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Hawaiian Eye is an American detective television series that ran from October 1959 to April 1963 on the ABC television network.

Hawaiian Eye
Hawaiian Eye.JPG
Created byRoy Huggins
StarringAnthony Eisley
Robert Conrad
Connie Stevens
Poncie Ponce
Grant Williams
Troy Donahue
Theme music composerJerry Livingston
Mack David
Opening theme"The Hawaiian Eye Theme" performed by Warren Barker
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes134 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)William T. Orr
Producer(s)Stanley Niss
Charles Hoffman
Ed Jurist
Oren W. Haglund (Production manager)
Production location(s)Oahu, Hawaii
California
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Warner Bros. Television
DistributorWarner Bros. Television Division
Release
Original networkABC
Original releaseOctober 7, 1959 – April 2, 1963
Chronology
Related shows77 Sunset Strip
Bourbon Street Beat
Surfside 6

Contents

PremiseEdit

Private investigator Tracy Steele (Anthony Eisley) and his half-Hawaiian partner, Tom Lopaka (Robert Conrad), own Hawaiian Eye, a combination detective agency and private security firm, located in Honolulu, Hawaii. Their principal client is the Hawaiian Village Hotel, which in exchange for security services, provides the agency with a luxurious private compound on the hotel grounds. The partners investigate mysteries and protect clients with the sometime help of photographer Cricket Blake (Connie Stevens), who also sings at the hotel's Shell Bar, and a ukulele-playing cab driver Kim Quisado (Poncie Ponce), who has "relatives" throughout the islands. Engineer turned detective Greg McKenzie (Grant Williams), joins the agency later on as a full partner, while hotel social director Philip Barton (Troy Donahue) lends a hand after Tracy Steele departs.

Background and runEdit

Hawaiian Eye was one of several ABC/Warner Bros. Television detective series of the era situated in different exotic locales. Others included Hollywood-based 77 Sunset Strip; Bourbon Street Beat, set in New Orleans; and Miami's Surfside 6. In reality, all were shot on the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles, making it easy for characters—and sometimes whole scripts—to cross over. Although the shows are not spin-offs in the traditional sense, Sunset was the first in this chain of "exotic location detective series". In this regard, Hawaiian Eye was the most viable of the Sunset look-alikes, lasting four seasons.[1] The show's debut coincided with several real-world developments that helped contribute to its longevity. These were the granting of statehood to Hawaii, the advent of mass tourism to the new state brought about by the introduction of jetliners for commercial passenger flights, and the promotional efforts of Henry J. Kaiser, whose real-estate projects in Honolulu included building the hotel complex originally known as Kaiser's Hawaiian Village (later the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel).

The program did well in the ratings on Wednesday evenings against NBC and Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall. In its last season, it was placed on the Tuesday schedule opposite CBS's The Red Skelton Show and a new NBC Western drama Empire set on a modern New Mexico ranch. Skelton survived the competition, and Empire was cut to a half-hour program called Redigo the following season, and was soon cancelled. The third-season episodes were preceded in the 8:30 pm (Eastern) time slot by the popular Hanna-Barbera cartoon series, Top Cat.

CastEdit

The series regulars, who were shown during the opening credits, are listed below in the order in which they debuted during the show's four-year run.

Character Actor Role Seasons
Thomas Jefferson "Tom" Lopaka Robert Conrad Private Investigator 1959–1963
Tracy Steele Anthony Eisley Private investigator 1959–1962
Chryseis "Cricket" Blake Connie Stevens Photographer and singer 1959–1963
Kazuo "Kim" Quisado Poncie Ponce Cab driver 1959–1963
Greg McKenzie Grant Williams Private investigator 1960–1963
Philip Barton Troy Donahue Hotel social director 1962–1963

Recurring charactersEdit

  • Lt. Danny Quon, played by Mel Prestidge, was the Hawaiian Eye's main contact with the Honolulu Police Department.
  • Moke, played by Doug Mossman, was the chief uniformed security officer for Hawaiian Eye. He went by several variant names in the first season before the writers finally settled on one.
  • Paul, played by Andre Philippe, was the master of ceremonies at the Shell Bar in the Hawaiian Village Hotel.
  • Bert, played by Sam Rawlins, was the doorman at the Hawaiian Village Hotel.
  • Teo, played by several actors including Ralph Hanalei and Keone, was a uniformed security guard for the Hawaiian Eye agency.
  • Roy Hondine, played by Rush Williams, was a columnist for a major Honolulu newspaper.
  • Sunny Day, played by Tina Cole, was a singer at the Shell Bar. The role was created after Connie Stevens temporarily left the series in the fourth season over a contract dispute.
  • Sgt. Alika, played by Makee K. Blaisdell, was a detective for the Hilo police force and appeared in several episodes that took place on the big island of Hawaii.
  • Bubbles Smith, played by Karen Griffin, was a temporary girlfriend of Tom Lopaka in several second-season episodes.

Guest musical actsEdit

All of the Warner Bros. detective shows of this era featured a musical interlude, generally performed by a series regular. On occasion, Hawaiian Eye had a guest act perform:

  • Sterling Mossman and his Barefoot Bar Gang: A real policeman by day, Sterling also performed nights at the Barefoot Bar, one of Honolulu's most popular tourist attractions from 1952–1969.
  • Arthur Lyman and his exotic tropical sounds: In one episode, Connie Stevens sang a version of the title song accompanied by Lyman's group.

In other mediaEdit

A limited amount of spin-off material accompanied the series. Gold Key published a single comic book, Hawaiian Eye #1, in 1963, which detailed an adventure of Cricket and Phil Barton. In 1962, a single novelization by Frank Castle also appeared on bookshelves in America.[1]

A Warner Bros. Music record of the show featured some songs performed by Stevens and Robert Conrad, a rerecording of the title song and some Warner stock music.

The show was parodied as "Hawaiian Eyeball" in Bob Clampett's cartoon Beany And Cecil.

Episode listEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Kevin Burton Smith. "Hawaiian Eye". Thrilling Detective. Retrieved August 10, 2007.

External linksEdit