Show and Tell Hawai'i

'H50' ekes out second place as Monday struggles linger

November 13th, 2012

“Hawaii Five-0” (CBS) managed to eke out a second place finish Monday (Nov. 12), behind time slot leader “Castle” (ABC). But upstart “Revolution” (NBC), though third, was the 18-to-49 demographics leader (2.6).
So the off-camera drama still is a major concern for the “H50” viewership.
Preliminary Nielsen figures show that “Castle” had 10.7 million viewers, trailed by “H50” with 7.7 million viewers and “Revolution” with 7.1 million.
Ratings are uncomfortably see-sawing as producers and writers grapple with the problem of scripts. Too many character backstories? Too many new regular characters? Too few plot developments encircling the main four?
Well, Monday’s episode — entitled “I Ka Wa Mamua,” meaning formerly, or in a time past — was clearly Danno-centric, tracking his New Jersey policing days that, presumably, shaped his personality to the present time.
In the process, there were glimpses of Danno (Scott Caan) interacting with daughter Grace (Teillor Gibbs), foot chases in downtown Honolulu with Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), reflections about his former partner in crimefighting Grace (Sidneyh Tamiia Poitier,), the inspiration for naming his own daughter Grace, reminiscences of the 9/11 tragedy, encounters with hoods played by Terrence Howard and real-life rapper T.I.
From the perspective of a former Advertiser reporter, it was nice to see the ol’ News Building press building, grubby with ink and puke-green hollow tile walls, again receiving screen time as a gloomy site where interrogation of suspects is held. Or in the case of Danno, the room where he is queried and beaten.
The ratings struggle — with viewership below the 10 million turnstyle — surely is a nagging issue among the show execs. The last time “H50” had numbers to cheer about, it was during the season two finale, when 11.42 million tuned in. Talk about the titular "in times past" — book ‘em, Danno.
This year, the show has been underperforming, with the first show pulling in 8.06 million, the second 7.95 million, the third 8.39 million, the fourth 8.70, the fifth 7.53 million — the lowest ever. The show posting the largest viewership, 14.20 million, was the pilot episode in September, 2010.
Monday’s “Dancing With the Stars” (ABC) was the evening’s most watched show, with “The Voice” (NBC) dropping a bit but leading among adults 18-to-49. CBS has a slate of sit-coms in the earlier primetime.
It’s somewhat of an indication that reality shows as lead-ins are better than comedies, at least for the 9 p.m. (10 p.m.) slot on Mondays.

16 Responses to “'H50' ekes out second place as Monday struggles linger”

  1. AniMatsuri:

    This time slot H50 is in right now is really competative with Revolution in the mix. I think ratings will improve a bit when it takes its 4 month break. Then H50 will only have to contend with Castle.

  2. Fans are too defensive:

    One correction. The show had its largest viewership right after the AFC Championship Game in season one; around 21 million (?) but as we know, that was a Sunday and a fluke. It dropped right back down to the viewership levels it had before that episode on the following Monday. Don't forget, NBC will be putting in a new show where Revolution was and I can't remember what it was but it looked interesting. So I wouldn't say that H50 is completely off the hook from better competition for those 4 months.

    Besides a show in its third season should already have steady loyal viewership but it appears that H50 has lost a huge chunk of faithful followers. Other CBS shows that have been on the air for several years maintain their faithful. So if H50 had maintained its loyal viewers, it wouldn't matter what kind of show was before it; comedies or reality or whatever. The viewership would be there. So IMO opinion, something went fundamentally wrong with the show. I actually have my opinion on what the biggest problem is but to prevent angry posts directed at me, I think I will keep that thought to myself.
    Another thing. In both the previous seasons H50, ratings dropped down lower after January than the fall ratings. If that trend continues, what will the ratings be this spring? Maybe we are at the bottom now and won't drop in the spring like previous seasons. Only time will tell.

  3. theDman:

    Well, there is a lot of gushing about how good this last episode was, but I do not agree. The flashback to explain 9-11 and Grace's name was good, and Scott got the good lines in this show, but I did not think it was one of the better ones.

    These "beat me up" scenes get ridiculously long and I found myself hitting the fast-forward button to get through it. Why don't the producers see that? Why doesn't the editor see that? Whether it is Danno getting beat down, or McGarrett, they takes punches that would kill a normal person...and yet they come back as feisty as ever. Beyond belief. Hey guys, I'm laughing at those scenes. And I thought Lost was crazy.

    You know, another thing I noticed once again is the use of facilitators on the show. Now, every show has a person that is "all-knowing" and gives the background to the plot to move the story ahead quickly. As Burl Burlingame used to say, it is the use (or over-use) of exposition. But now, we got the magic table, and that table must have some components made in Korea because Daniel and Grace seem to be able to constantly interpret the magic table's findings, and we got Masa doing his thing in the meat locker. That makes four facilitators on this show. That's insane. What's more, why do they all have to be Asians? Are they just naturally brainy and can think ahead? Ho bruddah, talk about stereotyping.

    I did not think it was horrible, but I sure don't see the "greatness" in this episode at all.

