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Undercover Agent Zoe reports back on her Hawaii Five-0 Fanbook mission!

October 17th, 2014 by

Behind the Scenes
Undercover Agent Zoe
18th September 2014

When my husband bid on and won the CharityBuzz auction in April, I had no idea what to expect when it came to visiting the set of Hawaii Five-0. I had been arranging the visit with Jess from the Production Office, and the day we arrived in Hawaii, she confirmed that we would be visiting the Diamond Head Studios on Thursday afternoon.

We had been told beforehand that there were no guarantees that we would be able to meet the cast, it would depend on the filming schedule for the day. As part of the auction I had already received some H50 signed goodies and I was just excited to be able to visit the studio itself!

On Thursday afternoon, myself, my husband and our 3 year old daughter rode a taxi from the Hilton Hawaiian Village over to the Diamond Head Studios. Jess met us at the gates of the studios and gave us a tour of the production offices and allowed for us to help ourselves to drinks and snacks from the kitchen. She also gave us a copy of the call sheet for the day so that we could follow along with filming. She informed us that usually they wouldn’t allow children on set during filming and that one of us may have to take our daughter off set once filming began. My husband immediately volunteered as this visit had been arranged as part of my birthday present; I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit disappointed that we wouldn’t all be able to enjoy the full experience. Jess was amazing though, she arranged for all of us to be able to stay on set as long as our daughter was quiet.  Those of you who have kids will know how hard it is to get a three year old to do anything you want them to!

Jess explained that the cast and crew were running late as they were filming exterior scenes downtown at I’olani Palace, and had been delayed due to the rain showers we had earlier in the day. This meant that we were able to take a tour of the sound stages before the crew arrived to set up for the scene. First, Jess took us past the rendition room ‘blue box’.   Next, she took us onto the main sound stage which was the interior for the Five-0 Headquarters.

The set itself is amazing- each individual office is one self-contained set.  Kono’s office has both her bike and surfboard in it! Whilst we were exploring the set we got to meet the lovely Marc and Una (McGarrett and Kono’s stand ins) who had arrived to begin set up for the scene. Both were really lovely and engaging to chat with! Marc let us in on a little fact- the Magic Table is actually just a flat screen TV set into a table (hubby was gutted at this fact!) .

We left the HQ sound stage just as the production trucks were beginning to roll in from the last shoot.  We walked past the cast trailers to walk up to the original Five-0 sound stage. Jess explained that they used this stage for the interior shots of the McGarrett house, the crime lab, Max’s office and the mortuary. The mortuary wall only has one working gurney/freezer drawer so whenever they have to pull a body out it will always be in the same one!

Jess explained that a typical episode will take 7 days to prep and 8 days to shoot. Because they have 25 episodes this season but no extra working time, they have to prep the following episode whilst they are shooting the previous one. We also chatted about how the premiere went at Sunset on the Beach.  She explained that when they had seen the premiere they realized they still had some more editing to do before it aired on the network.

Photo:  CBS

Photo: CBS

We went back down to the main sound stage, where we could sit and watch the crew setting up. The scene they were filming would involve Alex O’Loughlin, Grace Park and Chi McBride discussing evidence around the Magic Table. The crew started to bring in all of the cameras and rigs for the scene set up – they were actually taking down walls inside the set to get everything in – everything is movable. Jess came back in and explained that she had been told by Alex’s assistant that he was ill today so it was unlikely that we would be able to meet him. We got talking to Max who is responsible for character props – he let us play with THE Five-0 badge! The actual Five-0 badges are really heavy shields.  Max explained that they were exact replicas of real badges which is why they weighed so much. Our daughter was quite taken with the badge and Max and she happily chatted away with him about ‘making a show’. Something somewhere had clicked for her, so much so that Max asked her to be his assistant! He had Captain Grover’s watch, and explained that when Chi came on set, she would need to give him the watch and his Five-0 badge. When Chi came on set he was brilliant with her, pretending to play swapsies with her over the watches.  Chi was gracious with his time before rehearsals began, allowing photos with all three of us, before taking some time to chat with us about our trip. I cannot speak highly enough of Max and Chi, they were absolutely amazing with our daughter; she thought it was the most amazing thing in the world!

