By Wayne Harada
“Hawaii Five-0,” the island-based procedural, attempting to make history on its Monday (Jan. 14) episode entitled “Kahu.” It’s a noble and inventive gimmick, to tap social media and audience participation, to pump up viewership, for this first-time whodunit.
Will there be vast millions participating in the decision-making? But howcum Hawaii viewers are not in this adventure?
Let’s look at the situation:
The idea: Let audiences decide the conclusion of a TV procedural — in real time.
The plan: You watch, you go to CBS.com or Twitter, you cast a vote from three choices to declare whodunit.
The reality: Interactive. Live. Real time. Wow, the wave of the future for TV drama? An experiment to lure more viewer excitement? Or a failure?
The plot: “Five-0” investigates a death of a professor at Oahu State University.
The suspects in the crime: The prof’s boss, his teaching aide, one of his students caught cheating.
The procedure: You watch, you make a choice like you’re a juror, you help solve the crime — the decision will be based on the viewers’ voting at the network’s website and the Twitter tallies (three hashtags — #theBox, #theTA, #theStudent).
The stickler: Logistics — if you’re in the East/Central or West coast’s Pacific time zones, you’re eligible to cast a vote. You help sway the decision which will come right after the final commercial break.
The snub: Hawaii isn’t included in the real-time decision-making, despite the fact that the show is Hawaii-based, filmed in our midst, becoming part of our daily lives. This exclusion is incredible and insulting — no other way to put it. If reality shows (“American Idol,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Voice,” etc.) solicit viewership input, all prospective voters in all U.S. markets in all time zones should have the chance to be heard. Why can’t the tally mechanism be applied to folks in Hawaii? The omission is unforgivable.
The post-mortem: If we can’t have a say in which ending we want, which ending will be shown in this market? East or West? And who decides which outcome, East Coast or West Coast, flies our way? If you’re curious about how the episode could play out (which of the three killers), go to CBS.com after the airing — so presumably, you can find out the ending before the show is delayed/aired in Hawaii, because of the time difference (we’re two hours behind the West Coast, five behind the East Coast).
The reaction:If we can't get in on the whodunit, whydoit? What's your take or response, on the cannot-vote issue?...
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Schedule note: “Hawaii Five-0” will get a high-profile viewing opportunity when CBS moves the Monday show to a Sunday, Jan. 20, following the AFC championship.
The network is banking on high viewership of the game — last’s year’s Baltimore Ravens-New England Patriots game averaged more than 48 million viewers.
This episode will find Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) kidnapped and dropped in the middle of Halawa Prison. Dressed as an inmate, he needs to escape before the prisoners recognize him as a member of the “Five-0” team. Hey, this episode might have worked wonders for the sagging “Five-0” numbers (choices would be, certainly, how Chin maneuvers his safe departure, based on viewer votes). Another worthy voting possibility: Which of seven Jimi Hendrix songs, which will be heard in the episode’s soundtrack, is best? The Hendrix tunes — “Bleeding Heart," "Mojo Man," "Hey Gypsy Boy," "Inside Out," "Crash Landing," "Hear My Train A Comin'" and "Somewhere" — will be part of a new Hendrix CD, “People, Hell, Angels,” that drops March 5.
In a similar move, “Elementary,” the Sherlock Holmes-inspired freshman drama normally seen on Thursday nights, will similarly receive extraordinary exposure when it is slotted to follow Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3.