  4. matsu:

    One of my biggest problem with H50 is Mark Dacoscos (sp?). While i love him, i can't stop seeing "that guy from the iron chef" and it's difficult to take him seriously!

  5. Fans are too defensive:

    I agree, D-man. This episode was mostly on a par with the others except I did like the flashback scenes and I did think that Scott did his best work so far in those. Otherwise, it was the usual foot chases and like D-man said, the beating went on and on yet Danno was hardly even beaten up from it, no less hospitalized or dead. That scene was a rerun of the scene last season where Steve got captured in North Korea and beaten up by Wo Fat and was just bruised a little. No broken teeth even? LOL

    Although it isn't (IMO) the main reason viewership dropped so much, the constant repeat of the same stuff gets old. In season one, the whole point of H50 was a group who could operate outside the law, and that got erased with the new governor. Now they are just regular cops.

    I also saw on two other blogs that viewership is down across the board for all shows and that Les Moonves (CBS president) said they realize about deferred viewership by DVR and they take that into consideration. But the truth is that even though that is true, what he isn't saying is that it presents a huge problem for the networks because the advertisers who pay don't care about whether people like the show and just choose to watch it later. They only care about people watching their ads. So for a show to get advertisers who pay for it, the advertisers want people watching it live so they can not pass over their ads by fast forwarding.

    The problem remains. H50 is still way low down on the live viewership ratings compared to other CBS shows.

  6. Terry:

    Lead-ins CAN make a big difference which is why networks move shows around so often, and why they have people whose sole job it is to schedule programming. As far as the beat-downs that the guys recover from, that's indicative of television, not just Hawaii 5-0. Was this episode great? No, it wasn't, but I thought that Scott Caan had some absolutely brilliant moments. I also loved the expression of Danny's devotion to his daughter, and Steve's unwavering loyalty to his partner. I enjoyed Terrence Howard and although he had more screen time than many guest-stars, I still felt he could have been better utilized. But like most Hawaii Five-0 guest actors, his character was killed so we’ll never have the opportunity to enjoy his skills on the show again.
    As to why the "Asians" are in charge of the table, it's because as per the original show, the main character is McGarrett, his partner is Danny Williams, and Kono, and Chin Ho are supporting characters. Supporting characters tend to handle the technical logistics, i.e. Van Pelt on The Mentalist, Garcia on Criminal Minds, and the techies on NCIS: LA. It kills me that Hawaii Five-0 just can't seem to win in this area. They make an effort to include more Asian characters and actors than any other American television series, and yet they still get criticized.

    Now, for the down-side. I've spoken to some people who stopped watching the show last year and they got tired of the long, drawn out Shelburne mess and uneven plots. Was Joe White good, was he bad, do we even care any longer? Will McGarrett EVER find Wo Fat? Add to that, the episodes filmed without team leader "McGarrett" and they just didn't feel the need to keep watching. It had nothing to do with added cast members or love interests. I don't think the Five-0 has too many characters - many shows have larger casts. I do think they need to flesh out them out better however, and give them believable story lines. I love what Cath brings to McGarrett's life, but why is she in the middle of the team’s cases, and why is she no longer concerned with sharing top secret information? Last year, they made an absolute mess with "Lori," supposedly there to keep the team in line, but who never once reported back to her boss. And then the lame, "I have to leave because I'm attracted to you," speech to McGarrett. Why was that even necessary? Recently we saw an episode featuring Max in which he spoke like a normal human being for the first time, but then went back to that irritating, choppy, mechanical speech after his ordeal was over. Then we had Kono who was a strong, principled woman but suddenly doesn’t mind that her lover was fully willing to kill her boss in his quest to murder Wo Fat, and giggles over him having held her at gunpoint. I was really hoping by now we would have had some sort of explanation for her behavior.
    We've had characters that have been added and killed off, with no rhyme or reason. Example; Kelly Hu introduced as a possible love interest for Daniel Dae Kim's character, and promptly killed off in the very same episode. What was the point? Then Chin's former fiancée is introduced and embraced by fans, only to be murdered as well. Yes, it provided DDK with some wonderfully gut-wrenching scenes, but fans felt cheated that the solid, strong Chin Ho couldn't have even a moment of happiness. And now, just as I felt the show was hitting it’s stride they’re already teasing a "possible new love interest" for Chin. I honestly can't even fathom what the people behind the show are thinking by planting such a spoiler. All it does is make people angry, and unlike last year's spoiler about a possible love interest for McGarrett, this time I think it's warranted. People do not want their heroes to have disposable spouses.
    I think that CBS is believes that because many of us find the stars attractive, they don’t need to give us a smart, consistent product, and that’s hurting them. Do I expect this show to be realistic? No. But neither do I expect ridiculous plot twists, inconsistencies, and over the top stunts. CBS can choose to listen only to those on social media who say that everything do they is wonderful, or they can also take an honest look at the more candid critics. If they want to last beyond four years, I suggest they do the latter.

