By Wayne Harada
CBS’s decision to hire Daniel Dae Kim, the current co-star on the eye network’s “Hawaii Five-0” and the earlier ABC hit “Lost,” is clearly a business venture anchored with a bankable entity.
By virtue of being an Island resident for a decade or so, Kim is positioned to become an on-screen personality who will become an off-screen producer or mentor of future shows. Under the CBS deal, Kim and his 3AD production company, will be free and fertile to create new programs for CBS and cable TV as a byproduct of his on-screen presence of two Island shows.
He is the first of the current “Five-0” ensemble to leap out of the procedural formula to the producing ranks with the prospects of putting his name on programs yet to be announced. Kim’s company is seeking a development exec to begin a new journey.
Sudden thought: Is Kim’s hiring as a behind-the-scene deal-maker a premonition that a show that he would develop would succeed as “Five-0” approaches is sunset show? The buzz is that the current “Five-0” could go perhaps two, or three more years.
By then, Kim should have his ducks in a row and become the next kingpin producer of a Hawaiian series.
Continuity of sorts, but with lots of ingenuity and originality.
And he could learn from Jack Lord, the original Steve McGarrett, who became a producer and director of a Hawaii-themed show after “Five-0” folded. The lesson here is: proceed with caution; dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. Lord’s project, called “Makai Range” or “M Station: Hawaii,” aired as a pilot in 1980, but was not picked up. Lord produced, directed and had a cameo in it, and the title referred to the research pier in Waimanalo, located a stone’s throw from Sea Life Park.
It probably failed because of a so-so plot that might have been a “Five-0” episode, focused on the very site that appeared in “Five-0” many times. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but this one had one shot, and failed. It wasn't deliberately created as a spin-off of "Five-0," but it didn't have the jolt or beauty of "Five-0."
Of course, Kim is an astute actor and surely would be a savvy exec behind the scenes, and hopefully, his allegiance to living and working here in the past and present, would continue into the future.
"I'm excited to be expanding my relationship with David Stapf and CBS Television Studios,” Kim said in a studio release. “Creating original content has been a longstanding goal and I look forward to our future collaborations as a producer with 3AD."
The announcement came a few days after Kim’s former on-screen wife in “Lost,” Yunjin Kim, announced she was exec-producing an adaptation of a Korean drama, “Nine: Nine Time Travels,” for ABC.