Web Users Go 'Nuts' For 'Hawaii 5-0'

Kukui High mascot Mr. Nut

A funny little viral thing has popped up in our 50th state, stemming from the CBS rookie Hawaii 5-0. In the premiere, two of the main cop characters, Steve McGarrett and Chin Ho Kelly, realized they’d both starred on the football team at different times at Kukui High School. (A kukui is a kind of Hawaiian nut.)

Well, there’s no such thing as Kukui High School–at least there wasn’t when the show’s producers dreamed it up.

Reportedly within 12 hours of the episode airing, KukuiHigh.com launched. Kukui High, the so-called “Home of the Fighting Nuts,” now has its own Twitter feed (745 followers), Facebook presence (3,500 people Like it!), (fake) school paper, and the ersatz school will even have a “class reunion” November 13, sponsored by a local radio station, KUMU.  (It’s on at 5:30 at Ocean’s 808 in Honolulu, if you’re around.)

“It’s really cute–it came from out of nowhere,” says KITV Honolulu President/General Manager Michael Rosenberg. (KITV is an ABC affiliate.)

I don’t know if CBS is doing anything to stoke the viral fires; these things seem to work better when the corporations keep out of it. It’s all great word-of-mouth for the rookie show, though.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.