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Over the decades, Hawaii’s good looks and exotic allure have made it a favorite television production location. Hawaii-filmed shows have been able to hook viewers with their compelling scenery despite storylines that sometimes seemed far-fetched.
Of course, even the most beautiful Hawaii backdrop can’t make a hit out of a ho-hum script. Flops that were shot in Hawaii include “The Byrds of Paradise,” “Last Resort,” “Off the Map,” “The MacKenzies of Paradise Cove” and “Wind on Water.”
But in other cases, island-based shows have gone on to earn legions of fans. Here’s a look at four of the more recent Hawaii-filmed television series to top the charts.
“Dog the Bounty Hunter”With his bronzed skin and blonde mullet, Duane “Dog” Chapman burst onto television screens during this popular A&E reality show that aired from 2004 to 2012. As Chapman tracked down and arrested bail jumpers, he urged them to clean up their acts and start new lives as good members of society. Scenes with Chapman’s family and friends were interspersed with the action, primarily taking place around Hawaii.
“Hawaii Five-0”The rebooted version of the 1970s hit just launched its seventh season with a screening on Waikiki Beach, with stars such as Alex O’Loughlin and Daniel Dae Kim in attendance. The successful CBS detective show does a great job of showcasing the islands’ unmatched beauty. It’s also worth watching a few episodes of the original series, with Jack Lord as Steve McGarrett, to see what Oahu looked like 40 years ago.
“Lost”During its 2004 to 2010 run, this television blockbuster presented plots that both bewildered and bewitched fans. Either way, viewers were drawn to its gorgeous Oahu settings, from beaches and forests to mountains and waterfalls. The story wasn’t supposed to take place in Hawaii, which underscores how well the destination met production needs. In one episode, crews even turned downtown Honolulu into Berlin, Germany.
“Magnum P.I.”Here’s the series that made Tom Selleck a star. From 1980 to 1988, his character Thomas Magnum drove around in a red Ferrari, wore tight jeans and aloha shirts, fought crime and dated pretty women. In the show, Magnum’s buddy T.C. ran helicopter tours. In real life, Paradise Helicopters now offers the Magnum Experience flightseeing tour in an exact replica of T.C.’s chopper.
The following local operators offer television- and movie-site tours in Hawaii.