In 1975, Ed Asner made a guest appearance on the original "Hawaii Five-0" as August March, an up-and-coming world class smuggler who went up against the five Five-0 team. And next spring Asner will return to the series as the same character three decades later.
Deadline is reporting that Asner has signed on to reprise his role as August March in the current "Hawaii Five-0" series on CBS. Footage of Asner form his first "Hawaii Five-0" episode will be incorporated into the episode. In the present day, August March has reformed after serving 30 years in prison for murder. The current Five-0 team lead by Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) will approach March to get his assistance on a smuggling case.
“It is thrilling to, for the first time, merge the original 'Hawaii Five-0' and our new show by having the classic, versatile and award-winning actor Ed Asner reprise his role of August March, a character Mr. Asner first played 36 years ago,” noted Peter Lenkov, the showrunner and executive producer of the current "Hawaii Five-0." “There is no better way to form a bridge between our reboot and the original series.”
Asner is perhaps best known for his role as Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spinoff, "Lou Grant;" which was a drama instead of a comedy. Asner won Emmy Awards for his performances in both series, making him the first actor to win an Emmy for the same role on a comedy and a drama. Asner has worked continuously for decades, with a recent vocal turn as the lead character in the Pixar film, "Up" and a current costarring role on the Canadian TV series, "Michael, Tuesdays and Thursdays."
It's not clear exactly how the crossover between the two "Hawaii Five-0," since the current series is a hard reboot of the original, with all of the original characters reimagined. O'Loughlin took over the Steve McGarrett role from Jack Lord, while Scott Caan is the new Danno Williams, who was played by James MacArthur, along with numerous other characters that correspond between the two series.
In short, the continuity for a true crossover doesn't seem to work. However, the footage from Asner's original "Hawaii Five-0" episode may simply be used to establish his character as a younger man three decades ago.
How do you think Asner's "Hawaii Five-0" crossover will be handled? Share your theories in the comment section below!