|Created by||Roy Huggins|
|Theme music composer||
"The Hawaiian Eye Theme"|
Jerry Livingston and
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||134 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||William T. Orr|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Warner Bros. Television|
|Original release||October 7, 1959 – April 2, 1963|
77 Sunset Strip|
Bourbon Street Beat
Hawaiian Eye is an American television series that ran from October 1959 to September 1963 on the American Broadcasting Company television network.
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 run
Hawaiian Eye was one of several ABC/Warner Brothers 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 Six. In reality, all were shot on the Warner Brothers lot in Los Angeles, making it easy for characters—and sometimes whole scripts—to cross over. Although the shows aren't 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. 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 and later the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel.
The program did well in the ratings on Wednesday evenings. 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. Each episode in season 3 followed The Hanna Barbera cartoon show, Top Cat.
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.
|Thomas Jefferson 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|
- 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 MC 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 in the Hawaiian Village Hotel. 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 acts
All of the Warner Brothers 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 media
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.
A Warner Brothers Music record of the show featured some songs performed by Stevens and Robert Conrad, a rerecording of the title song and some Warners stock music.
The show was parodied as "Hawaiian Eyeball" in Bob Clampett's cartoon "Beany And Cecil".
- Kevin Burton Smith. "Hawaiian Eye". Thrilling Detective. Retrieved August 10, 2007.
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