January 12th, 2012
Another crossover —pairing CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles” with “Hawaii Five-0” — hits the tube for the May sweeps.
It’ll be the second one this year, as Callen (Chris O’Donnell) and Sam (LL Cool J) get a taste of aloha when the team from the No. 2 procedural drama (mothership show “NCIS” with Mark Harmon is No. 1) journeys to the Islands to join McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and Danno (Scott Caan) to fight crime in paradise.
The two-night exchange, with “Five-0” on Monday and “NCIS” on Tuesday (dates not yet announced), will reveal that Sam and McG — both former Navy SEALs — know each other and thereby get involved in a storlyine involving biological weapons with impact on Honolulu, where the rebooted “Five-0” is based, and Los Angeles, home of the “NCIS” spinoff.
Earlier this season, Kensi (Daniela Ruah) was here earlier for a crossover yarn, even taking the “Five-0” season’s kick-off hoopla at Sunset at the Beach. Kensi’s visit was mentioned — and questioned — just this week on “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
Could be a fun outing; or not. No mention which writing team — “Five-0’s” or “NCIS’s” — is creating the framework for the overlapping themed episode.
Online sites quote Peter Lenkov, the “Five-0” executive producer, thusly: “What happens is there is a case that has ties to Los Angeles and we bring in LL and Chris to Hawaii and then it expands itself when suspects takes us to Los Angeles, so we are going to be on their turf and we are going to end the story there.” And from the “NCIS” exec producer Shane Brennan: “I am calling it a high-octane story. It cranks up and it starts and it doesn’t stop on both shows.”
The Kensi guest slot wasn’t exactly a big deal; perhaps if partner Deeks (Eric Christian Olsen) came along to paradise, there might have been a bit more chemistry and action. Kensi had no one to play off.
Brennan adds: “You don’t have to watch both to love what’s going to happen.”
Since “NCIS” has a bigger audience base, “Five-0” could benefit; the Hawaii show has struggled in the Nielsen ratings this year vs. its freshman year, where it was regarded as the No. 1 new show of the 2010 season. This year, its appearance on the weekly Top 10 viewership roster has been scarce.
If “Five-0” learns from “NCIS” franchise — tighter writing, with less emphasis on story arcs and fewer complications from characters’ backstories, which has become baggage for “Five-0” — the association could become an uphill climb to begin reclaiming chart supremacy.
Well, we can only hope.
Clearly, “NCIS” and its L.A. spinoff, have their ducks in a row, starting with the key leader. Gibbs (Harmon) is a take-charge guy, always defending his team (Michael Weatherly as DiNozzo, Cote de Pablo as Ziva, Sean Murray as McGee), commonly stern but with bursts of sunshine smiles. On the “Five-0” said, McGarrett is overshadowed by his underlings (notably Scott Caan as Danno), often indecisive, surrounded by elements of suspicion; no wonder he’s more squinty than smiley. “NCIS” (the original) retains the ongoing business of the neck-head slaps by Gibbs to DiNozzo or McGee and the hate-love see-saw between DiNozzo and Ziva, akin to the “Book ‘em Danno” utterance (infrequently retained) and the rants between McG and Danno of “Five-0.” On the L.A. front, the team answers to Hetty (Linda Hunt), an operations manager who has become somewhat of a cultish break-out star, because she’s interesting and unpredictable, unlike the starchiness of the governor on “Five-0” and the director of both “NCIS” shows. Audiences adore and regularly expect some of the silly or giddy shenanigans, and character quirks (think Pauley Perette as Abby and David McCallum as Ducky on “NCIS”), which become part of the fabric of the show, and “NCIS” does a better job here than “Five-0.”
Already, fans from both camps have swiftly responded to the planned cross over association.
Excerpts from early posts:
* “They need to investigate the theft of my time for that waste of Kensi in ‘Five-0.’”
* “I hate, hate, hate, hate crossovers.”
* “Crossing over ... kills the magic. No magic lately for ‘H50.’ Way too violent. Members of the team act like thugs...definitely want to skip the cross over.”
* “I can’t wait, I’ll watch ‘NCIS: LA’ for Steve McGarrett for sure.”
* “CBS is desperate to get some viewers in the hideous ‘H50.’ Keep ‘NCIS: LA’ away from that crappy ‘Hawaii Five-0’ remake. ‘NCIS; is a great show with great actors; ‘Hawaii’ had to add Terry (O’Quinn) to the cast because the acting was a big 0.”
Which camp are you in? Like crossovers? Hate ‘em ? Pro or con, re “NCIS” or “Five-0”? Share your sentiments.