(new) Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

the new Hawaii Five-0 on CBS

Morton Stevens (1929-1991)

Morton Stevens (1929-1991)

Another in a series about unsung figures of television.

The name Morton Stevens is barely known by the general public. Yet his signature piece of work — the theme to Hawaii Five-O (or Five-0 as it’s spelled for the revival series that began in 2010) — is almost universally recognized.

In the 1950s, Stevens worked for Sammy Davis Jr. as his music arranger. Then, in 1960, Davis had the chance to perform a dramatic role in The Patsy, an episode of The General Electric Theater, an anthology series.

According to television and film music historian Jon Burlingame (in an audio commentary for the DVD set for the Thriller anthology show hosted by Boris Karloff), Davis wanted Stevens to score the episode. Stevens got the assignment and made a career switch.

Stevens quickly began scoring a variety of genres, including Westerns, crime dramas and horror (the aforementioned Thriller series). And then there were his espionage-show efforts.

Stevens was the first composer to follow Jerry Goldsmith with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. In fact, the very first piece of U.N.C.L.E. music — a few seconds accompanying the U.N.C.L.E. global logo at the start of The Vulcan Affair, first broadcast on Sept. 22, 1964 — was composed by Stevens.

When Goldsmith did the pilot, the show was to be titled Solo. When the show began production of series episodes, the name was changed to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. With that change, the globe logo was devised and it would be shown at the very start of each episode.

Stevens’ “insignia” U.N.C.L.E. music (as it’s known) led off the first 14 episodes of the show. Stevens also did the first new arrangement of Goldsmith’s theme, which first appeared with the 15th episode, The Deadly Decoy Affair. It would be used for almost all of the second half of the second season.

In all, Stevens did four original U.N.C.L.E. scores but his music was frequently re-used in first-season U.N.C.L.E. episodes without an original score. Often, these “stock scores” paired Goldsmith music (composed for three episodes) with that of Stevens. Their styles melded well.

In April of 1965, Stevens became the head of CBS’ West Coast music operation involved with the network’s in-house productions. As a result, he assigned other composers on CBS productions while taking on some jobs himself.

In that capacity, he scored the 1968 pilot for Hawaii Five-O. In that production, Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord) locked horns with Chinese spy Wo Fat (Khigh Dheigh), giving the crime drama a spy twist from the start.

In the first season of the show, Stevens was only credited for an episode’s score (“Music by”) or, on some episodes for “music supervision.”

However, if another composer was credited for an episode, Stevens didn’t get a mention. That was consistent with CBS policy at the time, which denied theme credits for many series, including Gunsmoke, which ran on the the network for 20 years.

A Morton Stevens title card for a first-season episode of Hawaii Five-O

A Morton Stevens title card for a first-season episode of Hawaii Five-O

Early in the show’s second season, Stevens did get a “theme by” credit for episodes where he didn’t provide the score. (When Stevens did provide an original score, he still got a “music by” credit.).

Eventually, the theme had to be turned into a song. Appropriately, Sammy Davis Jr. performed it.

Still, despite how famous the theme became — decades later, it’s regularly performed by marching bands — fame eluded Stevens.

Stevens never moved in a major way into scoring movies unlike contemporaries of his such as John Williams (who, ironically, received the job of scoring the 1969 Steve McQueen film The Reivers from Stevens when CBS was releasing films, according to the Burlingame Thriller commentary track) and Lalo Schifrin.

Stevens died in 1991. His Five-O theme outlived him, however. When the 2010 version of the show debuted, its pilot originally had a “rock music” arrangement that made the rounds on social media before the new show’s debut.

It wasn’t received well. The new series quickly commissioned a more traditional sounding version, which debuted at the 2010 San Diego Comic Book Con. Some of the musicians who performed the theme had worked on the original 1968-80 series.

While Stevens gets a credit on the current series, unfortunately it’s during the end titles. Stevens’ credit flashes by so quickly, you can’t really see it. Regardless, his legacy continues.


Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed


1. Adam Released from Prison

With Adam due to be released from prison, we can expect a big Adam/Kono reunion, but will it be a happy one? And if they do get some happiness, how long will it last? This couple have been put through a lot, their relationship constantly tested, so I’m sure we can expect things to go wrong once again. Their relationship has survived prison, the Yakuza and Gabriel Waincroft, what will the show throw at them next? Will their relationship survive the season?

