Archive for September, 2011

Spot a celebrity, while shopping or traveling?

September 30th, 2011

Surely you’ve seen media coverage about first lady Michelle Obama, in casual gear and behind dark glasses, shopping quite anonymously at the Target store in Alexandria, VA.
Amazingly, the reports indicated that other shoppers didn’t recognize her; they must be blind or simply disinterested. It was a checkout clerk that placed Mrs. Obama's face and her White House identity.
It’s fun when you encounter a Somebody on an outing, whether you’re at home or on a vacation.
It was always a trip for me, when I used to spot the late Jack Lord at the height of his reign as Steve McGarrett on CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,” shopping at the old Star Market (now Whole Foods) at Kahala Mall. He’d pick up an apple, give it such scrutiny as if it was a crime-scene item, yet he’d smile and be engaging if someone noticed him. (I suspect he was fishing for attention, but so what?)
On my last summer trip to New York, it was kinda a kick to recognize Alton Brown, the Food Network celeb, trekking down the stairway en route to catch a subway. On another Broadway visit earlier, I noticed Dianne Wiest with dark glasses and a light wrap-around, sitting in a train, en route to shopping or work (she was playing the district attorney on “Law and Order”).
At a performance of “Spamalot” a few years ago, Liza Minnelli was in a row behind me; at “How to Succeed in Business Without Trying” this past June, I ran into magician David Copperfield, a friend from his Pagoda Hotel show days, outside the theater and talked story afterward.
It’s all a matter of being at the right place at the right time.
When you’re a celeb, you’re entitled to do what we all do: day; about your daily life without being bothered.
I recall, years ago, when Michael Jackson left the Kahala Hilton to go on a quick shopping trip at Kahala Mall, an excited observer called me at the office to inquire if he was visiting. Surely, MJ must’ve been noticed, but there was no discomfort or intrusion of his private time.
Have you encountered a chance meeting, or sighting, of a celebrity? Who? Where? Anything interesting happened?
Share your recollection here...

Ratings trouble in paradise: 'Five-0' second to 'Castle'

September 27th, 2011

Uh-oh, CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,” is second in Monday (Sept. 26) night viewership — again! — with ABC’s “Castle” copping the 9 p.m. slot here.
The Island-filmed episode, partially shot on Lanai, attracted an audience of 11.388 million and a 3.3/8 rating/share for the coveted 18 to 49 demographics.
Meanwhile, “Castle,” its prime competitor, won the slot with 12.646 million viewers, with a 3.1/7 rating/share among viewers 18 to 49.
Is this cause to worry? Probably not; there’s time for “Five-0” to ramp up and build numbers and improve scripts. It's a narrow gap that can be filled.
But something has to be done, to avoid weakening and fallout in the network's sophomore season. Like curtail and minimize a clutter of new characters.
And — could happen — replace a principal character in the ensuing weeks. Might not only re-energize the storytelling for producers and actors but reinvigorate viewers who sill have the faith and loyalty to tune in.
Something to think about. You gotta admit, however; there’s trouble in paradise.
The loser of that pre-news hour was NBC’s “The Playboy Club,” with 3.767 million viewers and a of 1.3/3 among 18 to 49. This could lead to cancellation, sooner rather than later.
Prelim figures indicate that CBS won the night for the coveted 18 to 49 crowd, though overall, ABC had more viewers.
Also worth mentioning:
• “Mike and Molly,” at 8:30 p.m., might prove to be a good lead-in for “Five-0.” It drew 13.981 million viewers, its best ever, with a 4.9/11 in 18 to 49. Melissa McCarthy’s fresh Emmy win didn’t hurt.
• CBS’s Monday comedy shows are faring well: at 7 p.m.,“How I Met Your Mother” is on a hot streak, with 10.556 million and 4.4/12 in 18 to 49, maintaining its premiere-week pace; at 7:30 p.m., “2 Broke Girls,” with 11.576 million viewers and 4.5/11 in 18 to 49, could create 2 Rich Girls; at 8 p.m., “Two and a Half Men,” though down nearly 30 percent in viewership since its highly anticipated debut last week with Aston Kutcher replacing the self-imploded Charlie Sheen, still found a winning sheen with 20.031 million viewers and 7.2/17 in 18 to 49; it also must have spurred viewers to stay and watch “Mike and Molly.”
• ABC’S “Dancing With the Stars,” at 7 p.m., sank 18 percent from premiere week, attracting a disappointing (for the series) 15.756 million and 3.3/8 in 18 to 49; could be the runaway horse now merely is trotting, with stars that don’t have the wallop to lure audiences. Still, this put the network in the winner’s circle, albeit with a tarnishing crown.
• Fox’s Steven Spielberg epic, “Terra Nova,” which early on considered Hawaii as a filming location but ultimately went to Australia, must be a major disappointment for the network, with its paltry (for a high-tech, movie-quality bells-and-whistles Spielberg dinosaur-featured product). For its two-hour premiere, it drew 9.091 million viewers with a 3.0/8 in 18 to 49.
• NBC’S “The Sing-Off,” at 7 p.m., also is slipping, with 4.990 million viewers and 1.7/5 in 18 to 49.
• CW’s new “Hart of Dixie,” at 8 p.m., managed a 1.705 million viewership, with 0.7/2 in 18 to 49.
Back to the immediate woes of "Five-0" and its slippery ratings.
What would you do? Who should go? Do you like the slew of new faces and players?
Would you like — finally — a bona fide Islander in an upgrade principal role?
Share your theories and wish-lists...