We were allowed to remain on set whilst watching the read through with the cast before being introduced to the episode director, Jerry Levine and taking our seats with him in the Video Gallery. We were given directors chairs behind the monitors and headsets to listen to what was happening on set, even our daughter got her own chair and headset. They ran through a couple of rehearsal takes before catering arrived with pizza and snacks, this made our daughter’s day as she happily sat in her chair, silent as a mouse, munching on her cheese pizza! Whilst she was enjoying her pizza we were thrilled to get the opportunity to chat with Alex himself. Despite being unwell (he did sound full up of cold!) he came over to speak to us and apologized for not shaking hands or giving hugs as he had the ‘lergy’ (his own words!).

Alex chatted with my husband first, picking up first on his accent and asking whereabouts in the UK we had traveled from. My husband told him that the three of us had traveled from London to be able to take part in the set visit for my birthday.  Alex turned to me and said, ‘your face is familiar…’ I will tell you quite unashamedly that controlling my grin at this point was completely beyond my control and I didn’t care that I must have looked like a Cheshire cat! I had obviously forgotten how to speak as my husband told him that we had met before. Once I had managed to form words into sentences I explained that we had traveled over last year so I could attend the self-defense seminar, the penny seemed to drop at that point for Alex, as we explained that I had darker hair at the time. He asked me whether he knew at the time that I had traveled from London, he even apologized for not realizing sooner as his schedule has been so busy since then.  Seriously, does this man even realize how many people he must meet in one week let alone nine months ago?!  Whether he remembered or not, the fact that he said it just goes to show what a genuinely nice guy he really is.  He even took the time to chat with our little girl, who pretty much just stared at him wide eyed with a piece of pizza hanging out of her mouth, pretty much how mummy would’ve looked if I could have gotten away with it! Before they called time on the break, Alex made sure we were being looked after before heading back onto set. Whilst I can’t reveal anything about the episode they were filming out of respect for the production team, ladies, I can tell you that the McG blue shirt is back.

They did several takes of the scene before breaking again to reset to shoot the scene from a different angle which would be their last take of the day. Unfortunately, this signaled the end of our visit. Initially we had only been scheduled to be there for an hour but by the time we left it had been closer to three. Everyone had been incredibly gracious with their time and allowing us to stay on set. Before we left the set for the day, we were introduced to Grace Park. She is an incredibly lovely lady to speak to; she was shocked when she learned how far we had traveled. She asked if we had enjoyed our visit and wished us a good rest of vacation. Time with Grace was short as she was heading back onto set, so no photos but I am thrilled to have been able to meet her.

So, many of you would like to know what happened with the Fanbook. Because of the nature of the visit being during filming, it wasn’t appropriate to give it to the cast directly. Also, I couldn’t give it to Peter either as he had already returned to the mainland the previous day. So the book is in Jess’ capable hands – she is the assistant to Jeff Downer, Bryan Spicer & Peter Lenkov – with the promise that it will be passed on.

We had an amazing time on set, everyone in the cast and crew made us feel so incredibly welcome. Not that anyone would ever doubt it, but they really have put together an amazing team. CBS should be very proud of everyone involved in this series.


See clips from the Fanbook!

Download the Fanbook!   Part 1 , Part 2.

Update 8-11-12: Be a part of Hawaii Five-0 fan history!

August 5th, 2014 by
Week 1 Updates:

Thank you to everyone who has already taken the time to submit something to the fanbook. I have now responded to everyone whose email I have received. If you haven’t had a response then it means I haven’t received the email so please let us know if you think I have missed you!

We still need everyone’s input to make this a rounded experience for all of the cast and crew. I would also really like to hear from local fans in Hawaii as well – especially if you have been part of any of the events that the 5-0 team have done (such as the fan breakfast, charity events etc) please please get in touch!