  7. Fans are too defensive:

    I agree with everything you say Terry EXCEPT that fans didn't want to watch when Steve wasn't there. If I remember correctly, the episodes where Alex wasn't there had absolutely no effect on the ratings.And the crossover episodes where everyone KNEW he would be gone (both on H50 and NCIS:LA) had decent ratings. The H50 fans actually raised NCIS:LA's already great ratings that night, which means that even though Alex wasn't there, the H50 fans watched. I remember being actually surprised by that. It shows that the show isn't Alex and only Alex. His fandom isn't a noticeable enough factor at all for ratings, something his fans never seem to get. No offense to Alex but the show has 3 other main characters and their fans also.

    At any rate, you yourself listed so many problems the show has it seems insurmountable.

    And it seems that you are also forgetting that H50 had fans,even with comedy lead-ins, and yet they lost a ton of them. Lead-ins don't decide what true fans watch.True fans watch their show wherever and whenever it shows. As I have said before, by season 3 this show should have its faithful viewership locked in. Even Castle, although they are also older viewers (hence the demo) continue to watch their show and their # of viewers has remained steady, even with Revolution in the mix.

    But H50 has dropped hugely. That is unusual and not based on anything but the show itself and its failings. But hey. They got that TNT deal so I wouldn't sweat it. Someone in CBS grabbed that deal up in the first season. Smart.

  8. sarah lynn:

    I agree with Fans are Defensive about the other actors. I remember thinking Scott Caan was the one to watch in season 1. I was on the mainland and people talked about him as if he was the star of the show. The episode w/o AOL last season with Scott as the lead was one of my favorites. He really held the show together nicely, and all the other characters got great lines and screen time. It was a nicely rounded show, and that is not usually the case with H50. The ratings didn't suffer that episode. I think I know where you're going with your first posting above, Fans are too Defensive. I think you're on to something, and I'll bet similar discussions have occurred at the network and producer level, don't you agree?

  9. Fans are too defensive:

    Sarah, if you are referring to what I think you are, I would say you bet they are. JMO, though. 🙂

  10. sarah lynn:

    Yes, we're on the same page about your post.

  11. theDman:

    Well, I don't see any major changes to the cast happening, I think it is way too late for that. I still believe it begins and ends with writing, and that is where I think the problems really lie.

  12. Twilight:

    And now Chin's getting a new love interest? Good grief!

  13. Fans are too defensive:

    No H50 or Alex in the finalist list at the PCAs---again. And this is what is interesting and shows my point that Castle maintains its viewership and loyal fans while H50 is losing them fast. Nathan Fillion and Castle WON the PCAs last year in their perspective categories and they are both on the finalist list again this year. H50 and Alex didn't make it either year.

    Lead ins don't matter when a show has a loyal viewership. Loyal fans follow their show no matter what. Revolution didn't change Castle's viewership or ratings one bit. Revolution seems to have stolen all of its viewers from H50.

    How much clearer can this be? Stop making excuses outside of H50 for why it is flopping. Look at the writing and everyone else on the show for why, IMO.

  14. Twilight:

    I agree that the omission was glaring. I just love Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic on Castle, but one would've thought there should be enough rabid fans to get H50 in there. For future reference, H50 watchers, you can vote over and over ad infinitum for your favorite actors and shows, and the networks, producers and actors really like this award because it comes from us rather than critics. Anyway, I've come around to the thinking discussed above that it IS an internal thing that's gone awry and it sounds like many feel the same way. The show and its star(s) have lost luster and quite a few fans.

  15. Adam:

    I have to agree with Fans are too defensive. I use to be a huge fan of H50 but I stop bc I'm sick of the show focusing on Alex too much, he a great actor but the writers should focus on core 4 like in s1 and not just 1 character also I don't like the fact they bring Cath as a regular, it turn me off and I have enough of seeing her push up front and let Kono be in background or less screentime like in s2 when Lori was there. All of my friends love GP character but she not getting any good script so far and screentime also the storyline kinda of stink.

  16. izulu:

    I liked the father-daughter dance at the end of the show...but that's the only positive thing I remember about this episode. I gagged at the scene with one of the Kartrashian/Jenner clan in a minor role. It was a slap in Hawaii's face that the show didn't cast a local teenager for the role. After all, it's not as though Kendall is an accomplished actress who adds something special to the role or the episode.

    Michelle Borth as a regular on the series is another sore spot. She just adds to the clutter. Besides, in recent episodes her role is not believable. Did she lose her military job? She's always around the H50 team, and even has enough time to lounge around the Hilton Hawaiian Village pool. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you need to be a hotel guest to use the pool and surrounding area?

    As another reader commented about the series, there may have been too many "prominent" characters being introduced then killed off and/or disappearing. No continuity, although I have to admit that I was happy to see most of the characters go, with the possible exceptions of Ed Asner and DDK's wife.

    I agree that the writing may be the problem. For me, Alex O is not portrayed as a strong enough character. In the original series, Jack Lord WAS Hawaii Five-0, with James MacArthur in a major supporting role. The rest of the regular cast were familiar and consistent members of the team. Guest stars were just that--people who came and went, but who somehow never seemed to be so critically intertwined with the regular cast as they are in the current series. Of course that was then, and perhaps that wouldn't work now...? I had such high hopes for the show when it debuted, but I find the new H50 increasingly disappointing (except for the spectacular Hawaii scenery).

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