The State Welcomes Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.

Posted on Feb 2, 2021 in News

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2021

Disney+ Production Transforms UH Cancer Center to Fictional Hospital Set

HONOLULU—Yesterday Kahu Kordell Kekoa presided over a blessing in a Waimanalo neighborhood to mark the first day of filming for the Disney+ original series, Doogie Kamealoha, M.D., a reboot of the beloved 90s dramedy Doogie Howser M.D. The new Doogie series will star Peyton Elizabeth Lee as Lahela “Doogie” Kamealoha, the teenage child prodigy doctor; Jason Scott Lee as Benny Kamealoha, her Hawaiian father; and Kathleen Rose Perkins, as Dr. Clara Hannon, the Doogie character’s spit-fire Irish mother who is an well and chief of staff at the fictional hospital which is using the University of Hawaii Cancer Center facilities on the Kakaako campus adjacent to the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

“We’re so pleased that the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and its team are working on this series, showcasing how collaboration of community and production can work together to the benefit of economic recovery, while creating a medical series which will deliver a new perspective for viewers that embraces our island home,” said Mike McCartney, DBEDT director. McCartney added that he is “very proud that this new television series will add to the resiliency of our state’s economy while sharing our aloha spirit with the world.”

Hawaii State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson added that “the excitement has been building for the Doogie Kamealoha, M.D series. We are so thrilled that the show’s creator and writer, Hawaii born Kourtney Kang, is using her love of Hawaii, its culture and its people to create a powerful and humorous Hawaiian-infused story with talented multi-cultural characters and a strong female lead.” The Benny Kamealoha character in the show gives up a financial career on the continent to simplify his life and to spend more time at home in the Islands with his three kids. “Jason himself is a father of three and I’m sure will bring his own uniquely local style to the role,” Dawson said.

The number of shows in production at the same time in Hawaii has not happened since 2004. Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. is joined by two other major television shows on Oahu, one on Maui and one on Hawaii Island. This points to the benefits of Hawaii’s COVID19 protocols which has made Hawaii, as a filming destination, one of the safest in the world.

More film productions are heading to the islands due to the labor union and studios adoption of the extensive protocols required to become a COVID-19 safe location. Health experts and industry across the U.S. created The Safe Way Forward’ preliminary plan which was ratified by all parties late summer of 2020, setting a gold standard in COVID-19 testing and safe working protocols to keep film productions safe in their work environment.

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About the Show
“Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.” is written and executive produced by Kourtney Kang and produced by 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios. Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar will executive produce and Dayna and Jesse Bochco will produce the half-hour comedy series.

About the Hawaii Film Office
The Hawaii Film Office was established in 1978 to serve as the first point of contact for all film production taking place throughout Hawaii. HFO advocates for the growth and development of Hawaii’s film industry and media makers. Through the consolidated film permitting program HFO facilitates all statewide permitting through Hawaii’s state agencies. In addition, HFO manages the Hawaii Film Office at Diamond Head, the only state-owned and operated film studio in the United States.

About the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all of Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

Media Contacts:
Donne Dawson
State Film Commissioner / Hawaii Film Office
808-754-FILM (3456) or 808-888-9418

Janet Kerrigan Daily
Vice President, Communications
Disney Television Studios