If there are any artists out there that have done drawings of the cast I would really like to be able to include these in the book – with permission, of course.
Fansites – I would like to include pages for you as well, as you are the fans sources of information – please get in touch with anything you would like to include.

There are 2 weeks until the deadline! Monday 25th August.

Questions? Queries? Requests? Please email me at H50fanbook@gmx.com


Friend of the blog, Undercover Agent Zoe approached us a few weeks ago with a brilliant idea.  She told us she’d be on the set of Hawaii Five-0 to watch filming in September, and mentioned that she wished she could share the experience with everyone.  She came up with an idea that allows fans to leave a thankful and lasting impression on the cast and crew of our favorite show.  I’ll let Zoe explain it all in her own words!

Please note, Zoe is handling ALL communications, not 50undercover.com.  For all questions and submissions, contact her at the email address below.

Now, have fun!!

Hawaii Five-0, People's Choice Awards
Calling all H50 fans!

Many of you know that earlier in the year that CharityBuzz was auctioning off Hawaii Five-0 set visits to a few lucky winners. My wonderful husband bid and won one of these, so we are heading back to Hawaii to pop on to set! I feel incredibly fortunate, as I know so many fans would simply love the same opportunity.  This got me to thinking of how to share the experience with fans worldwide.

I thought it might be a nice opportunity for us fans to give something back to the cast and crew, so I thought of creating a Worldwide Fanbook that I can give to the cast and crew when the visit occurs. The premise behind the book is the celebration of 100 completed episodes. This should be a positive experience, and a show of appreciation. Focus on what you DO like about the show and showing your appreciation for that.   I will have the final edit on what is included in the printed book. I want to make this clear from the outset that anything inappropriate will not be included.  This is not the avenue to declare your dislike of a character, nor is it a suggestion box for your take on where the storyline should go (to cite a few examples).


So what I am looking for from you…



Twitter/Email Contact Info:

What can you include (not limited to):

  • Personal accounts of cast/crew meetings
  • Stories from SOTB / Fan Meet Ups / Fan Breakfast etc.
  • How cast/crew have inspired you
  • Personal message of THANKS J
  • Photographs
    • Personal pics with cast/crew
    • BTS Photos
    • Favourite Scenes (and why they are so!)
    • Collages
    • Memes/Quotes
    • Drawings
    • SOTB photos
    • 5-0 shrines (you get the idea…)

Email your entries/questions to H50FanBook@gmx.com no later than Monday 25th August.

I really do need everyone’s help to make this possible so please share this around and let’s create something special. Thank you!

-Undercover Agent Zoe

Grace Park nerds out over Battlestar Galactica and Comic Con for THR Preview issue

July 26th, 2014 by

Hawaii Five-0 star (and possibly closet nerd) Grace Park hams it up with former Battlestar Galactica alum Katee Sackhoff for a special The Hollywood Reporter preview issue.  But it’s no ordinary issue- they’re decked out in full Star Wars rebellion regalia in this awesome sci-fi mashup.  Are they being recognized for blowing up the Death Star or a Cylon Base Star?  We don’t know exactly, but this candid behind the scenes interview shows us a little more insight from a sci-fi actor’s point of view of the world of convention lurking.

Grace park and Katee Sackhoff credit THR

Grace park and Katee Sackhoff credit THR

Hawaii Five-0 Season 5 Blessing video and recap

July 8th, 2014 by
Alex O'Loughliin Hawaii News Now

Alex O’Loughlin Photo credit Hawaii News Now

In what has become an annual tradition, a Hawaiian blessing was performed by Kahu Kauila Kawelo Barber, Hawaii Five-0’s Hawaiian Language and Protocol Advisor, to kick off Season 5 . Getting a show to a fifth season is difficult so perhaps the blessing is working. Present were Alex O’Loughlin, Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park, Dennis Chun, Jorge Garcia, and Peter Lenkov, as well as extras and crew.

