent from a new “Five-0” episode for about seven weeks, including the crossover two-show arc with “NCIS: Los Angeles,” had a frisky, treacherous homecoming in a Yakuza-themed episode (entitled “Ua Hopu,” translated to “arrested” or “to be caught”). Buoyed by the agile action figure nemesis Wo Fat, played with impressive kicks and punches by Mark Dacascos, McG was in his full glory, matching his arch-nemesis kick for kick, punch for punch.
Add a romantic glow from Grace Park as Kono Kalakaua, without clothes and in the shower with a paramour Adam Noshimuri from the dark side, with see-sawing loyalties to him and her investigating ohana. (Does she always make bad choices?) Her cousin Chin Ho Kelly, played by Daniel Dae Kim, provides solace.
Scott Caan as Danno, arrested by the CIA, quickly resumes that bromance with McG, but he and the show are caught between a rock and hard place.
Tired recurring issues, despite superb cinematography. Themes without fresh outlooks.
In the end, the show did not muster up viewership. “Castle,” "Five-0's" main challenger, drew a 2.5 rating in the key18 to 49 adult demographics, compared 2.3 for “Five-0.” In terms of viewers, "Castle" had 12.6 million, "Five-0" 9.2 million.
That was a kick in the butt for the highly anticipated Hawaii procedural, which began with a Japan dateline with McG still seeking out answers to the ongoing, and frankly off-putting Shelburne issue, wherein he captures Wo Fat and tries to shuttle him home, not expecting a planeload of dissidents that lead to a crash, where both McG and WF survive and then try to dodge a search party eager to decimate McG. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
McG had not been in a new episode since March, so his comeback show was highly anticipated and it initially had beefy fisticuffs and kicks — and plenty of action skillfully filmed — but apparently not enough wallop to win its hour.
This episode sets up the season finale May 14.

