Alex O’Loughlin — If ‘Five-O’ Doesn’t Work, What Will?’

After starring in two previous short-lived CBS dramas, star hopes latest go-around lasts a few seasons

Last Updated: August 5, 2011 @ 3:38 PM

A vampire for 16 episodes in “Moonlight,” a transplant surgeon in 13 installments of “Three Rivers,” Alex O’Loughlin is hoping his latest CBS drama gig, as the iconic Steve McGarrett in the reboot of “Hawaii Five-O,” lasts a little longer.

“I don’t want to take anything away from any of the shows I’ve done,” O’Loughlin told TV journalists on hand for a noontime “Five-O” panel at TCA Wednesday. “But there’s a reason why things work and don’t work in television … and if this one doesn’t go, I’m completely bewildered. I have no idea what works on television at all.”

Debuting Sept. 23, executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Peer Lenkov resist the notion that “Five-O” is a “remake” of Jack Lord's old Hawaii-set crime drama that ran on CBS for 12 seasons starting in 1968.

“For us, the word ‘remake’ means we’re doing exactly the same thing, and we’re not,” Kurtzman said. “I think we felt like we had to stay true to the nature of the show but bring something new the audience will recognize.”

Immediately recognizable will be the “Five-O” theme song, which is spot-on, note-to-note orchestral remake of the original iconic score.

In fact, CBS kicked off the panel with video from the score’s recent Burbank recording session.

The decision to recreate the original score came after a modernized, techno version of the “Five-O” theme music leaked on the internet, drawing rancor from purists.

“What that underscored to us is you can’t change the theme,” Kurtzman said. “This is one of those things we have to be utterly respectful of, to the point where we found the original musicians and brought them in. Why mess with something that’s perfect?”

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