'Five-0' could learn tips from success of 'NCIS'

September 26th, 2011

CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” has its work cut out as the second show of the second season debuts Monday (Sept. 26). After all, its sophomore season premiere last Monday must have been shocking disappointment, especially for diehard fans of the Hawaii-filmed procedural.
Reason: “Five-0” was a step behind ABC’s “Castle” in the 9 p.m. timeslot here (10 p.m.) on the Mainland.
The number No. 1 television drama is “NCIS,” which has maintained its Tuesday night grip in the Nielsen ratings, with a spin-off “NCIS: Los Angeles” following the original and benefitting from its Tuesday timetable.
“Five-0” perhaps could take a lesson or two from CBS’ No. 1 procedural, since “NCIS,” which attracted 19.55 million viewers last Monday, with a 4.2 rating among the esteemed adults 18-49 demographics. (Its peak was a 22.85 rating during season eight; it beat the competitors in its ninth-season opener). It bested ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” (10.74 million) and Fox’s “Glee” (8.91 million), despite a somewhat weak launcher for “NCIS,” which had to wrap up last year’s shoot-up and move ahead.
Led by Mark Harmon as Leroy Jethro Gibbs, “NCIS” has a loyal base because its stories are tight and tidy, for the most part. Its ensemble is like a family — charismatic and likeable, with idiosyncrasies that are remarkably effective with quirky developments. Like “Five-0,” there’s a bit of baggage in backstorying characters, but involvements either fade or repeat without slowing the pace.
As a rerun staple on USA, “NCIS” has become a model of how to play out the rhythm of workplace people in a manner that is credible and contagious. There are fewer extra characters — fewer story arcs, thus fewer complications — to drive the momentum of storytelling.
Its co-creator and producer, Donald Bellisario, has Island ties of sorts; he earlier produced “Magnum P.I.” starring Tom Selleck here; his other earlier credits include “Quantum Leap” and “Airwolf.” Chas. Floyd Johnson also is a co-producer; he was a “Magnum P.I.” producer.
It starts at the top: Gibbs is focused and forceful as the head of his team. On “Five-0,” On the other hand, Alex O’Loughlin as Steve McGarrett has yet to rise to the call of a take-charge leader. There’s time to build that foundation, and McGarrett needs to be bit more steely, shoving the story ahead instead of continually looking at the past.
For no particular reason — except that I watch both “Five-0” and “NCIS” every week —let’s do an unscientific comparison of “Five-0” and the original “NCIS:”


