The CBS television network produced and transmitted the program from September 26 (September 20 for the pilot episode "Cocoon"), 1968 to April 5, 1980. Currently, the program is aired in syndication throughout the world. Created by Leonard Freeman, Hawaii Five-O was shot on location in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, and throughout the island of Oʻahu - with occasional filming in other locales like Los Angeles, Singapore and Hong Kong as well as other Hawaiian islands.
Hawaii Five-O centers on a fictional state police force of the same name - in honor of Hawaiʻi's status as the 50th State - led by former Navy officer Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord), who was appointed by the Governor Paul Jameson (Richard Denning). Originally, McGarrett was assisted regularly by State Police officers - a young officer, Danny Williams (James MacArthur), Chin Ho Kelly (Kam Fong) and Kono Kalakaua (Zulu). Later, Honolulu Police Department Officer Duke Lukela (Herman Wedemeyer) joined the team as a regular as did Ben Kokua (Al Harrington). Occasionally, they were assisted by other officers on an "as-needed" basis. During the course of the show, the team was also assisted regularly by: the medical examiner Doc Bergman (Al Eben), the forensic specialist Che Fong (Harry Endo) and a secretary. The first secretary was May (Maggi Parker), then Jenny (Peggy Ryan) and later Luana (Laura Sode-Matteson). (At the time Hawaii was the only state without an actual statewide police agency. The Hawaii State Sheriff's Department now serves as the de facto state police.)