Grace Park had this to say about the blessing, “There’s a beauty to the commencement of something and to come together and to recognize not only that point, but to have a vision of the entire time. You don’t know what it will look like, but you feel there is a hope and some reflection.”

Grace Park with Tannya Joaquin. Photo:  Hawaii News Now

Grace Park with Tannya Joaquin. Photo: Hawaii News Now

Fans immediately noticed the substantial facial hair that adorned Alex O’Loughlin’s face at the ceremony. He said that many people have been offering their opinions on it – not all of them positive. Shortly after the blessing, O’Loughlin was seen sporting a mustache as he began his transformation into Steve McGarrett.

Alex discussing his beard with Tannya - Hawaii News Now

Alex discussing his beard with Tannya.
Photo: Hawaii News Now

Many hints were dropped about Season 5 including an extended 25 episode season!

Other spoilers include:

  • The island of Oahu will be  turning into a ghost town with the disappearance of a million people in the season premiere
  • The return of Carol Burnett, Larry Manetti and Frankie Valli in episode 8
  • A possible appearance of golfer Michelle Wie
  • A new female cast member joining the medical examiner’s office as an assist to the quirky Max Bergman
  • Jorge Garcia and Daniel Dae Kim ,  Photo:  Hawaii News Now

    Jorge Garcia and Daniel Dae Kim , Photo: Hawaii News Now


    Hawaii Five-0 returns to CBS on Sept. 26, 2014.

H50 Summer Scanner – June 25, 2014

June 25th, 2014 by

Mark your calendars!

On June 24th, CBS announced the Fall schedule with Friday, September 26th, being the date for Hawaii Five-0’s fifth season to debut.  The show is maintaining it’s Season 4 timeslot, 9pm/8c.  The DVD set for last season goes on sale on September 16th.

Season 5 premiere date.

Season 5 premiere date.

But until then, it’s almost time for the filming of Season 5 to begin; July 8th to be exact. If we’re lucky, the show and local media will share the opening Hawaiian blessing ceremony with us via live video stream as they have in the past two years.  And let’s hope for some good on-set photos this season, as cast and crew don’t seem to be sharing as many as they did in the first few years.  Come on, CBS, give the fans some Season 5 love!

Recently Daniel Dae Kim was spotted in Atlanta where Insurgent (of the Divergent movie series) is filming. Daniel took advantage of his southern location to skip over to North Carolina and cheer on Hawaii native Michelle Wie, who went on to win the U.S. Women’s Open.  Obviously enjoying the filming experience, Kim tweeted, “That was a good day. Really impressed by the talent and kindness of the people on this project. #Insurgent”

Daniel tweeted this photo of himself with U.S. Open champion Michelle Wie.

Daniel tweeted this photo of himself with U.S. Open champion Michelle Wie.

On Monday, June 23rd, students and staff at Hongwanji Mission School (the first Buddhist School established outside of Japan) were fortunate to host the Five-0 main-man himself, Alex O’Loughlin.  O’Loughlin, a guest of the school’s Ohana Arts Program spoke about “about acting as a profession and his experiences.

Photo: @ohanasummerarts on Instagram

Photo: @ohanasummerarts on Instagram

He answered questions from the students and offered some sage advice regarding being true to oneself and treating others as you want to be treated,” according to a school representative.  Apparently Scott Caan also phoned in to speak to the students as well.

From @hmsdolphinsnow on Intagram

At Hongwanji Mission School – Photo: @hmsdolphinsnow on Intagram



Hawaii Five-0 Season 4 DVD release date

June 23rd, 2014 by

Although you’ve been able to pre-order the Hawaii 5-0 Season 4 DVD on Amazon for awhile, we now have the release date for you!  Mark your calendars for September 16th and f you’d like to support this blog, you can order using one of our links here or by clicking the Amazon link on the right side of the blog.


TVshowsonDVD.com has a few more details for you, but we’re hoping the Blu-ray is released on the same day.