Who/What “Hawaii Five-0”

The team
Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin),
Danno Williams (Scott Caan),
Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim),
Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park)

Who/What "NCIS"

The team
Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon),
Anthony“Tony” DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly),
Ziva David (Cote de Pablo), Abby Sciuto
(Pauley Perrette), Timothy McGee (Sean Murray),
Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll), Donald “Ducky”
Mallard (David McCallum); Jenny Shepard
(Lauren Holly) and Caitlin “Kate” Todd
(Sasha Alexander) were regulars killed off earlier

"Hawaii Five-0"
Fight crime in Hawaii; “Five-0” is an elite police
task force organized by the governor

As the law enforcement and counter-intelligence
wing of the Navy, it investigates Navy and Marine
Corps crime

"Hawaii Five-0"
McGarrett is often outshadowed by

Gibbs always stands up and supports his
team vs. the director

character quirks

"Hawaii Five-0"
McGarrett to Danno’s “Book ‘em, Danno” quote
to cuff a baddie; McGarrett vs. Danno verbal
arguments while driving/crime-fighting

character quirks

Gibbs always hits DiNozzo on the neck,
sometimes with affection, more often as a
disciplinary whack; Ziva’s weekly malapropisms;
Ducky’s chats with dead people; Abby’s thirst
for large-sized soda drinks; Gibbs’ appetite for
caffeine (coffee); McGee’s “other” life as an author
with a pseudonym; DiNozzo’s playboy mode;
DiNozzo’s and Ziva’s love-hate feuds; Abby’s goth
dress and infatuation; DiNozzo’s needling of
McGee, the resident “probie”; Ducky’s good-son
stance re his late mother; Ziva and Gibbs: bad drivers

family ties

"Hawaii Five-0"
McGarrett: trying to solve father’s murder;
McGarrett: father was with HPD but dismissed for
alleged corruption; McGarrett: grandfather was a
casuality in WWII’s U.S.S. Arizona bombing;
Kelly: bad cop past continues to haunt him;
Danno: love-hate relationship with ex-wife Rachel,
along with devotion to daughter;
Kono: loyalty to “cuz” Kelly causes her to steal;
McGarrett: Sister Mary had a brief recurring role
in season one
family ties

Gibbs: a fractured devotion to his
father; Gibbs: a frequent remembrance of
slayed wife and daughter; Ziva: confused
loyalty to late dad and late brother she killed;
McGee: protective of kid sister;
DiNozzo: frustration with his lovable dad with issues


"Hawaii Five-0"
McGarrett purportedly speaks Hawaiian and
Chinese; Danno vs. McGarrett’s verbal fisticuffs
usually in the car en route to crime-fighting;
Kelly's awkward handling of pidgin; surprise
killings of key secondary characters, like
the governor (Jean Smart as Pat Jameson) taking
a bullet and a public safety liaison (Kelly Hu as
Laura Hills) dying in a car bombing


Surprise killing of secondary characters, like
Sasha Alexander as Kate taking a bullet, and
director Lauren Holly as Jenny Shepard killed in
action while battling an unknown terminal illness;
Abby has a stuffed hippoptamus that farts; Abby
sleeps in a coffin; McGee’s dog is named Jethro

Claim to fame

"Hawaii Five-0"
Only network series now filming in Hawaii;
a reboot of the Jack Lord “Five-0”;
Scott Caan earned the show’s lone Golden Globe
nomination in season one; show was “Favorite
New Television Drama” in People’s Choice (Jan. 5, 2011)

Claim to fame

No. 1 scripted show on TV; a spin-off of “JAG”

Common ground
"Hawaii Five-0"
Nominated in a tech category but never won an
Emmy; tapped to join TNT rerun slate beginning in 2014

Common ground

Daniela Ruah (as Kensi Blye), from “NCIS: Los
Angeles,” appears in a crossover role on "Five-0"
this season; nominated for, but never won an
Emmy; syndicated on USA and Cloo; with a director
(Rocky Carroll, as Leon Vance) overseeing both “NCIS”
and its L.A.-spinoff, meaning frequent crossovers


