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CBS is saying aloha to a new installment of the “Hawaii Five-O” franchise from “Criminal Minds” exec producer/showrunner Ed Bernero.
The new take on the popular crime drama, which aired on CBS from 1968-80, is one of three projects Bernero has in the works, along with “Washington Field,” which is being done in cooperation with the FBI, and a fugitive apprehension drama.
Bernero is such a big “Hawaii Five-O” fan that he has the iconic theme song from the show as his ringtone. He said he didn’t even hesitate when execs at CBS Par TV, where he has an overall deal, approached him with the idea for a new incarnation of the classic Leonard Freeman cop series.
Bernero is writing the project, which he describes as ” ‘Hawaii Five-O’ 2.0.”
Like the original series, it is a procedural chronicling the workings of the fictional Hawaiian state police department. In the original, the unit was headed by Steve McGarrett, played by Jack Lord. In the new series, McGarrett’s son Chris will be the top cop.
While the characters, storytelling and pacing will be updated, “we will try to keep as much of the original show as possible,” Bernero said. “I’m not trying to reinvent it.”
The famous opening music will be back but may also get a face-lift, much in the vein of the theme from the 1966-73 series “Mission: Impossible,” which was rearranged for the 1990s movie franchise.
As for the staple “Book ’em, Danno” closing line, there will be a version of it in the new installment, Bernero said.
“Five-O,” which would be filmed in Hawaii, is the second classic cop series that CBS is looking to bring back. The network also is developing an updated “Streets of San Francisco,” penned by Sheldon Turner.
“Washington Field,” also set up at CBS, is named after FBI’s Washington Field Office that houses the National Capital Response Squad, an unit comprising elite experts in different areas who travel around the world, responding to events that concern the U.S. national interest.
“If the police need help, they call them,” said Bernero, who is penning the project with brothers Jim and Tim Clemente. “It’s almost like ‘The A-Team,’ but it’s real.”
Jim Clemente, an FBI profiler, has written an episode of “Criminal Minds.” Tim Clemente is a former terrorism expert on NCRS.
FBI is opening its doors to “Washington Field.” For example, the show would be able to film in the agencies’ facilities and use the “from the files of the FBI” logo.
The third project UTA-repped Bernero has in the works at CBS Par TV centers on the FBI’s fugitive apprehension unit.
“The main character is a woman who is the daughter of a fugitive, so she has an unique eye to how they run and hide,” Bernero said.
The idea was pitched to him by novelist Joseph Finder and his brother Henry, New Yorker editorial director. The two will pen the script with Bernero supervising. (partialdiff)
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