A lifetime of Hoku merriment — as chumminess returns

May 7th, 2012

The Lim Family from Kohala, on the Big Island, and a reunion of original and replacement members of The Ali'is, were big hits at the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts’ Lifetime Achievement Awards Saturday (May 5) at the Ala Moana Hotel.
Ah, memories.
I remember when I first heard and saw the Lim ‘ohana perform, decades ago, when they were recorded by producer Bill Murata. They went on to win Traditional Hawaiian Album and later Group of the Year honors for what comes naturally: a backyard-simple, from-the-heart Hawaiiana posture.
Of course, how can you forget The Ali'is — who were instrumental (and vocal) in the early popularity of Don Ho, who hired Joe Mundo, Benny Chong, Rudy Aquino, Manny Lagodlagod (now Lagod) and Al Akana — at Duke Kahanamoku’s at the International Place. Antics. Harmony. Sizzling sounds.
Both acts were among 12 honorees at the HARA event, an expanded roster of Achievement awardees, because this marks the 35th anniversary of the awards and the organization.
I was blessed to be one of those honored. But I felt insecure, inadequate, since I don’t sing, dance, write music, engineer, create mele or entertain — some of the requirements for this lifetime honor.
I know, since I served as one of the founding board of governors of HARA for the first 10 years of its existence; and it’s a challenge to come up with a list of honorees and then hone it down to a select few. You have had to make some imprint and lasting legacy on the music industry; you have had to devote your life to sharing and perpetuating the culture of the Islands.
I’ve never made an album (but I did sing with an all-star gathering when Henry Kapono wrote and composed an anthem in the spirit of “We Are the World” years ago), so imagine how I felt like an outsider who, late in life (I’m 70, retired, but still working), suddenly became an insider.
My only “instrument,” over time, was a typewriter, initially manual and eventually IBM Selectric (young folks, ask your moms and dads or kupuna) ... which segued into a computer. As the retired entertainment editor, reporter and columnist for The Honolulu Advertiser and its TGIF section, the beat goes on — I’m still a Sunday columnist
for the merged Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
My “instrument” has allowed me have the best seat in the house for nearly five decades of chronicling the wave of talent that has surfed through the waters in my tenure. For the academy to hurl me into this circle of distinguished achievers, I feel like a very lucky soul, rewarded not for any major accomplishment but for simply doing a cherished job.
Since day one, I still get very excited and thrilled when a local entertainer makes good. It was that way when I was a cub reporter (think the Robin Luke era, and again, kids, ask your elders), and throughout the decades with an ongoing parade of national achievers — Yvonne Elliman, Bette Midler, Dean Pitchford, Georgia Engel, Glenn Medeiros, Jason Tam, Kevin McCollum, Loretta Ables Sayre, Jake Shimabukuro and Bruno Mars. Yes, even Bruddah Iz, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. They’ve all enjoyed widespread acclaim; they’ve all made my Show Biz column because they had some of these common threads: a unique talent, a lucky break, an indelible spirit. The short list includes singers, a producers, actors, and recording stars.
Because I’ve written about them, with bold face names jumping out of the column, HARA welcomed me into this exclusive club. They say I helped launch careers with the exposure. Perhaps. But I think I merely shared my enthusiasm and joy, about the various pleasures and treasures with another common root: they’re all Island natives, from The Brothers Cazimero to Frank DeLima, from Don Ho to Andy Bumatai, from the Tihati ohana to the acting fraternity that put Lisa Matsumoto on the map, from Audy Kimura to Jimmy Borges, from Carole Kai to the Society of Seven, from Karen Keawehawai’i to The Krush, from Cecilio and Kapono to John Hirokawa, from Audy Kimura to Jay Larrin, from Hapa to Amy Hanaiali’i, from Jimmy Borges to Olomana, from Loyal Garner to Olomana, from Keola and Kapono Beamer to Gabby Pahinui, from the Makaha Sons to Melveen Leed, from Rene Paulo to Emma Veary. And many more, from Augie T. to Booga Booga. You get the idea.
But back to the HARA luncheon.
It had been some time since I’ve been to a Na Hoku event, and the luncheon chimed with yesteryear charm. Old chums hugging and catching up. Earnest joy. I think the nooner, with a model of honoring achievers, left hostilities out of the door. No one was going to “win,” since the laurels were already announced. Because of the more “senior” honorees, there was old school reflection and buzz, unlike the often cliquish tone of the larger evening Na Hoku finale, when nominees are anxious and anticipatory in mood, when the spirit of competition and “sides” prevail. No? Well, I felt that divisive aura at the Na Hoku night.
Spontaneity joins the celebratory agenda at the lifetime party. Noelani Mahoe jumps up to do an impromptu hula; Nalani Olds sings with the Royal Hawaiian Band; the grandkids from the Lim Ohana dance to the ‘ohana’s signature “Pua Olena.”
And yes, Jimmy Borges adds his charisma and charm to the Betty Loo Taylor segment; and The Ali'is, minus Joe Mundo, stroll down memory lane via songs.
Real charms, from devoted and iconic chums.
I would be remiss not to name and thank this year’s inductees to the lifetime loop: The Royal Hawaiian Band, Alice Johnson, ‘Ihilani Miller, Nalani Olds, Pua Almeida, The Lim Family, Betty Loo Taylor, Frank DeLima, Moe Ke’ale, Kimo Kahoano and The Ali’is. Oh yes, me, too.
And oh, Kimo, Kimo, Kimo. We all adore you and your multi-hyphenate skills: emcee, singer, dancer, radio guy, actor, etc. As a veteran host, however, you should remember not to hog the mike and linger and chat and reflect, with that verbose posture. Yes, you were elated, but so were the others. This was not a competition of who could stay at the mike the longest.
So, take a bow; we bestow to you the most adored but ingratiating personality of the day. No malice intended, but that’s my reviewer voice speaking. From champ to chump, bruddah. There, I’ve said it.
Thanks to the academy — and every one else who brought leis, cheers, aloha and love during the day. Mahalo plenty, on behalf of all honorees.
If you were there, share your thoughts.

