By Wayne Harada
CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0’s” crossover segment Monday (April 30), with the “NCIS: Los Angeles” guest stars, topped the coveted 18 to 48 adults demo with a 2.5 rating in the 9 p.m. (10 p.m. Mainland) hour.
But the special show, linked to the “NCIS: L.A.’s” concluding second-parter Tuesday (May 1), didn’t overwhelm the viewership.
While “Five-0” led the demos, ABC’s “Castle,” perhaps with its “Dancing With the Stars” lead-in, had slightly more viewers — 11.38 million vs. 10.76 million for “Five-0.” The adults 18 to 48 demo was 2.4 for “Castle.”
The “Five-0” episode, “Pa Make Loa,” about the perils of a possible epidemic, featured “NCIS: L’s” LL Cool J (Sam Hanna ) and Chris O’Donnell (C. Callen) in the crossover tie-in, the first part setting up the problem with the potential peril in the Islands, and continuing storyline on “NCIS” featuring “Five-0’s” Scott Caan (Danny Williams) and Daniel Dae Kim (Chin Ho Kelly) guest-starring.
Kim subbed for Alex O’Loughlin (Steve McGarrett), the head of “Five-0,” who was on a real medical leave when both crossover shows were filmed here and in L.A. but mentioned, in context of the show, that he was in Japan pursuing the Shelburne element with Terry O’Quinn (Joe White) that has been a disappointing and, well, dull thread this season.
Compared to the most recent first-run episode (last April 9), the Island procedural was up 4 percent in viewers since that newbie, but has been plagued with reruns the past few weeks. “Castle,” its most threatening competition, was up 14 per cent from its last new segment (April 16).
So what do you think of the crossover this time? It worked, for the most part, but didn’t attract an astounding response, in viewership. There wasn't a widespread buzz about it; perhaps if CBS made a big deal about O'Loughlin's absense, coupled with hard-news update on his condition and upcoming return to the air as the show winds up season two, might have sparked wider interest.
The most effective element of the preposterous outbreak of smallpox was the realistic, bubbling-red skin of affected victims. Surely, in real life, this kind of potential epidemic would be very rare, even in the post-AIDs and post-SARS scares of the distant past. So, hats off to the makeup techies who created that deathly façade.
Of course, there had to be some see-sawing quibble, best exemplified with Danno and Sam in hot pursuit of the baddies — with Sam assuming the McG role of shooting off rockets to Danno. Oh, bromance, you live.
To see what unveils when Danno and Chin Ho go to the City of Angels to complete the crossover bridge, tune in Tuesday to “NCIS: L.A.”