2. Trouble from Michelle Shioma

After attempting to kill Gabriel Waincroft, and causing a bit of trouble for the 5-0 throughout the season, 5-0 had evidence of her criminal activity to put her away, but she disappeared before they could arrest her. Could we see her return next season? She is a powerful enemy with ties to the Yakuza, and last season she had a mole inside HPD. Will she return worse than before?

 3. Will Chin Adopt Sara?

Last season we saw Chin contemplating adopting his niece Sara, and after his heart to heart with Gabriel, will he? If he does, how will this impact his work? And, with Julie Benz who plays Abby confirmed to return next season, how will this affect Chin and Abby’s relationship?

4. The Return of Doris McGarrett

In the finale, Steve was taken to a CIA black site where Wo Fat’s father forgave him for his son’s death. This all seemed a little random and unnecessary, unless it was setting up a storyline for next season. Maybe Doris McGarret (Christine Lahti) will return as she was briefly mentioned in the episode.

 5. Will Catherine comeback?

Catherine broke up with Steve and left to go undercover for the CIA. Now that Steve knows the truth, will she comeback after her mission is complete? Before she left, Steve was planning to propose, on her return will they reconcile?

Leave comments on what you think could happen next season. Who would you like to return? Personally, I would love to see Joe White (Terry O’Quinn) come back. Hawaii 5-0 will return with Season 7 in the fall.


Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Another in an occasional series about unsung figures of television.

Stephen Kandel, now 89, was the kind of television who could take on multiple genres and do it well.

Science fiction? He wrote the two Star Trek episodes featuring Harry Mudd (Roger C. Carmel), one of Captain Kirk’s more unusual adversaries.

Espionage? His list of credits included I Spy, The Wild Wild West, Mission: Impossible, It Takes a Thief and A Man Called Sloane.

Crime dramas? Hawaii Five-O and Mannix, among too many to list here. His work included a Cannon-Barnaby Jones crossover, The Deadly Conspiracy, a 1975 two-part story airing as an episode of each series.

Not to mention the occasional Western, drama, super hero series (Batman and Wonder Woman) and some shows that don’t easily fit categories (The Magician, MacGyver).

Writer Harlan Ellison in 1970 referred to Kandel as “one of the more lunatic scriveners in Clown Town.” In a column reprinted in The Other Glass Teat, Ellison wrote that Kandel was assigned to write an episode of a drama called The Young Lawyers that was to introduce a new WASP character.

According to Ellison, ABC opted to tone down socially conscious stories among other changes. Kandel wasn’t a fan of the changes. He initially named the new WASP character “Christian White.”

“It went through three drafts before anyone got hip to Steve’s sword in the spleen,” Ellison wrote.

Other in-joke humor by Kandel that did make it to television screens.

One was a 1973 episode of Mannix, Sing a Song of Murder. Kandel named a hit man Anthony Spinner. Kandel had earlier worked for Spinner on the QM series Dan August.

Presumably Spinner didn’t mind. Kandel ended up working for Spinner on Cannon.

Another bit was Kandel’s script for A Man Called Sloane episode titled The Seduction Squad. Robert Culp played a Blofeld-like criminal, except he carried around a small dog instead of a cat.

Kandel wrapped up his television career with MacGyver. Today, somewhere in the world, there may be an episode of some series written by Kandel being shown.


Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed
Cover to the first season MIssion: Impossible DVD set

Cover to the first season MIssion: Impossible DVD set

Another in a series about unsung figures of television.

Joseph Gantman in the 1960s found himself on the ground floor of notable television shows.

His primary legacy was as the day-to-day producer for the first two seasons of Mission: Impossible.

Gantman came aboard after the pilot was produced. Series creator Bruce Geller supervised the show, but it was up to Gantman to get things going, including securing a steady stream of scripts that could be filmed. He would end up winning two Emmys for his efforts.

Those two seasons featured some of the show’s best stories, such as Operation: Rogosh (the IMF tricks an “unbreakable” Soviet Bloc operative into thinking it’s three years later so he’ll give up where he’s planted germ cultures that will poison the drinking water supply of Los Angeles).

Gantman was worn down by the time he left the series at the end of its second season. His successors, William Read Woodfield and Allan Balter, who wrote many of the best stories of the first two seasons, bolted after disagreements with Bruce Geller. That was an indication that Gantman’s work wouldn’t be easy to duplicate. M:I was tough on producers generally. Gantman’s tenure was almost a marathon by comparison.

Before Mission, Gantmen worked on the pilot of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. with the vague tile of “production assistant,” but his title card in the television version featured his credit in the end titles on the screen by itself. Presumably, that was an indication he was a key contributor of the pilot.