Talent agent sues CBS over 'Five-0' dispute

May 5th, 2012

George Litto, who was the talent agent for “Hawaii Five-0” creator Leonard Freeman, has filed a lawsuit seeking profits from the CBS reboot, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Litto, who represented Freeman, (who was a writer-producer of the original "Five-0" starring Jack Lord) also attempted to do a movie version of the set-in-Hawaii detective series. Litto is seeking profits from the new CBS series plus $10 million in punitive damages, alleging he has been eliminated from the profits ledger.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to the trade magazine. An insider close to Litto said the suit is not targeting the reboot “Five-0” but is primarily aimed at the network.
The original “Five-0” was a CBS staple from 1968 to 1980, the first-ever series filmed entirely in Hawaii. Freeman and his wife Rose Freeman were devoted Island fans; the producer died in 1974 from a hearty bypass surgery and his widow died in March of 2012.
Litto’s agency had negotiated a deal on behalf of Freeman and negotiated an amendment to the contract on behalf of the widow and the trusts that were set up. For this, he alleges he should receive a 10 per cent commission, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Litto was vigilant after the original Lord series left the air, holding discussions on a movie version or a new version, and the trusts and CBS had issues on who controlled rights to the “Five-0” franchise. The dispute wound up in court in 1997.
Lito and Rose Freeman apparently had agreed to bond and fight for rights, with a a 50-50 split on future “Five-0” projects.
Litto earlier filed a 1998 suit and an arbitrator ruled against CBS that held the Freeman heirs were entitled to rights and control of reserved rights in the “Five-0” brand, including potential developments of a film or theatrical production, and merchandising.
When Warner Bros. failed to develop a long-anticipated movie production, CBS insted decided to relaunch the brand in a reboot that ultimately cast Alex O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett, without Litto’s involvement. O'Loughlin was a budding staple on the network, but had two failed series on CBS, finally hitting paydirt with "Five-0"
The reboot was launched in the fall of 2010 was that season’s hot newbie renewed for a second season, nearing its finale episode screening May 14. The show has averaged 12 million viewers but has had wavering response to its heightened use of story arcs that introduce far too many secondary characters, taking away the spotlight of the four principals.
Though not yet announced, it is theorized that a third season order will be forthcoming, presumably in line with the earlier-announced syndication pickup by TNT, beginning in the summer of 2014.

Still another crossover for 'NCIS' and 'Five-0'?

May 2nd, 2012

The crossover shows between “Hawaii Five-0” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” — on CBS’ slate on Mondays and Tuesdays, respectively — enabled the L.A. show to pull a 3.0 rating among adults 18 through 49 on Tuesday (May 1) better than “Five-0’s” Monday (May 30) showing, which gave the Island show a 2.5 rating in the same demos.
The “NCIS” draw was better than that of “Five-0,” which means Scott Caan (Danny Williams) and Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly) fared better in Lala Land than in their own paradise. The “NCIS” numbers held steady; for our homegrown effort, it was a 25 per cent hike from three weeks ago.
There was that bromance thing in the Tuesday show, with Danno and Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) going at each other’s hairstyles.
The crossover centered on a potential smallpox outbreak, which started in paradise and expanded to greater L.A., enabling the Island pair first-time entrée into NCIS’ coveted headquarters — the first non-regulars to infiltrate the facilities, according the diminutive Hetty (Linda Hunt).
So the bottom line: Since the pairings appeared to work with positive results — and, without the presence of Alex O’Loughlin (Steve McGarrett), who returns from rehab for the two final shows May 7 and 14 — the imminent question is: Will there be a hana hou in season three? An encore seems inevitable, though another thought might be a crossover with the mothership “NCIS,” featuring Mark Harmon (Leroy Gethro Gibbs), the No. 1-rated procedural on TV.

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