Many viewers thought that the fourth season of the CBS show was better than the previous two, so you’ll want to add this one to your collection.  In addition to behind the scenes features, the gag reel featuring a very funny Alex O’Loughlin, Grace Park, Scott Caan, and Daniel Dae Kim, is always one of the high points of the set, and new cast member Chi McBride should add a few laughs.

Alex O’Loughlin’s guilty pleasure returns to the air

May 27th, 2014 by

You can help help save one of Hawaii Five-0 star Alex O’Loughlin’s favorite pleasures this summer.  I’ll bet you didn’t realize you had that much power.

Alex O answers fan's questions

As a long-time fan of FOX’s dance competition show, “So You Think You Can Dance,” I have to admit that I got a bit of a thrill upon hearing that the Aussie actor not only loves the show, but gets cranky if he misses an episode.

When CBS released a video of the man behind Steve McGarrett answering fan’s questions, one of the inquiries was, “What is your guilty pleasure?”  I think most of us were surprised at Alex’s response.

So You Think You Can Dance.  I love it so much.  I dream about it.  Listen, I don’t care.  I don’t care if the world knows.  This is the thing – I DVR it.  If I don’t get to watch it within 72 hours of the DVRing, I get extremely grumpy.  I get short with the kids, I get short with the people at work.  I have to watch it.  I get very emotional when it’s on.  When people get cut, or sometimes they get a little, they get a little upset…I have been known to get a little misty.”

Alex, I know exactly what you mean, because I have shed more than a few tears while watching the inspiring performances, gorgeous choreography, and heartbroken fellow contestants as their friends are sent home.  One of the aspects that sets this competition apart from others on television, is that most of those who make it into the top 20 have devoted their lives to studying their passion, they haven’t just moonwalked in their bedroom and thought they were ready for prime time.  Not all of the contestants have studied their art formally, some have learned their style on the streets. so there are opportunities for all.  SYTYCD celebrates all genres of the art and I love watching as these performers learn styles that push them outside their comfort zone.

Now, you may ask why I said you can help save this show.  Television is a cut-throat business and in recent years FOX has already dropped the separate elimination episode and SYTYCD has had to incorporate results into the competition episodes.  It’s resulted in an awkward format, but executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has done the best he could with the time he’s been allotted.  Like most shows on TV today, this one is on the edge, and last month Mr. Lythgoe tweeted his pleas to fans to watch the show, and to implore their friends to do so.


From SYTYCD EP Nigel Lythgoe

From SYTYCD EP Nigel Lythgoe

Alumni of the show have gone on to Broadway (Newsies, Wicked) movies (the Step Up series) and Hawaii native Mark Kanemura from the fourth season, became one of Lady Gaga’s primary dancers.

I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want a cranky Alex O’Loughlin taking his bad mood out on his kids and co-workers, so it you want to keep the man in a good mood, here’s your chance!  We were fortunate enough to get a Season 11, but let’s see if we can get the gorgeous Aussie (and ourselves) a Season 12.  You can see the entire interview below, or you can skip to the 7:54 mark to hear him talk about So You Think You Can Dance.  But why wouldn’t you want to deprive yourself of more of that Australian accent?

If you’d like to check out the show, tune into to your local FOX station Wednesday, May 28th at 8/7c.

Hawaii Five-0’s “go-to” reporter

April 14th, 2014 by

If you’ve watched the new inception of Hawaii Five-0 from the start, during a scene near the end of Friday’s episode you may have found yourself thinking, “That reporter sure looks familiar.”  And you would be correct.  Local freelance reporter, writer, and public relations director, Diane Ako, has made a hobby of cameos on the Oahu-based show, with at least three appearances that I’m aware of.

Diane Ako in  “Ku I Ka Pili Koko.”

Diane Ako in “Ku I Ka Pili Koko.”

After Diane’s first experience in the show’s maiden season, she wrote a short blog post about the day in which she claimed that the show’s star, Alex O’Loughlin (Steve McGarrett) was “every bit as hunky as all the gossip columns say.”  Of course, fans of the show will have no problem believing that.