During the 1964-65 season, Gantman was associate producer for 16 of the 32 episodes of the first season of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, when that Irwin Allen-produced shows emphasized espionage over monsters.

Later, during the 1968-69 season, he was producer for five episodes of the first season of Hawaii Five-O, including three of the first five telecast by CBS (excluding the pilot, which aired as a TV movie). Five-O’s initial campaign was rough (it was the first series actually filmed in Hawaii) and it chewed up producers.

Gantman isn’t remembered much today. U.N.C.L.E. is remembered, behind the camera, for the efforts of Norman Felton and Sam Rolfe. Voyage is seen as what launched Irwin Allen’s 1960s shows. M:I is recalled for Bruce Geller’s concept. The original Five-O is remembered for creator-executive Leonard Freeman, who guided the show for six of its 12 seasons before his death in early 1974.

Yet, Gantman was a key lieutenant, at one time or another (just one episode in U.N.C.L.E.’s case) on all of them. That’s why TV shows have title cards.


Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Blue Bloods made its last collar for the season last week and last night the rest of CBS’ Friday line-up took their bow for now. There was a death, a near-death and a double dose on the Season 6 ender of Hawaii Five-O and of course a winner on The Amazing Race (1.0/4).

On the same night as the Miami Heat beat the Toronto Raptors 103-91 on ESPN to take their NBA Playoffs series to a Game 7, the Season 28 ender of the couples competition series saw Dana Borriello and Matt Steffania take a victory lap. It also saw the show up 11% among adults 18-49 from last week. Finale-to-finale, TAR was even with its Season 27 finale of December 11, 2015 and down a tenth from its Season 26 ender of May 15 last year.

With a 1.1/4 rating and 7.65 million viewers, CBS won the night as the 9 PM (1.1/4) Five-O was even with its May 6 show. For the special 10 PM (1.2/5) episode, in what has been a fairly steady cycle, the tropical set series actually saw a rise of 9% in the demo from its Season 5 ender of May 8 last year. That 10 PM Five-O was also tied with 9 PM’s Shark Tank (1.2/5), which was even with last week, on ABC for the demo top spot on Friday.

Another finale over on The CW saw The Vampire Diaries (0.4/1) hark to a voice from its past with the sounds of former star Nina Dobrev. A voiceover by the actress was all TVD fans got for this season ender but the show rose 33% in the 18-49s over last week. It was the opposite in the demo gravity for Season 6 of TVD compared to its Season 5 finale of May 14, 2015. Last night’s ender was down 43% from last year’s finale, which aired on a Thursday against some repeats on half of the Big 4. As for lead-out The Originals (0.3/1), last night’s show was even with last week.

ABC saw Beyond The Tank (0.7/3) up 17% in the demo over its May 6 performance and 20/20 (1.0/4) even with last week.

Like last week, Fox played a movie last night but NBC was all originals with Caught On Camera With Nick Cannon (0.6/3) kicking off the night down a tenth from its last original of April 29. Grimm (0.8/3) was even with its last original and 10 PM’s Dateline (0.8/3) was down 11% from last week’s 9:30 – 11 PM episode.

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

In the 21st century, many television series are serialized, featuring a story line, or arc, that lasts an entire season. However, there was a time when a story that lasted two (or more) episodes was special, something to savored.

For viewers of the era, such multi-part episodes could be special. Because it wasn’t the norm, such story lines drew attention to themselves. What follows is a sampling.

Poster for One Spy Too Many, movie version of Alexander the Greater Affair

Poster for One Spy Too Many, movie version of Alexander the Greater Affair

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: In the first-season of the 1964-68 series, extra footage was shot so two episodes could be re-edited into feature films for the international market. Starting with the second season, the show produced two-part episodes that could be more easily be turned into movies.

Six such two-part episodes were made, two each for seasons two through four. One of the best was Alexander the Greater Affair at the start of Season Two. Industrialist Alexander (Rip Torn) was a fan of Alexander the Great and sought to control the world like his namesake. The movie version was titled One Spy Too Many. The television version, though, didn’t make the show’s syndication package and wasn’t seen again until 2000.

Mission: Impossible: The 1966-73 series included a number of two-part episodes. A second-season two parter was re-edited into a movie for international audiences called Mission: Impossible Versus the Mob.

M:I’s biggest multi-part adventure was a three-parter called The Falcon, which aired during the show’s fourth season. Arguably, The Falcon (written by Paul Playdon), was the series most intricately plotted story.