"Hawaii Five-0"
Setting (Hawaii) is a character, with spectacular
vistas of sea, surf, sky, mountains and the
cosmopolitan flavor that is Hawaii — hands
down, a winnah! Neighbor Island filming this year


Set in the Washington D.C. area, but
filomed in Los Angeles, with second unit
work for landmark shots


"Hawaii Five-0"
Should run at least three or four seasons,
to guarantee minimum of syndication deal


Deserves an Emmy for its overall prowess,
progress, and performance

Jake Shimabukuro, John Cruz part of new 'Five-0' soundtrack CD

September 26th, 2011

Jake Shimabukuro and his trusty ukulele made the cut in CBS Records’ new “Hawaii Five-0” soundtrack, due to be released Oct. 4.
His presence and performance on “Ukulele Five-0” should bring renewee spotlight the uke — and yield big insurance here. After all, Shimabukuro is the spokesman and strummer for Farmers Insurance.
Local boy John Cruz’s “Hi’ilawe” is the only other Islander heard among the 12 tracks; his cut was part of a season one episode.
A tribute to the CBS show’s trademark utterance, “Book ‘em Danno,” also is on the disc — a composition of Brian Tyler and Keith Power — paying homage to the Scott Caan quotable.
And yes, the reimagined “new” version of the Morton Stevens title song is the opening track, commercially available for the first time.
The track list:
1 — “Hawaii Five-0 Main Title Theme” (from the show’s weekly soundtrack opening)
2 — “World Upside Down” (Jimmy Cliff)
3 — “The Best of Me” (Goo Goo Dolls)
4 — “Out of Control” (Switchfoot)
5 — “Should We Believe” (Train)
6 — “Closer” (Corrine Bailey Rae)
7 — “Don’t Ever Take Yourself Away” (Bob Dylan)
8 — “Ukulele Five-0” (Jake Shimabukuro)
9 — “Love That’s Bigger” (The Swell Season)
10 — “Pass It On” (Ziggy Marley)
11 — “Hi’ilawe” (John Cruz)
12 — “Book em Danno (Brian Tyler and Keith Power)
Some of the tunes will be sprinkled into episodes of the second season. “Hi’ilawe” and “Closer” were part of the freshman season score.
In a statement, Executive Producer Peter Lenkov said, “Music plays a big role in our show, and we are thrilled that so many great artists have provided us with exclusive tracks that can be so well integrated into our second season episodes. As a result, fans will be able to experience a soundtrack album that is truly representative of “Hawaii Five-0.”
The inclusion of the catchy title song on the CD marks its first commercial release.
"Hawaii Five-0" airs here at 9 p.m. Mondays on KGMB9.

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Bruno Mars forecasts ‘Rain’ in ‘Twilight Saga’ soundtrack

September 23rd, 2011

Bruno Mars, the Hawaii-born popster, has entered the “Twilight” zone.
Mars, the Grammy-winning singer-composer, will have the honor of performing the first single off the soundtrack of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part I,” finding a spot in the Jacob-Edward-Bella vampire-werewolf drama.
His “It Will Rain” debuts as the first single from the movie soundtrack and will be available on iTunes on Tuesday (Sept. 27). The full soundtrack drops Nov. 8, 10 days before the premiere of the film on Nov. 18.
The tune is somewhat dark and brooding, with an instrumental segment preview on some online reports. Its placement in the film is not yet revealed — it could be midway in the story, or even as the featured song heard during the film’s closing credits.
Mars co-composed and produced “It Will Rain” with his Smeezingtons buds Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine.
Considering the popularity of the “Twilight” franchise starring Kristen Stewart (Bella), Robert Pattinson (Edward) and Taylor Lautner (Jacob) and Mars’ enormous popularity with fans and jocks, “It Will Rain” likely will be the Honolulu native’s next No. 1 hit.
What do you think?

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