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Remember when TV shows had theme songs? You know, real, recognizable, hummable, identifiable theme songs?

These days, we're lucky to get a credit sequence at all, let alone an original standalone theme.

Well, for the upcoming "re-imagining" of Hawaii Five-0, CBS is targeting the classic theme song as a lynch pin in its overall marketing strategy. Yes, the Morton Stevens tune is being treated like a product -- and CBS plans to blanket the world with it.

It's an interesting strategy - hoping young viewers who've probably never even heard of Jack Lord will tune into this CSI-like show simply because of the cool theme. If it works, could we see a renaissance of actual theme songs on TV?

Probably not. But a boy can dream, can't he?

Now, in advance of the tune appearing on cellphones and commercials everywhere, let's reacquaint ourselves with this classic.

First up, the full-length tune as it appeared in the opening pilot episode and subsequent soundtrack album.

While the longer version of the tune is great to hear, the more recognizable edited-down version contains the enduringly iconic image of the camera bearing down on the hotel to reveal Jack Lord in all his coiffed glory.

The Ventures scored a hit with their version of the theme.

Brian Setzer Orchestra anyone?

Here's a version from a failed 1998 pilot for a remake starring Gary Busey.

Not too long ago, a preview of the new reboot made the rounds, featuring a not-well-received electronic version of the theme.

But wiser heads prevailed, and we were given this.

Bonus: here's the old CBS Special Presentation logo. The music was edited down from the track Call to Danger from the soundtrack LP.

And speaking of the soundtrack LP, if you haven't seen this thread on the forums, you might want to take a look.

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Comments (10):Log in or register to post your own comments
The original certainly is one of the coolest and most iconic TV show openings and music combinations ever. Glad to see they've tried to recreate it. The original soundtrack LP was one of the very first TV/Movie records I ever bought and has since long been lost so I was glad to hear that FSM will be re-releasing it in the future.

I'll give the series a shot, although Jack Lord himself was so iconic in the original role that us "old-timers" might have a difficult time of shaking his specter. I do like Alex O'Loughlin though because of his work as Mick St. John in MOONLIGHT. Do you suppose the perennially sunny days of Hawaii will inhibit him in carrying out his work? Oops, sorry, I forgot he won't be a vampire anymore!

The original certainly is one of the coolest and most iconic TV show openings and music combinations ever. Glad to see they've tried to recreate it. The original soundtrack LP was one of the very first TV/Movie records I ever bought and has since long been lost so I was glad to hear that FSM will be re-releasing it in the future.

I'll give the series a shot, although Jack Lord himself was so iconic in the original role that us "old-timers" might have a difficult time of shaking his specter. I do like Alex O'Loughlin though because of his work as Mick St. John in MOONLIGHT. Do you suppose the perennially sunny days of Hawaii will inhibit him in carrying out his work? Oops, sorry, I forgot he won't be a vampire anymore!


I don't know this Alex guy at all. But, um, I'm familiar with Grace Park (hubba hubba).


I don't know this Alex guy at all. But, um, I'm familiar with Grace Park (hubba hubba).


Oh yeah, Ms. Park is surely something else! She'll be joined by Daniel Dae Kim from LOST playing Chin Ho.

The show MOONLIGHT was a pretty cool single season show from 2007. O'Loughlin played a vampire that was a private eye in LA where a small community of vampires lived sprinkled in with the masses. The show primarily was a love story between him and a reporter played by the always lovely Sophia Myles. It was sort of a cross between the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and FOREVER NIGHT TV series. He also starred in the super short lived series last year THREE RIVERS, as a doctor in a transplant center of a hospital. Not the best track record for sure.

...but I surely digress from the topic!


I don't know this Alex guy at all. But, um, I'm familiar with Grace Park (hubba hubba).


Oh yeah, Ms. Park is surely something else! She'll be joined by Daniel Dae Kim from LOST playing Chin Ho.

The show MOONLIGHT was a pretty cool single season show from 2007. O'Loughlin played a vampire that was a private eye in LA where a small community of vampires lived sprinkled in with the masses. The show primarily was a love story between him and a reporter played by the always lovely Sophia Myles. It was sort of a cross between the EAUTY AND THE BEAST and FOREVER NIGHT TV series. He also starred in the super short lived series last year THREE RIVERS, as a doctor in a transplant center of a hospital. Not the best track record for sure.

...but I surely digress from the topic!


Wait. Was Sophia Myles the Girl in the Fireplace on Doctor Who. She was just wonderful... *sigh*



Wait. Was Sophia Myles the Girl in the Fireplace on Doctor Who. She was just wonderful... *sigh*


Yes she was...and the sexy, conniving vampire in Underworld...and Isolde in Tristan and Isolde...and Lady Penelope in the Thunderbirds movie (the only reason I watched it)...and on and on. She is a beautiful, poised, lovely young woman.



You might want to rent the first disc of the Moonlight series on DVD to check it out. It's definitely a good show to share with a wife or romantic partner. My wife adored it which was cool.


The show MOONLIGHT was a pretty cool single season show from 2007. O'Loughlin played a vampire that was a private eye in LA where a small community of vampires lived sprinkled in with the masses. The show primarily was a love story between him and a reporter played by the always lovely Sophia Myles. It was sort of a cross between the EAUTY AND THE BEAST and FOREVER NIGHT TV series. He also starred in the super short lived series last year THREE RIVERS, as a doctor in a transplant center of a hospital. Not the best track record for sure.


Someone at CBS must really like him (see also The Back-up Plan).

"CBS brass certainly hope that the third time will be the charm for O’Loughlin the way it was for another network favorite, Simon Baker, who starred in CBS’ short-lived drama series “The Guardian”* and “Smith” before headlining hit “The Mentalist.”"

*Short-lived compared to something like Law & Order or Last of the Summer Wine, yes. But compared to the vast majority of series, four seasons isn't bad going at all.


I don't know this Alex guy at all. But, um, I'm familiar with Grace Park (hubba hubba).


Oh yeah, Ms. Park is surely something else! She'll be joined by Daniel Dae Kim from LOST playing Chin Ho.


Grace plays Kono, so that's at least one area where this show definitely improves on the original (and not just for obvious reasons - to put it kindly, acting was not Zulu's strongest point).

Wow, the new version sounds about 100 times better than the version that hit the web in May. Kudos to wiser heads prevailing for once...

Anyone who digs Alex O'Loughlin should check out his turn in 2007's The Invisible. That's the only O'Loughlin role I've seen and he did an excellent job.

On a side note -- is this the correct thread to say this? -- best TV show theme ever:

ER (James Newton Howard)

I just started watching season 13 of that show, and for some reason they decided 13 seasons in (and 3 seasons away from ending) to ditch the opening credits sequence scored to JNH's theme. 13 seasons in, they removed the opening credits, which I always thought were an essential ingredient to the enduring power of the show. Now it's a quick 5 second electronic percussion passage from series composer Martin Davich. I love Davich's work on the show, but to remove the opening credits sequence and JNH's theme was an unforgivable crime against the show. Luckily the show itself remains as gripping, riveting, and moving as ever.

Well the new version sounds great, it is good CBS listened , and went back to basics. And damn it was good to see Brian Tyler there.

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