Hawaii Five-O: Another series with multiple two-part stories, some of which (FOB Honolulu, The Ninety-Second War) included Steve McGarrett opposing his arch enemy Wo Fat (Khigh Dhiegh). That includes the series’ pilot, which was re-edited into a two-part story at the end of the show’s first season.

What’s more, Wo Fat stories in the eighth and ninth season kicked off the season and were presented as two-hour episodes. The latter, Nine Dragons, featured extensive location shooting in Hong Kong.

Five-O’s fifth season also had a three-part episode where McGarrett took down the Vishons, a Hawaiian crime family. In the third part, McGarrett has been framed and doesn’t appear to have much chance to beat the rap. For one of its reruns on CBS, the story was re-edited into a two-and-a-half-hour presentation aired on a single night.

Also, a 1979 two-hour episode, The Year of the Horse, featured George Lazenby with “special guest star” billing, though he was a secondary villain. That installment included extensive on-location shooting in Singapore.

Poster for Cosa Nostra, an Arch Enemy of the FBI, movie version of a two-part episode of The FBI

Poster for Cosa Nostra, an Arch Enemy of the FBI, movie version of a two-part episode of The FBI

The FBI: The longest-running series from producer Quinn Martin had four two-part stories. The Defector, the show’s first-season two-parter, was an impressive espionage-themed effort.

The show’s two parter for the second season was The Executioners, which was edited into a movie for international audiences titled Cosa Nostra, an Arch Enemy of the FBI.

The series’ final two-parter, The Mastermind in the seventh season, featured three actors (Bradford Dillman, Steve Ihnat and Scott Marlowe), who were a kind of all-star collection of QM villains.

Mannix: The private eye drama featured a first-season story where Lew Wickersham (Joseph Campanella), the boss of Mannix’s detective agency, appears to freak out for no reason. Part I included a massive fight between Wickersham and Mannix (Mike Connors).

The series wouldn’t do another two-part episode until its seventh and eight seasons, when Mannix (Mike Connors) ran his own private eye agency. Both stories took Mannix out of the United States. The final two parter also included composer Lalo Schifrin’s final original score for the series.

The Wild Wild West: The 1965-69 series combined spies and cowboys. It only had one two-part story, The Night of the Winged Terror, but it was a doozy. It features Raven, a group trying to take over the world, which has demonstrated its power by programming officials into performing various destructive acts.

When the story (written by Ken Pettus) was filmed, co-star Ross Martin was recovering from a heart attack. So character actor William Schallert (1922-2016) played a substitute agent to work with Robert Conrad’s James West.

77 Sunset Strip: The show’s final season (1963-64) began with a *five*-part episode, simply titled “5.” Jack Webb, who had taken command of Warner Bros. television unit, ordered up a major revamp of the private eye series.

Only Efrem Zimbalist Jr. was retained, and his Stuart Bailey character was transformed into a lone wolf detective. “5” plunged Bailey into international intrigue, with an all-star cast of guest stars.


Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed
William Schallert

William Schallert

William Schallert, a character actor with a long career, mostly on television, died on Sunday at age 93, according to an OBITUARY IN THE NEW YORK TIMES.

The Times’ obit leads off with how he played the father on The Patty Duke Show. But Schallert played in many genres and naturally had experience on spy television of the 1960s.

His roles included Frank Harper, one of the substitute partners for James West (Robert Conrad) in the fourth season of The Wild Wild West when Ross Martin was recovering from a 1968 heart attack. Harper’s appearance took place during the show’s only two-part story, The Night of the Winged Terror. Harper, like Martin’s Artemus Gordon, was a master of disguise. Schallert had appeared earlier in the series in other parts.

Another spy-related role for the actor took place in Get Smart, which gets a mention in The Times’ obituary.

While the typical William Schallert character was focused and serious, he expressed particular affection for an atypical role: the wildly decrepit Admiral Hargrade, a recurring character on the spy spoof “Get Smart” (1967-70), who operated in a perpetual state of confusion. (“He reminded me of my grandmother when she got dotty,” Mr. Schallert said.)

Get Smart actually ran from 1965 to 1970. Schallert’s appearances on the show were from 1967 to 1970, according to the actor’s IMDB.com entry.

Other roles of note for Schallert included: a doctor in a 1967 Mission: Impossible episode; an oily lawyer defending a medical “quack” in a first-season, two-part episode of Hawaii Five-O (the same reason he played Frank Harper on The Wild Wild West); and a guest part in the Sam Rolfe-created 1970s series, The Delphi Bureau.

