TV series filmed in Hawaii

By Karen Rose

Hawaiʻi is considered a paradise for many location scouts. With so many climate zones to choose from, TV show directors can get a good bang for their buck when aiming to create shows depicting a wide variety of backdrops. From hit series to short-lived flops, there’s no shortage of television shows filmed in Hawaii. Here is a list of some of the shows — from long-running classics to one-hit wonders — filmed in Hawaii’s tropical paradise.

Gilligan’s Island (1964-1967)


This iconic 1960s sitcom follows the antics of seven shipwrecked castaways stranded on a deserted island. The series was shot on location at Coconut Island, less than a quarter mile from Kaneohe Bay on Oahu. Some scenes were also filmed throughout the island of Kauai.

Hawaiʻi Five-0 (1968-1980 and 2010 to present)


The original Aloha State crime series, Hawaiʻi Five-O made its debut on CBS in 1968. The opening theme song included shots of the monster waves on the North Shore of Oahu, gorgeous Waikiki sunsets and bird’s-eye views of Honolulu. This TV classic filmed all 12 seasons on the island of Oahu. In 2010, the series returned with new episodes of the adventurous crime-fighting crew.

Fantasy Island (1977-1984)

This hit series, starring Ricardo Montalbán, is set on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and follows the adventures of visitors wishing to make all their fantasies come true. The series featured famous locations on Kauaʻi, including the Na Pali Coast and Wailua Falls.

Magnum P.I.(1980-1988 and 2018 to present)

Tom Selleck starred as the iconic private investigator, Thomas Sullivan, in this hit 80’s TV series. Sporting the famous red Ferrai and strategically buttoned aloha shirt, he stole the hearts of women all over the world. Magnum P.I. ran for eight seasons and was filmed on locations around Oahu. The reboot starring Jay Hernandez as Sullivan premiered in 2018.

The Byrds of Paradise (1993-1994)

The ABC family drama, The Byrds of Paradise, ran for only 13 episodes and followed the life of a single father and his three children as they adapted to life in Hawaiʻi from their Mainland roots.

Dog the Bounty Hunter (2002-2012)

This reality show TV series followed real-life bounty hunter Duane “Dog” Chapman as he chased down fugitives on the Hawaiian Islands. Dog the Bounty Hunter ran for eight seasons on A&E.

LOST (2004-2010)

The mysterious island location for this six-season hit was filmed on the island of Oahu and is considered one of the most expensive TV series ever produced. Sources say the pilot alone cost over $14 million. Filming locations included Mokuleʻia Beach, Kualoa Ranch and the banyan tree near Turtle Bay Resort

Flight 29 Down (2005-2007)

Created for young adventurers, this series was described as “LOST for Kids.” The story follows a group of high schoolers who survive a plane crash and find themselves on a deserted island in the South Pacific. Oahu serves as the backdrop for the series and includes great scenes with Hawaii’s beaches, rainforests and mountains.  

The River (2011-2012)

Although it ran for only eight episodes, the supernatural horror TV show, The River, included some epic shots of Kahana Valley and Kualoa Ranch on Oahu, which was staged to look like the Amazon rainforest.

Last Resort (2012-2013)

ABC’s military drama, Last Resort, followed the adventures of a group of U.S. soldiers stranded on the island of Saint Marina. Filmed on Oahu, the series’ 13-episode run lasted only one season. The series was filmed predominately on Oahu but was not picked up for a second season.

Inhumans (2017)

Shots of Hawaii’s majestic banyan trees and tropical rainforest can be seen in Marvel’s TV series Inhumans. The show was shot on Oahu over the course of several months. The show wasn’t met with much enthusiasm and wasn’t renewed for a second season.

Many other TV series shot individual episodes in Hawaiʻi throughout the years. Some shows taking advantage of one-shot episodes include the following:

Wheel of Fortune
The Hills
Blind Date
Amazing Race
The Bachelor
Beverly Hills 90210
MTV’s The Real World.
A Current Affair
America’s Funniest People
American Journal
Anyplace Wild
Basic Training, The Workout
Lucille Ball Show
Baywatch
Beverly Hillbillies
Beverly Hills 90210
Bodies in Motion
The Best of Wine & Food
The Brady Bunch
Charlie’s Angels
China Beach
Code 3
The Dating Game
Dateline
Days of our Lives
Dr. Who
Mike Douglas Show
ER
E! Entertainment Television
Eight is Enough
Entertainment Tonight
Eye on L.A.
Fantasy Island
Fox Summer Games
Full House
Gamewarden Wildlife Journal
Arthur Godfrey Show
Good Day L.A.
Good Morning America
Gotcha Pro Sports
Growing Pains
H30 Hawaiian Heavywater
Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures
The Hardy Boys
Hart to Hart
Hennessy
Home & Family
T.J. Hooker
I Dream of Jeanie
Inside Big Game Fishing
Inside Edition
The Jeffersons
Barnaby Jones
Life Goes On
Life of Riley
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous
Live with Regis and Kathie Lee
Lonely Planet
Mama’s Family
The Howie Mandel Show
Meet the Barkers
Miss Universe Pageant
MTV – Beach; House of Style;
Totally Pauly
Mrs. America Pageant
Murder She Wrote
NBC Friday Night
NBC Today Show
Our House
Jack Paar Show
Pacific Blue
Places of Mystery
QVC Home Shopping
Ready…Set…Cook!
Real People
Rebecca’s Garden
Renegade
Rescue 911
Rockford Files
Sanford and Son
Santa Barbara
Saved by the Bell
Scratch
Sesame Street
Showtime Comedy Club Network
Six Million Dollar Man
Sixty Minutes
Starsky and Hutch
Step by Step
Stewardess Cops (Japan)
Too Hot Tamales
Tour of Duty
True Detectives
TV Magazine
20/20
Unsolved Mysteries
Untold Stories
Vegas
Lawrence Welk
West 57th Street
Wheel of Fortune
Win Lose or Draw
The Young and the Restless
Your Big Break

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