Diane’s initial appearance was with Alex and Scott Caan, and she had nothing but compliments for both actors.  You can check out the original blog from 2010 here, to read Ms. Ako memories about her first day on the set in Season 1.

Up Next on Hawaii Five-0 “Ho’i Hou”

April 3rd, 2014 by
Every girl's crazy about a sharp dressed man

Every girl’s crazy about a sharp dressed man (photo courtesy of CBS)

Hawaii Five-0 fans are known for having strong opinions on the direction they want their favourite show to go, often sharing those views on social media. In a ground breaking move, fans have spent most of this season crafting their very own episode by voting on various elements of the show. Check out our recap here.

How do you feel about this kind of interactive television? If CBS does something like this next year, what would you like to see them do?

Watch below as the cast talk about the making of this fan built episode.


Beach bums may recognize guest star Krista Allen from her role as Jenna Avid on Baywatch. Watch for her at Chin’s high school reunion – former flame, perhaps? Sorry folks, doesn’t look like she will be re-enacting running down the beach in slow motion while wearing a skimpy red Baywatch bathing suit.

Another Lost actor is back on the island. Mackenzie Astin appeared in only one episode as a pivotal character from Kate’s past. Seems like once an actor works in Hawaii, the island isn’t done with them!

From CBS


“Hawaii Five-0” Viewers Chose From a Menu of Key Story and Production Elements for This Special Episode

Jorge Garcia Returns and Rob Corddry Guest Stars as the Fan-Voted Struggling Illusionist

“Ho’i Hou” – Five-0 investigates when the daughter of a macadamia nut tycoon is murdered with a stiletto heel during Chin’s high school reunion, on HAWAII FIVE-0, Friday, April 4 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.  Jorge Garcia returns and Rob Corddry guest stars as the fan-voted struggling illusionist.

HAWAII FIVE-0 viewers spent this season voting on key story and production elements for this special episode, including wardrobe, music and even the episode’s title.

(“Ho’i Hou” is Hawaiian for “Reunited”)


Alex O’Loughlin     (Steve McGarrett)

Scott Caan     (Danny “Danno” Williams)

Daniel Dae Kim     (Chin Ho Kelly)

Grace Park     (Kono Kalakaua)

Masi Oka     (Dr. Max Bergman)

Michelle Borth     (Catherine Rollins)

Chi McBride     (Captain Lou Grover)



Taylor Wily     (Kamekona)

Jorge Garcia     (Jerry Ortega)

Dennis Chun     (Sgt. Duke Lukela)



Cecilia Brown     (Amanda Santiago)

Rob Corddry     (Tony Gibson)

Peter Shinkoda     (Alan Kim)

Krista Allen     (Nani Kahanu)

Mackenzie Astin     (Bradley Richmond)

Samantha Sloyan     (Sarah Richmond)

James Brennan     (CIA Agent Sam Connors)

Mary Anne McGarry     (Nina Johnson)

Bulldog     (AV Club Buddy)

Benjamin C. Lloyd     (HPD Uniformed Cop)


WRITTEN BY:     Christina M. Kim

DIRECTED BY:     Sylvain White

A Peek Behind the Scenes with Peter Lenkov

January 23rd, 2014 by

Last week, TV critics were treated to a behind the scenes tour of the Five-0 writers’ room by executive producer, Peter Lenkov. There they learned the process of building each episode which includes 8 days of preproduction prep, 8 days of filming followed by several days of post production. Over 200 people from Hawaii and Los Angeles are involved in the process.

“Shooting a show in Hawaii, you need a lot more lead time,” he says. “The resources aren’t the same as you would have here in Los Angeles, so some stuff has to be shipped over.” (from Courier-Islander)


Peter Lenkov giving a tour at the  Television Critics Association Studio Day

On this day, Australia-born actor Alex O’Loughlin — who plays Hawaiian special forces Lt.-Cmdr. Steve McGarrett — crashes the Skype call to wave and banter long distance with critics. Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim and Canadian-American actress Grace Park also star on the series.

For more on the behind the scenes tour check out Courier-Islander