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Tonight, Dan Savage and Lily Tomlin have starkly contrasting views to Adele — who nonetheless is singing her darling heart out. Or, those first two are on shows we suggest you watch tonight — well Adele still sings her heart out (on an NBC special).


Grace & Frankie [Netflix]

The Netflix show featuring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda as uneasy longtime friends returns after a promising first season.

Real Time with Bill Maher [HBO, 10p]
Tonight’s guests on Bill Maher’s always provocative talk show include columnist Dan Savage and whatever Ann Coulter — there’s a good chance they’ll disagree on a few issues, but word is they both enjoyed the backstage flan. Well, I doubt there was flan in the spread, but there should have been, and if there were, they’d probably still disagree. I just want flan. Someone please bring me some flan!

Adele Live In New York City [NBC, 8p]
Adele says Hello from this late 2015 concert filmed at Radio City Music Hall. Get close with backstage footage, because tickets to Adele are as prevalent as they are to Hamilton.


Not much. Not even anything which warrants hunting down an image. It’s a murder that hits too close to home on the penultimate episode of the sixth (wow, huh?!) of Hawaii Five-O and a police shooting touches off anger in the community in the actual ultimate episode of Blue Bloods‘ sixth season.


Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

The life and times of the artist always to be known as Prince deservingly got the full network news mag treatment from both ABC and NBC last night. With the acclaimed musician and Oscar winner’s sudden passing on April 21, 20/20 (1.3/5) aired “Prince: Death of a Legend” at 10 PM and Dateline (0.9/3) had the Lester Holt hosted “Prince: Life & Death of an Icon” on Friday.

Coming off far stronger lead-ins that what the NBC news mag had, the multi-hosted ABC show took off like a little red corvette with a 30% surge over last week. That’s a 10-week high for 20/20 while Dateline actually dipped 10% among adults 18-49 from its April 15 show.

On the first night of Passover and an otherwise pretty steady primetime, the Disney-owned net was Number #1 in the demo with a 1.1/4 rating while CBS topped in viewership with 6.99 million – even with usual audience top dog Blue Bloods (0.9/3) in repeat.

ABC’s night started off with season finales for both Last Man Standing (1.0/4) and Dr. Ken (0.9/4). Both were down a tenth from last week, however, LMS saw just a 9% dip year-to-year to remain pretty steady with its Season 4 ender of April 17, 2015. As for the on the bubble Dr. Ken, it’s worth noting the first season of the comedy saw a 17% uptick for the net in the slot over last year to what was actually the best ABC has done in the Friday 8:30 PM period since 2012/2013. Shark Tank (1.2/4) abdicated its usual demo top spot to the 20/20 special on the Purple One with an 8% slip.

The Amazing Race (1.0/4), Hawaii Five-O (1.1.4) and Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen (0.9/3) were all even with their April 15 offerings. NBC’s Caught On Camera With Nick Cannon (0.7/3) and Grimm (0.9/3) were up 17% and 13% respectively. However, bit of caution there and a notice to expect adjustments as NBC was pre-empted in the big San Francisco market for MLB. There was also baseball preemptions in Chicago on the CW, which could also see The Vampire Diaries (0.5/2) adjusted in final numbers. As it is, TVD is currently up 25% over last week.

“Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life” – Prince

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

Randy Couture is a former UFC champion who is now trying his hand acting in movies and on television shows.

Randy joined Ed and Steve to talk about the UFC, Conor McGregor’s retirement, and his upcoming guest appearance on Hawaii Five-O.

Randy started out by talking about his appearance on Hawaii Five-O saying “I play a serial arsonist…there is a prison break and I escape.” As for whether it’s easier to be an athlete or an actor Randy said “they’re both challenging in their own way, as an athlete my whole life I’ve learned to box up my emotions…now they want me to let all that out while playing these characters, it’s a challenge but its been fun both are a grind.”

When asked if the UFC is in danger of over-saturating the market Randy said “I think the market is a little bit saturated, when I was competing there were 6 to 12 big fights a year, and now there is a big fight every month almost every week seemingly.” As for the Conor McGregor retirement/contract dispute Randy said “as a fighter you have a short window to make as much money as you can, and I think that is what he’s doing trying to squeeze as much money out of them as he can…goof for him, I hope it works out for him.”

Powered By WizardRSS.com | Full Text RSS Feed

JACK LORD - Latest Additions

JACK LORD Highlights

NEW Hawaii Five-0